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Ole Miss actually wins a football game!

Posted by paulquinn on August 31, 2008

I know, I know. We beat MEMPHIS, so what? We do that every year. But not always do we win by 17 points; and in my four years in Oxford we’ve only scored more than 30 points one time – my freshman year when we beat South Carolina 31-28.

What I am used to is traversing the Grove, my tie pulled down, my button-up shirt pulled out and a feeling of disappointment with every step. My friends will say, “well at least we held Florida (or some other SEC school) close.” I’ve even said this when I began to realize we might never have a winning season in my tenure.

So last night when we won 41-24 I didn’t know how to react. I am still skeptical, however I am no longer cynical.

Surely it’s fitting that former Texas Longhorn transfer Jevan Sneed led Ole Miss to its first blow-out over a Division I school I can remember. My hometown is Austin. I grew up on Longhorn football; I saw Ricky Williams (before the pot changed him) run for the all-time-leading rushing record, and Vince Young beat up teams that usually crushed Texas.

I’ll be one happy rebel if a former Longhorn turns out to be our saving grace. Who cares about Colt McCoy … prove Mack Brown wrong Snead and bring us to a winning season.

Here’s what Daily Journal sports writer Parrish Alford said during his re-cap:

In his Ole Miss debut, Texas transfer quarterback Jevan Snead missed some long passes but connected on some key third downs and finished 10-for-22 for 185 yards and two scores.

“I got off to kind of a slow start with a few jitters,” Snead said. “After that I feel like I got into a rhythm, and things started slowing down a little bit. We did some things well, but we have a lot of room for improvement.”

The point man in the highly anticipated “Wild Rebel” formation, junior Dexter McCluster had four catches for 61 yards and six carries for 64 yards and scored on a 32-yard run with a shotgun snap. The Rebels ran 10 plays from the formation, and two produced touchdowns.

The Rebels averaged 7.4 yards per play. They were 7-for-12 on third-down conversions and 4-for-4 in the Red Zone.

A defense without two of its most productive starters, tackle Peria Jerry and end Greg Hardy, gave up lots of ground but also intercepted Memphis quarterback Arkelon Hall twice, once by free safety Kendrick Lewis in the end zone and later by cornerback Dustin Mouzon.

Both picks led to second-quarter field goals.

Memphis (0-1) outgained Ole Miss with 453 yards but ran 84 plays to Ole Miss’ 59.

The Tigers attempted 42 passes without being sacked.

“We knew we probably wouldn’t get a sack going into the game. They were in the shotgun all night, and they don’t hold the ball,” defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix said. “We have what we have out there. Injuries are part of the game. There was some good, some bad. It was an average performance.”

I’m glad to see the team and coaches aren’t getting to cocky. A friend of mine told me yesterday in The Grove he had little faith in Snead. My buddy said he always saw Snead drinking at the Exchange’s pool. Apparently my friend also saw him dunking basketballs, and Snead hit his head on the rim at least once. Not exactly what you want to see your starting quarterback doing.

Who knows how much of what my friend said is true, folks tend to exaggerate the truth when they’re in the depths of The Grove. But hopefully Snead keeps downplaying his games when he does good.

To wrap it up, I’ll just say one thing … keep it up Rebels, you have no idea how long students have been waiting for y’all to win.

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