Ole Miss fans only have 25 days until kickoff to the Rebel football season against the Louisville Cardinals, and the number 25 is special because of one fateful afternoon in 2009 against the LSU Tigers.
It was fateful, because as I sat in my usual section where I have rested my collective laurels for around 15 seasons of Ole Miss football, I begrudgingly knew LSU was about to pull off some voodoo magic AGAIN in some ridiculous manner and win this football game.
The Rebels had amassed 25 points through 56 minutes of this game, and Ole Miss led 25-17 as LSU picked its way quickly down the field to score with 1:17 left in the game. A failed two-point conversion helped me breathe a little easier, but honestly a two-point lead in the Magnolia Bowl even with one minute left is nothing to be excited about, c’mon.
LSU was ranked No. 8, Jordan Jefferson at quarterback, Reuben Randle at wide receiver and a bevy of NFL talent on defense as usual. Ole Miss with Dexter McCluster at running back who passed the winning touchdown in this game to Shay Hodge and quarterback Jevan Snead were looking to beat the Tigers in consecutive seasons for the first time in 20 years.
And it all came down to just a few seconds late in the game as LSU made one last gasp effort. Which to be honest, I just assumed they were 100 percent going to get in position for a winning field goal, and I was going to get eye rolls and heavy sighs from my family during the ride home for my incoming tirade in a loss.
But, on this fateful fall night, the football gods shone down on the Rebels. Well, to be more accurate, Father Time helped out Houston Dale Nutt and the Ole Miss faithful.
Inexplicably, the Tigers wasted approximately 17 seconds calling in a play which ultimately ended up being the final snap of the game. A heave from Jefferson downfield and a miracle catch would have easily put LSU in field goal position, but once the dust settled, only one second remained on the clock. Not nearly enough time to get in position for a field goal or even spike the ball.
Now, ineptitude by your opponent is not the greatest way to win a game, but for the Rebels, it felt pretty damn good that day.