The Breakdown: Ole Miss Rebels Lose First Game of the Season


The game did not come with the results that we expected, a loss, and it was a moment we feared was coming. However this loss does not define our season. There is still plenty of football left to be played this season and by no means are the Rebels out of the College Football Playoffs discussion. If I knew a loss was coming, I would have wanted it at this point in the season. However, now there is little room for error. The Auburn and Mississippi State games are still lurking on the schedule. If Ole Miss can handle both of those opponents, there will be several scenarios that could pan out. Quit pointing the fingers, we don’t have time for that. Forget the final play decisions, we have Auburn next weekend.


The Game

Saturday night the Ole Miss Rebels went into Death Valley full of confidence. They came out with their first loss of the season. LSU had never experienced Bad Bo before, but last night I believe they seen him at his worst. The Landshark defense held strong throughout the game. There is still no question, Ole Miss has the best defense in the country and once again they proved it last night. The defense was able to force four turnovers, and put the offense in several scoring opportunities. However, excluding the one scoring drive, the offense could not amount to anything.

Ole Miss showed some very good defensive skills in the first quarter, mixed with a little…luck. LSU drove the ball all the way to the Ole Miss 12 yard line on their first drive of the game, but a missed field goal kept the game scoreless. Once again LSU was able to drive all the way down the field on their very next drive, but LSU’s top running back, Leonard Fournette fumbled the football in the Rebels’ endzone, giving Ole Miss another escape. The Rebels took advantage of the situation on the next drive. They would push 80 yards down field, giving them an early advantage. Bo Wallace connected with Cody Core for a 15-yard touchdown pass, and the extra point put the Rebels up 7-0. Core leads the team with five reception touchdowns on the season.

Oct 25, 2014; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace (14) looks to pass the ball against the LSU Tigers in the second half at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Mississippi 10-7. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Nearing halftime, the Tigers finally put some numbers on the board with a  21-yard field goal to  cut the Rebel lead to 7-3. The third quarter was a scoreless fifteen minutes that showed off both teams defenses. It wasn’t until five minutes remaining in the game when LSU seized the lead for the first time in the game, after driving the ball down field, LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings connected a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Logan Stokes. Ole Miss was forced to answer with a comeback. With nine seconds left on the clock, Ole Miss was positioned on with a chance to tie the game, but Hugh Freeze elected to keep the drive pushing in an attempt to setup for a more reasonable field goal attempt for freshman kicker Gary Wunderlich. Wallace threw it deep into tight coverage and was picked off near LSU’s endzone. The Ole Miss Rebels fell for the first time this season with a 10-7 loss to LSU. LSU fans swarmed the field as if they beat Alabama.


The Stats

Bo Wallace had one of his worst nights of the season. The senior quarterback finished 14-33, 176 total passing yards, one touchdown, 49 yards rushing, and one interception. There was a heated debate on questioning Wallace’s sportsmanship. Wallace was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after shoving an LSU defensive back to the ground with his chest. Regardless of the taunting from the LSU player, the situation is not something you want involved with your star player. LSU fans on Twitter were even quick to note that Wallace showed unsportsmanlike behavior by leaving the field before the final seconds ticked away on the game clock. Yet it is an act that is very common, as the field was expected to be swarmed by fans.

The Rebels continued to display an ineffective run game, which has been a burden for the offense all season. I’Tavius Mathers ran for 38 yards on 8 attempts, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Jaylen Walton rushed 12 times for 31 yards, averaging 2.4 yards per carry. When your quarterback leads the team in rushing, you know you have problems in that area. LSU proved they could run the football, by racking up a monstrous 271 yards on the ground, led by freshman running back Leonard Fournette who ran 23 times for 113 yards, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. The 271 yards Ole Miss allowed was the most rushing yards they’ve allowed all season. LSU ran so much, Anthony Jennings only threw the ball 16 times, which resulted in 142 yards.

Laquon Treadwell lead the Rebels in receiving with 70 yards on four receptions. Cody Core was behind him with four receptions for 45 yards, and scored a touchdown on the Rebels’ lone scoring drive. Jaylen Walton received for 41 yards. Walton missed an opportunity for an 80-yard touchdown reception, but it was brought back near the 50-yard line as video evidence revealed he stepped out of bounds. However, this occurred on the Rebels’ scoring drive. Vince Sanders was quiet with one reception for seven yards.

As for the defense, the Ole Miss Rebels once again proved they’re one of the best in the country. They forced four turnovers, extending their streak to 31 consecutive games where at least one turnover has occurred by the defense. By the way, that leads the nation. Through eight games this season, they have allowed only seven touchdowns.  Ole Miss has held its opponent scoreless in the first quarter in every game but one, while outscoring their opponents 62-3 in the first quarter. I believe their mental toughness has been tested so far this season, especially in the tough road games of Texas A&M and LSU.

Senquez Golson intercepted his eighth interception of the season, as he continues to stand out as the top defensive back in the league. Mike Hilton received another interception. Trae Elston led the Landsharks with 11 tackles. He also add a pass breakup on the night. Cody Prewitt and C.J. Johnson had fumble recoveries to complete the four turnovers for the Rebel defense.


Aftermath of the Loss

We got banged up in Baton Rouge, y’all. In the first quarter, linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche hobbled off the field after twisting his left foot during a play. There has yet to be official results of the injury, but it doesn’t look good. Coach Hugh Freeze said in a press conference after the game that he feared it may have been fractured. If that is the case, one could only expect significant playing missed for Nkemdiche, if not the rest of the season. Denzel has been a key figure in this defense, as he has 28 total tackles on the year. His leadership and veteran status has helped paved the Landshark defense into what it is today.

Younger brother Robert Nkemdiche also missed significant playing time, due to an unspecified injury.  Senior All-American safety Cody Prewitt, who recovered a fumble and caused another Saturday, was also on the sideline late in the contest. Larmey Tunsil also spent time on the sideline. It was reported a strained bicep, but Tunsil would later return. Once we receive more information on these injuries we will update you, but as for now, there is no official report.

Sad news has developed with a report that a LSU fan died at the game Saturday night. In the report, a man suffered from a heart-attack after the conclusion of the game. LSU officials said medical personnel responded, but could not revive him. They have not released the man’s identity.