Faith of Cut's wife rewarded
By By Austin Bishop / EMG Regional Sports Director
Oct. 6, 2002
OXFORD Going into Ole Miss' game against No. 6 Florida on Saturday, some may have worried that Gator quarterback Rex Grossman was going to pick the Rebel defense apart.
Others may have been concerned that Ole Miss was going to have to get into a scoring duel with Florida in order to win the game and may not be able to come up with enough points.
Even others may have thought this would be the day that Ole Miss' hopes for a championship season were going to come crashing down to the turf at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Some may have thought all of those things, but at least one person didn't
And you know what, I believe her.
I, on the other hand needed to be convinced. And the Rebels did just that before an Ole Miss record crowd of 61,140 on a beautiful sunny Saturday.
Quite frankly, I figured Ole Miss would have to score at least 40 points to win the game, and walking through The Grove on Saturday morning I wondered aloud to some of my Rebel-fan acquaintances whether or not there was even a possibility of Ole Miss winning the game.
To their credit, they were pretty nice about it. Some probably even secretly agreed with me. To be honest, a few were even open about their agreement with my soon-to-be-ripped-apart observations.
But when I asked Dr. Kent Darsey, my buddy and the overseer of my ever-aging body, about his feelings about the outcome of the game, he just looked at me and smiled that smile of his.
There you go Doc. It's the best I can spell it.
You know, as I waited there in the hall with Karen Cutcliffe and the rest of her family as we passed the time before the interview sessions, I began to ponder in my mind what I just saw.
I came in expecting a shootout, but found myself witnessing one of the most dominating Ole Miss defensive performances in years.
Quite frankly, the offense was a little disappointing. But here's a news flash folks Q they can play a little defense in Oxford. In fact, they can play a lot of it.
After falling behind 14-2 at the half (yes the defense accounted for a first-half safety when Grossman was called for intentional grounding while passing out of the endzone), the Rebel defense accounted for 15 third quarter points and then held Florida in check down the stretch to move Ole Miss to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the SEC West standings.
Here's another news flash, Ole Miss and Auburn now sit alone atop of the SEC West.
And Rebel fans have a lot of folks to thank for that. Among those have to be Matt Grier, Travis Johnson and Travis Blanchard.
In their first starts in the Ole Miss secondary, Johnson and Blanchard picked off a Grossman pass each.
And Grier did them one better, picking off two passes in the third quarter, including one he returned 24 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
Yes they do.
After the clock finally expired one of the most interesting wins of recent Ole Miss football history, hundreds of fans stormed the field. Eventually, after being turned away from the South endzone, they managed to tear down and cart off the goal post from the North end zone.
Yes it was a big day for Ole Miss football.
But more importantly, maybe a few more folks are like Karen Cutcliffe.
Now they believe.