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November 13, 2011
OXFORD, Miss. - This wasn't what the lame duck head coach of the Mississippi Rebels, Houston Nutt, was hoping for. It was worse.
Louisiana Tech, brushing off an early touchdown deficit, roared back for a 27-7 win Saturday night over Nutt's beleaguered Rebels before a less-than-announced homecoming crowd of 44,123.
"It's difficult," Nutt said. "When things go wrong, they snowball. That's where we are."
Nutt was informed Monday that he would not return as the Ole Miss coach next season. Dashing hopes that the Rebels would rally on the field in their final three games, they suffered their fifth consecutive loss, falling to 2-8.
Louisiana Tech (6-4) won its fifth consecutive game and first against a Southeastern Conference opponent since a 22-14 win over Mississippi State in 2008.
The win also snapped a season losing streak to Mississippi teams. Earlier this season, the Bulldogs lost to Southern Mississippi 19-17 and to Mississippi State 26-20 in overtime.
Nelson added a 34-yard field goal in the third quarter before the defensive touchdowns ended any hopes of an Ole Miss rally. The Rebels managed only 307 yards in total offense, had three turnovers and missed a pair of field goals.
Mississippi kicker Bryson Rose, who had hit 17 consecutive field goals over a two-year period, missed from 36 and 52 yards. Rose was within one kick of tying the SEC record set by Tennessee's Fuad Reveiz in 1982.
"It was a living nightmare," Ole Miss offensive coordinator David Lee said. "I'm embarrassed."
Nutt admitted his surprise at the offense's problems, especially after an impressive showing in the early scoring series.
"Louisiana Tech is a good team. They deserve credit." Nutt said. "Our defense did some good things. But you've got to score points. It's that simple."
Brandon Bolden led the Ole Miss offense with 112 tandem yards in rushing and receiving. But after accounting for 55 yards in the early 78-yard scoring drive, he was not a factor the rest of the way.
"It's just the way the ball bounced. It wasn't bouncing our way this game, and it hasn't been bouncing our way this season," Bolden said. "We just have to go out there and keep fighting."
Hunter Lee rushed for 127 yards on 24 carries as the Bulldogs rolled up 350 total yards. Cameron finished 13 of 27 for 180 yards while Quinton Patton and Ikaharo finished with three receptions apiece. Adrien Cole led the Louisiana Tech defense with 10 tackles, including two for loss.
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