FRIDAY FLASHBACK: Ole Miss - LSU 2009

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Dexter McCluster rushed for 148 yards and threw a touchdown pass to Shay Hodge in the Rebel victory.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Dexter McCluster rushed for 148 yards and threw a touchdown pass to Shay Hodge in the Rebel victory.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Oct. 18, 2013

FRIDAY FLASHBACK rewinds to some of the memorable Ole Miss games from this week's all-time series. This week features the Rebels' 25-23 victory over No. 8 LSU in 2009 when the Tigers ran out of time in the final moments of a classic finish in the Magnolia Bowl rivalry.

LSU cold-clocked: Rebels hang on as time runs out for Tigers

By Ron Higgins, Commercial Appeal

November 22, 2009 

OXFORD, Miss. - One Mi-ss-i-ss-i-pp-i become won Mississippi, but how long can one second be?

Especially when it’s the very last tick of a typically classic Ole Miss-LSU game that will surely enter the storybook with the rest of the memorable Rebels-Tigers battles.

LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson couldn’t beat the clock, failing to ground the ball on first down at the Ole Miss 5 as time expired to preserve the Rebels’ 25-23 victory on Saturday in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium that they almost gave away a couple times.

From the Ole Miss sideline where coach Houston Nutt’s stomach was turning flips, to the press box where defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix was sweating bullets, it seemed like everybody dressed in red and blue was screaming “Start the clock!” after Jefferson completed a fourth-down 43-yard Hail Mary heave to Terrance Toliver with that one stinkin’ second left.

“I know I was yelling ‘start the clock!’” said Ole Miss running back Dexter McCluster, who stunned LSU by completing his first pass of his career, a 27-yarder to Shay Hodge that gave Ole Miss a 22-17 lead with 13:33 left to play. “That last second seemed like an eternity. I thought the clock should have already run down.”

Nutt, who has been a master throughout his coaching career – especially at Arkansas- of pulling out miraculous victories over LSU, was running up and down the sideline.

“I just wanted to make sure we had 11 players on the field,” Nutt said.

Upstairs in the Ole Miss coaching booth, Nix stared down at the mayhem unfolding before him and said a prayer.

“I was like ‘Lord, please let us win this game,’” Nix said. “When I saw zeroes, I said ‘Coaches, it’s over, I’m gone.’”

Just as giddy as the Rebels and their fans were Capital One bowl officials, who strongly hinted that the 8-3 Rebels (4-3 in the Western Division) are the leader in the clubhouse to get the SEC invitation to the Jan. 1 bowl in Orlando and take on a Big Ten opponent. LSU, also 8-3 and 4-3, dropped into Cotton Bowl or Chick-fil-A Bowl consideration.

The Rebels put themselves in this position with their fifth victory in their last six games. And they did it surviving a series of near-misses in the first three quarters on Saturday, starting off with two correct officiating calls - a clipping penalty and an illegal touching infraction – that took a pair of Ole Miss touchdowns off the scoreboard in the game’s first 12 minutes.

Even with all that, LSU led just 17-15 at the end of the third quarter and it was looking shakier by the moment for the Tigers. Ole Miss finally flipped field position when Tyler Campbell’s 41-yard punt was downed at the LSU 1.

So when LSU punted a few plays later, Ole Miss just had to navigate 44 yards for the go-ahead score. It came on a perfect second-and-4 play call at the LSU 27 by Rebels’ offensive coordinator Kent Austin, a handoff to McCluster that started as a sweep around right end.

Instead, McCluster pulled up and threw a TD pass to Hodge, who was all alone and hoping that McCluster wouldn’t short arm the throw.

“He did throw it kind of soft,” Hodge said, “I was thinking, ‘Just get here ball.’”

It did, but the game was far from over, even after a subsequent 60-yard Ole Miss drive produced a 23-yard Joshua Shene field goal for a 25-17 lead with 3:42 left.

That was enough time for LSU to drive 66 yards for Jefferson’s 25-yard TD pass to Reuben Randle with 1:17 left, then fall twice on a game-tying two-point conversion pass (the first was defensive pass interference) to Toliver.

It appeared that Ole Miss was out of the woods, but a perfectly executed onside kick by LSU’s Josh Jasper was recovered by the Tigers’ Brandon LaFell at the LSU 42 with 1:16 left.

Two plays later after a 26-yard Jefferson screen pass to LaFell, LSU was in field goal range for Jasper, who had made a 50-yarder in the second quarter.

Instead, LSU coach Les Miles, armed with two time outs, chose to keep throwing and he paid dearly. Jefferson was sacked for a 9-yard loss to the Ole Miss 32 and Miles called time out with 32 seconds left.

That was followed by Jefferson’s third-down pass to Stevan Ridley resulting in a 7-yard loss to the Ole Miss 48. Ridley was whistled down with 26 seconds left, yet Miles didn’t call a time out until there were nine seconds.

“Management at the back end was the issue, and it’s my fault we didn’t finish first in that game,” Miles said. “We didn’t know the time out hadn’t been called, and the seconds that ticked off certainly made a difference.”

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Historic Start to the Football Season

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Football

      After a 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, Ole Miss moved up four spots to No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll, released on Sunday.  Despite breaking into the top 10, the Rebels remain fifth among Southeastern Conference Western Division... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Sept. 14

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Athletics

      This is the third installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more

    • Three Rebels Net First Goals of the Season

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Soccer

      Leading 1-0 after controlling the play for much of the game, Ole Miss opened up a 3-0 lead on Middle Tennessee with a pair of goals in the final minute of the first half on the way to a 4-0... read more

    • Golson's Buy-In Pays Off

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Senior cornerback Senquez Golson has come a long way since he was a freshman.  That season, he was most notably on the receiving end of a highlight reel juke from Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Three years later, as part... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-ULL Motivational

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs ULL Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-ULL

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as Ole Miss faces Louisiana-Lafayette in its home opener Saturday. Wearing the Bull's-Eye After a 2-0 start with wins over Boise State and Vanderbilt, Ole Miss moved up to No. 14 in the Associated Press poll,... read more

    • Thompson Lifts Rebels to Historic Start

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - Volleyball

      With a chance to make history, Ole Miss dropped a first set for the first time this season. The Rebels answered the bell winning the next three sets to defeat Jacksonville State 3-1 and improve to 10-0 on the season,... read more

    • VIDEO: Return of The Grove

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Rebel Nation Remembers Stan Sandroni

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - Football

      Rebel Nation goes into its home opener Saturday excited for the return of football at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, but also saddened by the loss of one of its most renowned voices.Stan Sandroni, 64, passed away of a heart attack late Wednesday.... read more

    • Freeze Talks Schedule, Areas for Team to Improve

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' home opener Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and will be televised on the SEC Network.Freeze's time... read more

    • Former football player releases Chucky Mullins book

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - Football

      Former Ole Miss football player Jody Hill has partnered with Square Books in Oxford to launch his book, "38: The Chucky Mullins Effect," celebrating the life and impact of his Ole Miss teammate Chucky Mullins. Hill will be signing copies... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. ULL

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Freeze, Luke Talk Offensive Line Progress

      Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - Football

      From week one to week two, head coach Hugh Freeze and offensive line coach Matt Luke are generally pleased with the progress along the offensive line. The number of false start penalties went from eight to two, while the... read more

    • Changing The Perception of Ole Miss Volleyball

      Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - Volleyball

      With back-to-back tournament titles to open the season, the Rebels are 7-0 to start the season for the first time since 2007 and are also the only Southeastern Conference team still undefeated."We feel like at this point in our season... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 1-7)

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 1-7, 2014Football- Ole Miss moved up to No. 14 in the AP poll and No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches poll after its dominating 41-3 victory at Vanderbilt on Saturday.- It was the... read more