No.8 Ole Miss Starts Slow, Tame Tigers 45-14

Derek StephensSenior Analyst ISeptember 6, 2009

Ole Miss had three first half turnovers, but bounced back in the fourth quarter by scoring 28 points and defeated the Memphis Tigers 45-14 in front of 45,207 at the Liberty Bowl.

The win was the Rebel's seventh in a row, dating back to the 2008 season win over Arkansas.

The Rebels got going early with a Joshua Shene 27 yard field goal and a Brandon Bolden one yard TD run, and it looked as though Ole Miss was going to take control early, but on the next offensive drive for Ole Miss, Jevan Snead threw an interception inside Rebel territory to Deante Lamar.

Jevan Snead showed early jitters, starting out five of 12 with two INT, but bounced back in the second half, completing seven of 10 and two touchdowns, one to Markeith Summers and the other to Dexter McCluster.  Snead ended the day with 175 passing yards. 

"Another thing you have to love about Jevan is that when things don't go just right, he doesn't put his head down," Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said. "You don't have to be concerned about that. He's a winner, and the guy really came back and played well."

Dexter McCluster continued his dual-threat success, having 115 total yards, including two touchdowns.  McCluster gained 50.

The Rebel's defense seemed sluggish at times, but finished very strong.  Fon Ingram regained the Rebel's confidence by scoring on a pick-six interception with less than a minute to go before halftime to put the Rebels up 17-7.

"It was just being in the right place at the right time," Ingram said. "He threw it right to me, and when I caught it I knew it was six."

They also kept Arkelon Hall in check. Hall completed 15 of 30 passes for 115 yards and two interceptions.

Duke Calhoun lead the receivers with five receptions for 53 yards.

The Tiger's ground game produced some success, as Curtis Steele rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns and Wisconsin transfer Lance Smith rushed for 63.

The Tigers offense ended with 284 yards of total offense, produced three turnovers, and were 0 for 2 in fourth down conversions and four of 16 in third down conversions.

The Rebels take a week off next week before they face Southeastern Louisiana on September 19.

Derek Stephens is the Ole Miss Featured Columnist for  Contact him on his bulletin board or inbox.  Please leave your comments to the story below.