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
    • Golson, Prewitt Headline Pro Day Participants

      Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - Football

      NFL Scouting Combine participants Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt are among 18 former Ole Miss players expected to go through Pro Day workouts in hopes of realizing their professional football dreams. More than 25 representatives from 22 different teams were... read more

    • Both Sides of Ole Miss and the NCAA Tournament Discussion

      Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      The Ole Miss women's basketball team heads to the 2015 SEC Tournament in Little Rock, Arkansas, having won three of its last four games to finish the regular season with a 17-12 overall and 7-9 SEC record and earn the... read more

    • Johnson Embraces New Role, New Challenges

      Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss welcomes back seven starters from the nation's No. 1 scoring defense, but two of those starters, seniors C.J. Johnson and Mike Hilton, will be starting the spring at different positions, with Johnson at Mike linebacker and Hilton at... read more

    • Quarterback Competition Begins in Earnest

      Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss began spring practice Tuesday, and for the first time under head coach Hugh Freeze, the Rebels will have a starting quarterback not named Bo Wallace. With the graduation of Wallace, sophomores Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade, as well... read more

    • Freeze, Rebels at SEC Media Days on July 16

      Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - Football

      The Southeastern Conference announced today Kickoff '15, its annual football media days, will be held July 13-16, remaining at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala. The event will continue to be four days in 2015. The... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Feb. 24-March 2, 2015)

      Monday, March 2, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewFeb. 24-March 2, 2015Track & Field - Ole Miss got SEC titles from Jalen Miller (60m), Daniel Bulmer (mile) and the distance medley relay, and the Rebels achieved their best SEC indoor finish since 1984.... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- March 1

      Sunday, March 1, 2015 - Athletics

      The calendar turned to March, as the men's and women's basketball teams march toward the SEC Tournament and postseason play. The baseball team faced perhaps its biggest challenge of nonconference play. The softball and men's tennis teams each had another... read more

    • Rebels Look to Add to NCAA Tournament Case

      Sunday, March 1, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      The numbers and bracket projections may not be in his favor at this point, but head women's basketball coach Matt Insell is selling the NCAA Tournament selection committee on his team passing the eye test, as Ole Miss enters its... read more

    • Kennedy, Rebels Look to Flush LSU Loss

      Saturday, February 28, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      BATON ROUGE, La. -- With an opportunity to perhaps lock itself into the NCAA Tournament, or at the very least enhance its resume, Ole Miss lost back-to-back games for the first time all season, falling on the road at LSU... read more

    • Rebels Look to Enhance NCAA Tournament Resume

      Saturday, February 28, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Despite the most recent home loss to Georgia on Wednesday night, Ole Miss remains a team projected to be solidly in the field, as the Rebels put their school record four-game SEC road winning streak on the line when they... read more

    • PHOTOS: Ole Miss Snow Day 2015

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - Athletics

      Here's a collection of snow days photos from Ole Miss Athletics Photographer Josh McCoy (@OleMissPix):The Pavillion at Ole Miss in winter! #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissMBB @OleMissWBB pic.twitter.com/nHyhVPlDvG-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) February 25, 2015 Awweeee.... #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissFB pic.twitter.com/R1BDZ0shvS-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix)... read more

    • VIDEO: The Flagship Football Promo

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - Football

      read more

    • Rebels Ready for Rematch with Georgia

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      If recent history is any indication, Ole Miss and Georgia are likely to go down to the wire on Wednesday night. Four of the last five meetings over the last three seasons have been decided by five points or less,... read more

    • VIDEO: The Pavilion Time Lapse

      Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      read more

    • Golson, Prewitt Compete at NFL Combine

      Monday, February 23, 2015 - Football

      The defensive backs, including former Ole Miss players Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt, participated in on-field workouts at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine on Monday in Indianapolis. Looking ahead, Ole Miss will hold its annual pro day on March 5... read more