Ole Miss punches ticket to Title game with a pair of wins

Discussion in 'Game Summaries' started by Hellisan, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Hellisan

    Hellisan Schemin 'em up

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    Ole Miss was 11-0 and headed to Starkville to face another 11-0 team in the Miss. State Bulldogs, and if they could beat them, had to turn around and face a very talented Georgia team in the SEC Championship game. We deemed it unlikely we would beat both of them given that our play has just been so inconsistent.

    The first game against Miss. State went surprisingly well, and we had a successful running game in getting past the Bulldogs 27-3. Heisman contender Matt Hall started off the scoring with an 80-yard run where he got pretty good blocking and then shrugged off a tackle attempt and outran the defense. We continued to have success on the ground and Hall added another field goal and led us to a short field goal before the end of the first half, as we led 17-3 at the break. Hall would finish with 21 carries for 205 yards and 3 TD in being named the MVP of the game.


    In the SEC Championship Game against Georgia we had an extremely tight battle on our hands. Georgia kicked a pair of field goals as our offense struggled to convert on 3rd and short as we have all season. Georgia actually got the ball back again after taking the 6-0 lead by hammering Frank Pearson and recovering the ball; but we managed to make them make a mistake and Freshman FS Lundy picked off a pass near the sideline. On the next play Mike Singletary found speedy sophomore Dan Bailey out of the backfield and Bailey made a couple of sweet moves to get into the end zone from 26 yards out.

    Before the end of the half Georgia regained the lead with a 48-yard pss to Lance Brooks, who caught the ball between defenders and then kept going. This would end up being a theme in the game as the defenses didn't do a great job of containing players once they received the ball. Brooks would end up with 4 catches for 146 yards and a TD. His running mate L. Evans would catch 5 for 141. Meanwhile, Ole Miss WR Frank Pearson heated up in the second half after the first-half fumble. Pearson harassed the defense with 7 receptions for 191 yards and an 80-yard TD. But back to the game... After the Brooks TD near the end of the first half, it was 13-7 Georgia. Trying to make a big play, we were actually intercepted around the 30 yard line of Georgia but the CB stepped out of bounds on what might have been a TD return. (I do have a pretty fast QB who would have been my only hope). Instead the half ended.

    Ole Miss got the ball to start the second half and a big play to Pearson set up a 19-yard run by Hall on a beautifully scripted draw play up the middle. Hall was mostly contained in this game but it was also a case of "monkey see monkey do" as we tend to play to the style of our opponent and Georgia likes to wing it around a bit.

    A couple of key plays happened toward the end of the 3rd Quarter. Georgia had the ball inside the 10 yard line with less than 2 minutes to go in the quarter, down 14-13. It was 4th and inches and I sort of expected them to run it given that we hadn't stopped anything all day. However Georgia took the points. This is usually a wise move so I'm not dissing it but it ended up hurting them, assuming they would have made it. (I did have a couple plays up my sleeve to hopefully get a stop there, but never used them in the game).

    The next play was the 80-yard catch and run by Pearson as he leapt to catch a ball between defenders and then just ran away from everybody. This Freshman is truly a beast. The next key moment was that after our TD, we momentarily decided to go for 2 points. I don't know what the "chart" says about such a score but up 20-16 I was considering it and called a play to go for it. I don't think that you typically go for 2 there. Georgia wasn't ancitipating this and had to use their first timeout of the half. We thought the better of it and kicked the extra point to go up 21-16.

    Georgia had no problem moving it right back down the field and scored on an 8-yard TD pass right at "me" to the tight end - My user control at MLB was a key weakness in allowing so many yards and first downs to UGA - 400+ and 16 first downs to be exact. I have to work on that and get back to being a useful asset to my squad.

    After Georgia took the lead, we failed to do anything and had to kick it back. We were able to force a punt after Georgia got to around midfield, and they pinned us to the 1 yard line. We were able to claw our way out of danger and set up a long drive down the field for the final points. We mixed in some precise passing with clutch catches and a couple of decent runs on our way down the field, and started to bleed the clock. Georgia had to use their remaining two timeouts as we moved into field goal range. Once they had no timeouts we kicked a 30-yd FG to give us the 24-23 lead with 24 seconds to go. Obviously, if UGA had another timeout, we would have possibly been in trouble. They threw it deep down the seam for at least one long completion but time simply ran out on the Bulldogs' SEC Championship hopes.

    GG Gravityyyy
     

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