FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Ole Miss - Auburn 1999
Oct. 28, 2016
FRIDAY FLASHBACK rewinds to some of the memorable Ole Miss games from this week's all-time series. Ole Miss and Auburn have produced several of the most exciting moments in SEC history. The matchup in 1999 proved to be one of the greatest as the Rebels got revenge on Tommy Tuberville.
Rebels Get Their Revenge With Overtime Win on The Planes
AUBURN, Ala. - Ole Miss players and coaches said all week the rematch with their former coach Tommy Tuberville was just another game.
Actions spoke louder than words as senior linebacker Armegis Spearman jammed an Ole Miss flag into the “AU” at midfield of Jordan-Hare Stadium after his Rebels defeated Tuberville’s Tigers, Saturday 24-17 in overtime.
Later, the Bruce native handed his victory cigar to his father Eddie.
“We’re putting that on the mantle,” said the elder Spearman, while wearing his sons No. 4 on a T-shirt. “You don’t need to smoke it. We’re going to remember this for a long time.”
So will the nearly 10,000 Ole Miss fans that packed the North end zone and cheered every moment of the victory against Tuberville and his eight assistants, nine months after they bolted Oxford for Auburn. Among the moments to remember:
“This win puts you on top of the world,” spearman said.
Ole Miss (3-1 overall, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) didn’t have an easy climb to the top against Auburn (3-1, 1-1 SEC). Starting fullback Charles Stackhouse left with a left-knee injury on the first series, the Rebels struggled running the ball with 53 yards, and had two punts blocked.
However, nothing blurred their focus.
“We had to focus on Ole Miss,” Rebels’ coach David Cutcliffe said. “I talked to my seniors and they had that knowing look in their eyes. I knew they understood.”
Peterson, a senior, understood perfectly. He began the scoring with a 54-yard reception to push Ole Miss ahead 7-0 on the first drive, before closing things in OT. He had six receptions for 113 yards.
“I saw Cory in the hotel last night I said, ‘you’re ready,” said Miller, who never saw the winning TD because he was on the ground after a hit. “I haven’t seen him look like that in a long time.”
Miller had the ‘look’ too, completing 17 of 29 passes for 242 yards. He didn’t want to look in the fourth quarter when Tiger kicker Damon Duval tried a 37-yard field goal which would have given Auburn the lead with 11 seconds to go. Duval’s kick was set up when Miller was picked off by Rashaud Walker, but Duval kicked it wide right.
“I was at the bottom of the world when Auburn lined up to kick, but when he missed it I knew that we couldn’t be denied,” Miller said. “So much had gone wrong for us, but I felt we could win.”
Miller began feeling good when teammate Les Binkley’s 45-yard field goal tied it 17-17 in the third quarter. The Tigers had to call on redshirt freshman Jeff Klein at quarterback, after starter Ben Leard left in the third quarter, with a right shoulder separation, and didn’t return. Klein was 10 of 16 for 112 yards and a 25-yard touchdown pass to Pontotoc native Ryan Hooker at 3:49 left of the third.
Leard was 14 of 17 for 100 yards passing before leaving.
“They blitzed a little more when Ben went down,” Tuberville said. “It is hard to beat anybody in this conference with your backup quarterback.”
The first half showed a lead is never safe in this conference. Auburn cut Ole Miss’ first quarter advantage to 7-3 on a Duval 27-yard field goal. The Rebels then marched 78 yards on their first second quarter drive. Miller connected with freshman tight end Doug Zeigler on a 44-yard pass to the Auburn 21. Six plays later, Duce McAllister took a toss and out ran the defense left from two yards out to put Ole Miss up 14-3.
The Rebels couldn’t run out the clock to end the half, and the Tigers made a special play to get within 14-10 at halftime. A bad snap forced Regan King to punt into the coverage and he was blocked by Travaris Robinson. Walker recovered the ball in the end zone for the Auburn touchdown.
Instead of folding the Rebels rose up and kept their hopes for a bowl season going.
“It’s a dog fight every week and all we can do is take them one at a time and move forward,” Cutcliffe said. “This was huge.”
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