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Missed Opportunities...

After reviewing the Ole Miss game, nothing stands out more than the missed opportunities. Included in that category are:

  • A false start penalty on Andre Smith on first and goal from the four, after we had marched 60 yards down the field with no trouble. We settle for a field goal.
  • With four seconds remaining in the first half, Leigh Tiffin misses a 35-yard field goal (twice). Instead of going into halftime with a 20-10 lead, it's 17-10.
  • On third and one from the Ole Miss 40, BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- who is far from a big play threat back -- goes for 57 yards after we whiff on a couple of tackles that would have kept the gain short of ten. Ole Miss puts an easy seven points on the board the following play.
  • After picking up a first down at the Ole Miss 3, Glen Coffee fumbles and we lose possession. Instead of a touchdown and a 24-17 lead, the Rebels have the ball back with the game tied.
  • With a third and goal from the 17, Ole Miss' Seth Adams throws up a pass into the end zone, and Simeon Castille is seemingly in perfect position to get the interception. Except that he doesn't, and the Ole Miss wide receiver snatches the ball away and the Rebels, instead of having to settle for a 34 yard field goal try after missing a 35 yard field goal try the possession before, suddenly have a touchdown and a 24-17 lead.
  • Tied at 24 after Zeke Knight's interception return, we have the ball first and goal from the Ole Miss 5. Unfortunately, three plays net -2 yards, and we have to settle for a field goal try. Instead of a commanding touchdown lead with five minutes to play, it's a 27-24 game.
  • After another big punt return from Javier Arenas and a fifteen yard penalty by Ole Miss, we start at the Rebel 29 with four minutes to play and a 27-24 lead. Instead of ending the game with a couple of first downs, or ending it with a touchdown, we stall out and have to settle for a field goal try after picking up only one first down and taking only one minute and four seconds off of the clock.
  • Since the field goal does us little good, we go for the fake field goal, and we have it set up perfectly. P.J. Fitzgerald can about waltz into the end zone, and then Marlon Davis whiffs on his block, causing Fitzgerald to be brought down. An easy touchdown fails and Ole Miss has new life.
All in all, we beat the Rebels, but the game really shouldn't have been that close. If you add up all of those missed opportunities, we could have beaten the Rebels easily, but we failed and we couldn't do it.

Against Ole Miss, that was okay. We still had just enough in the tank to pull out the victory. But if we expect to beat Tennessee, LSU, or Auburn, this list has to grow a whole lot shorter.