FRIDAY FLASHBACK: Ole Miss - Vanderbilt 2004
Jonathan Nichols

Nov. 9, 2012

FRIDAY FLASHBACK rewinds to some of the memorable Ole Miss games from this week's all-time series. This week features the Rebels' 26-23 overtime win over Vanderbilt in 2004. 

Nichols Redeems Himself as Rebs Post First Win

Ole Miss 26, Vanderbilt 23 (OT)

By Marlon W. Morgan

Commercial Appeal

OXFORD, Miss. – Jonathan Nichols missed just three field goals last year, a year in which he won the Lou Groza Award given annually to the nation’s top collegiate place kicker.

After two misses, including one which would have given Ole Miss a win over Vanderbilt in regulation Saturday, Nichols found himself staring at three missed field goals in three games.

But what made Nichols a premiere kicker was his ability to come through in the clutch.  So after missing a 36-yarder in the second quarter and a 50-yarder with six seconds remaining in regulation, the Senior looked forward to redeeming himself. 

Nichols drilled a 35-yarder into the wind that capped 16 unanswered points by Ole Miss as the Rebels (1-2 overall, 1-1 in the Southeastern Conference) won for the first time this season, 26-23, in front of 55,824 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

“I know I missed two field goals, but I felt wonderful out there today,” Nichols said. “I had been hitting the ball great, probably the best I felt in a game this year.”

“I knew if I got another shot, I was going to nail it.  I wasn’t going to let two get away from me like that.”

Last year, the Rebels needed a 54-yard field goal from Nichols to beat the Commodores in Nashville.

The celebration that took place at midfield after Nichols’s kick showed what a much-needed win this was for the Rebels, who were 0-2 for the first time since 1987.

“It was a big monkey off our back with that win,” said tailback Vashon Pearson, who had his first career 100-yard game with 11.  “Everybody was kind of nervous and didn’t know how the season was going to turn out.  We needed that win.”


 

 

The Rebels appeared headed for a 0-3 start when Vandy took a 23-10 lead midway through the third quarter.  The defense was having a hard time containing quarterback Jay Cutler, who was running the option to perfection.

Through three quarters, Cutler had 57 yards rushing on 16 carries and had completed 8-of-11 passes for another 126 yards and a touchdown.

Ole Miss’ defense finally got things figured out in the fourth quarter.  The rest of the game, Cutler ran six times for three yards and completed 1-of-6 passes for five yards.

Vandy led 23-13 early in the fourth when the momentum changed.  With the Commodores taking over on their own 18, Cutler threw a deep pass into double coverage that was intercepted by sophomore Trumaine McBride.  McBride returned it to Vandy’s 39, then picked up an additional 15 on a Vandy late hit.

"That got everybody hyped, energized, and ready to make plays,” McBride said.

A rejuvenated Ole Miss wasted no time capitalizing; scoring in four plays on Lorenzo Townsend’s 3-yard touchdown run.

A fired up Rebels defense came up huge again on Vandy’s next possession, stopping Cutler short of a first down on a fourth-and-4 play from Ole Miss’s 30.  The Rebels drove down and tied the game on a 34-yard field goal by Nichols with 2:23 remaining.

After Nichols’ missed 50-yarder, the Commodores received the ball first in overtime.  But four straight incompletions by Cutler gave the Rebels a shot at victory.

Vandy (0-2, 0-1) missed out on a chance to end its road losing streak, which now stands at 14 games.

“We felt it was going our way the whole game,” Cutler said.  “We had the momentum and were moving the ball well.  The defense was playing well.  It was the same old same old. We have got to find a way to win in the fourth quarter.”

“Ole Miss sophomore quarterback Ethan Flatt, making his first career start, was 21-of-32 for 187 yards.  He led the Rebels to a season high total of 365 yards.  Michael Spurlock, who started the first two games, played one series, completing 2-of-3 passes for eight yards.

Vandy running back Norval McKenzie had 99 yards on 15 carries.

    • Archie to Receive Gold Medal from NFF on Tuesday

      Monday, December 5, 2016 - Football

      Ole Miss legend Archie Manning will be receiving the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame Gold Medal on Tuesday, December 6, at the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner. The highest and most prestigious award presented by the National... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Memphis

      Saturday, December 3, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: Memphis (6-1) KenPom ranking: 89 Ole Miss is presented another opportunity on Saturday to grab a nice win when Memphis travels to the Pavilion for the Tigers first road game of the season. The Rebels let an opportunity slip... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Middle Tennessee State

      Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Middle Tennessee State (6-1) KenPom ranking: 108 The next six days could go a long way in building the Rebels' postseason resume, and that stretch begins tonight with Middle Tennessee State. The Blue Raiders return seven players that knocked off No. 2... read more

    • Rebels' Most Valuable Senior: D.J. Jones

      Monday, November 28, 2016 - Football

      Defensive tackle D.J. Jones has been recognized by the Jackson Touchdown Club as the Most Valuable Senior on the Rebels' football team. He will be recognized with the award tonight during the C Spire Most Valuable Senior Program at the... read more

    • Rebels Unable to Send Senior Class Out on a High Note

      Saturday, November 26, 2016 - Football

      The 2016 season began with high hopes and expectations. Those are the things that accompany a No. 12 preseason ranking. Instead, it became a season of injuries, what-ifs, close calls and disappointments. Instead of championships, the season came to a... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, November 21, 2016 - Football

      It's Egg Bowl week. That should be enough motivation for the players and coaches. The game means an extraordinary amount to this university and theirs. Ole Miss has faced adversity, but now they have a chance to go to a... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, November 14, 2016 - Football

      Freeze said that it was good meeting with the team yesterday. A lot of good things happened with a lot of improvement in a lot of areas. To go on the road to Kyle Field, there was a lot of... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, November 7, 2016 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} Freeze said the team is excited to win a game. It was a tough one. They spent a lot... read more

    • Shorthanded Rebels Come Together to Fight Off Georgia Southern

      Saturday, November 5, 2016 - Football

      By Alex Sims, Ole Miss AthleticsThe Ole Miss Rebels entered Saturday's meeting with Georgia Southern already shorthanded--then defensive captain John Youngblood went down. Then quarterback Chad Kelly went down. And suddenly, Ole Miss found itself fighting off a feisty underdog... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, October 31, 2016 - Football

      After meeting yesterday and watching the film, our kids competed against one of the hottest football teams in the country. They needed a couple more plays. Freeze has zero frustration over effort, but he does over having a recurring problem... read more

    • Late Mistake Spoils Chad Kelly's Historic Performance

      Saturday, October 29, 2016 - Football

      For most of the game on Saturday, Auburn's defense had no answer for Ole Miss' signal caller. Even his incompletions were on target. He threw for a school-record 465 yards while adding 40 yards on the ground to eclipse... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, October 24, 2016 - Football

      It was not the outcome Ole Miss wanted on Saturday night. Life doesn't get any easier in the SEC West. Auburn is an outstanding football team and maybe the best defensive they've seen this year. Their rushing game is... read more

    • Evan Engram Hauls in Midseason Accolades

      Thursday, October 20, 2016 - Football

      Somehow, the college football regular season is already halfway in the books. With that, many publications released their midseason All-America lists. There's a common theme to each of them at the TE position. Evan Engram.Engram was selected as the... read more

    • Ole Miss Unified Rebels Hold Flag Football Championship Tomorrow

      Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - Football

      Special Olympics MS - Students at the University of Mississippi are partnering with Special Olympics Mississippi athletes in the 2016 season of SO College unified flag football, which will culminate in the Unified Egg Bowl, a unified sports flag... read more

    • Jordan Sims Graded as Best SEC Guard of Week 7 by PFF

      Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - Football

      Pro Football Focus grades players on a 1-100 scale, and Ole Miss' Jordan Sims was graded out by PFF as having the best performance of any guard in the SEC in week seven. His grade of 81.0 against the... read more

OFFICIAL STORE

GET SOCIAL

Twitter

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago

Instagram

Facebook