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More Bad News At Ole Miss: Harris Dismissed; Nutt On Record Losing Streak

Let’s see if we can get hold of the current situation in Oxford this morning:

* The Rebels are currently 2-4 overall and just 0-3 in the SEC.

* The three league losses this season bring Ole Miss’ current SEC losing streak to nine games.  Ed Orgeron went 0-8 in the league during his final season in Oxford, but Houston Nutt is the first Rebel coach in history to lose nine straight SEC contests.

* Up next for Nutt is his old school Arkansas.  The Razorbacks are currently #9 in the BCS rankings and will be expected to roll Nutt and his Rebels on Saturday.

* Ole Miss was pummeled by Alabama this past Saturday, 52-7.  That game came just two days after Nutt had to suspend four players for violations of team rules, including key offensive weapon Brandon Bolden.

* While the football program struggles, a fan group Forward Rebels continues to publicly push for the ouster of Nutt’s boss, Mississippi AD Pete Boone.

Oh, and Nutt had to dismiss a player yesterday, too.  Just one day removed from learning that two starters on his defense would miss the rest of the season with broken bones.

If that’s not Hell, it can certainly be seen from The Grove at this point.

Wide receiver Melvin Harris was the player given the boot yesterday.  Here’s what Nutt had to say about the move:

“I tell you, we’ve really tried to help him for three years and I don’t want to get all the way involved into everything, the scenario with this thing.  He’s going to continue to go to school and hopefully get his life in order.  He’ll probably transfer to a I-AA school and finish it out.  But it’s just sad.  But I know this, I know we did everything we could to help him.  I know that.”

Harris didn’t play in the Rebels’ first three games of the season, but he did catch passes against Fresno State and Alabama.  He was Mississippi’s second-leading receiver a year ago.

It’s a rough time to have ties to the Rebel football program.  By my calculations, either frogs or locusts should be up next for Oxford.

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Todd Wade’s Take on How to Beat Auburn

Ole Miss
Content provided by The Ole Miss Blog – It’s not the official Ole Miss blog, but it should be.

Ole Miss hosts the #1 BCS ranked Auburn Tigers as they come to Oxford in hopes of remaining undefeated.  A loud showing by the Ole Miss fan base and continuous noise when Auburn is on offense could make things difficult for the Tigers. All of Auburn’s big wins came at home. They narrowly escaped the likes of Kentucky and Mississippi State when playing on the road. Hopefully, they won’t escape Oxford. In order for Ole Miss to win, here’s what needs to happen:

DEFENSE: The Ole Miss defense has its work cut out for it as it will take a systematically aggressive approach to stop Heisman Candidate Cam Newton.  Each defender in the front seven for Ole Miss will have to play fast and hold their gaps to be successful in containing Newton.  The Ole Miss secondary will have to play tight man coverage the cover guys cannot afford to bite on the play action. In short, the defense must play disciplined football the entire game. On every play.

OFFENSE: Quarterback Jermiah Masoli will take the brunt of the offensive load once again in the running game and in converting third downs. There’s no doubt he’ll be looking down field for Melvin Harris and Markieth Summers. Masoli needs to play like he did last week, but he’ll need help from the running game. The Rebels must run the ball between the tackles and continuously move the chains.  Time of possession will be key in this game.

SPECIAL TEAMS: The special teams touchdown by Arkansas hurt bad last week. Ole Miss must avoid collapses in punt coverage against Auburn if wants a chance to win this game.

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: I can’t emphasize enough the effect a loud and boisterous crowd inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium could have on Auburn’s offense. Auburn’s big wins came at home. But, they’re not on the Plains anymore. Hopefully, Rebel fans will remind them of this throughout the game.

-Todd Wade
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Top Reasons Ole Miss Could Beat Auburn

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Content provided by The Ole Miss Blog – It’s not the official Ole Miss blog, but it should be.

It’s easy to get down on Ole Miss following two straight SEC losses and a 3-4 record, but there is a light shining ever-so-dimly from the general vicinity of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Can you see it? No? It’s the light of hope. The light of optimism. The light of that promising big win that could catapult the Rebels back into bowl eligibility. Still can’t see it? As the Rebels brace themselves for the larger than life Cameron Newton and his BCS No. 1 Auburn Tigers, I can understand many of you may not be able to see it. As the unofficial Ole Miss Blogger, I consider it my duty to show you. Come. Step into the light.

First, take a look at Auburn’s schedule in 2010. Yes, they are undefeated. But look closer. The Tigers beat Mississippi State by a field goal. Needed overtime to take down an average Clemson, beat a self-destructive South Carolina by a touchdown, beat Kentucky by a field goal, and beat LSU and it’s anemic offense by a mere seven points. Yes, there is the 65 points, the Tigers posted on Arkansas, but in light of the entire schedule, you really should view that wild score as an anomaly. Setting that game aside, yes, Newton has incredible stats and is a marvelous talent, but this schedule is a series of narrow escapes and close calls. Eventually somebody is going to catch this Tiger’s tail. It might as well be Ole Miss.

Second, Jeremiah Masoli ignited against Arkansas last week. Playing behind an offensive line that was getting whipped, Masoli was still incredible. He is obviously in sync with his receivers now and has mastered the offense. Markeith Summers came back from I don’t know where. Melvin Harris and Logan are legitimate ball catchers. If the offensive front can hold a block for the rushing game, which was nonexistent against the Hogs, then there’s a chance Ole Miss could outscore an opponent again this year. It might as well be Auburn.

Third, the Ole Miss defense and special teams might have a game where they don’t give up the big play. Look, the defense has been a disappointment this year. I know. But in each of the losses, the game has come down to a big play or two from either a missed assignment or a flat out missed tackle. If the Rebels finally put a game together where they don’t give up “the big play” you’re actually looking at a pretty stout defense. At some point this season, the defense will put a complete game together.

It might as well be this weekend.

EXALTATION: Brett Holloway won last week’s Pick ‘Em Contest. Holloway is one of the foremost sports bloggers of his time, meaning he has something intelligent to say at least once a week. Despite blogging about Mississippi State, Holloway still manages to have a positive outlook on life and knows how to match his clothes. You can now add college football picking phenom to that list of talents. Way to go, Brett.

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