Ole Miss and Oregon State staged a high-noon style showdown yesterday that resulted in a crazy beginning and ending to the game. The Rebels kicked off to the Beavers, and special teams linebacker Mark Berg promptly nailed the returner and jarred the ball loose. Ole Miss recovered and it looked like they were on their way to some quick points. Freshman halfback Dan Bailey took the handoff on the next play, squirted up the middle for a big gain between two defenders... and was pounded and lost the ball. The effect was the Oregon State effectively had the ball first, but just had horrible field position and were forced to punt. Ole Miss got on the board first with 4:56 remaining when freshman defensive tackle Justin Horn ripped the ball loose from QB Harrison Brothers, and Patrick Newell picked it up and went into the end zone. Oregon State immediately responded by going right down the field and running it in from 4 yards out to tie the game at 7 apiece. Ole Miss threw 2 interceptions in the second quarter as the Beavers were doing a decent job stuffing the run, and we were doing an awful job picking receivers to throw the ball to. Oregon State capitalized by scoring a touchdown with 14 seconds remaining in the half to take a 14-7 lead at intermission. The Rebels got the ball to start the second half and finally had some success in the passing game, moving the ball down the field with a mix of run and pass. Dan Bailey atoned for his earlier mistake with a 4-yard touchdown run to knot the game at 14 all. Oregon State would respond again, as they got within striking distance and Brothers lobbed a pass to Nick Watkins in the corner of the end zone, and Watkins hung on to the ball in a crowd from 9 yards out to give the Beavers a 21-14 lead. In the late 3rd quarter and early 4th quarter we rededicated ourselves to the run. We mixed in a 52-yard run on an end-around to John Broussard, and all three of our running backs started finding seams to run through. We eventually talled 439 yards of offense, 250 of which were on the ground, as three players had at least 50 yards rushing, and two more had over 25. The Rebels tied the game up on a 25-yard strike from Terrance Robbins to Tony Cain. Cain didn't have the best game, as none of our receivers seemed to be able to find much room to roam, but he did manage 3 catches for 45 yards and that one score. After that, we were able to force a punt and get the running game going once again. Josh Turner scored from 9 yards out to give the Rebels the lead for the first time since the second quarter, at 28-21. As they had all day, Oregon State had the answer when they were down, and the Beavers successfully passed the ball into scoring range whre Brothers threw a 6-yard slant to Ray Gilbert to tie the game. At this point mboda made a great play that I thought won him the game. One of the few ways we had been getting yards was deep comebacks against the zone, and he spotted it and made a great play. Boda makes a phenomenal interception that nearly won the game for the Beavers I was pretty certain they would be able to get a few yards and get into field goal range and take the game. However, they got antsy and threw one to a guy that didn't have much separation, and cornerback Tony Sanders came up big, intercepting the pass and breathing new life into our chances. The game went to overtime as we simply were not able to move the ball. In overtime we were able to pick up a first down, but then sputtered when Oregon State stuffed a 3rd and inches run. I felt that kicking a FG would certainly mean a loss, but just couldn't justify going for it (especially because I felt I scrambled one too many times with my 90 speed QB late in the game... there was just nobody open) so I kicked the field goal and we had a 31-28 lead. I assumed we'd lose then. Oregon State was sacked for an 8-yard loss on the first play of overtime. On 2nd and 18 they made a gutsy call, going for their favorite play, a draw. I swear to god you have to watch the draw/play action combination all day, this is a huge part of their gameplan, and they burned us, picking up 15 yards and making it a very doable 3rd and 3. Brothers selected an open target in the left flat, and it was a first down, but CB Cedric Allen came and upended the receiver, dislodging the ball one more time, and the Rebels recovered the ball for a huge win. "I was palpitating on the sideline," admitted Coach Hellisan after the game. "We didn't play too well today but they had something to do with that for sure. They played great on defense at times." This game was one of those where at first I thought we were exceedingly lucky to win... And I still feel that way. But I also know that we had 4 penalties for 28 very painful yards (twice we had 2nd and 20 due to holding calls that TOOK AWAY first downs. Oregon State had 0 penalties... Fucking home cooking! There were a few that weren't called, includnig a blatant defensive pass interference where I threw to a guy that was supposed to pass through the last man into the open and instead got bumped out of the play. The bottom line is we somehow, someway got the win here, and I'm still not sure how. I guess despite sucking at this game, I can still be kind of difficult to put away at times. GG boda.