Ole Miss' Cutcliffe seeking answers
By By Joey Vaughn / special to The Star
Oct. 29, 2002
OXFORD A two-game losing streak certainly isn't the end of the world in a college football season, but Ole Miss has a lot of questions to answer after a 42-7 loss to Alabama and a 48-28 loss to Arkansas.
The Rebels have played poorly in all phases of the game at one time or another during that stretch, and Ole Miss head football coach David Cutcliffe and his staff are busy trying to stop the bleeding before Auburn visits Oxford Saturday.
Most of those changes came on the defensive side of the ball, where the Rebels played well enough for most of the Arkansas game to keep themselves in it. But third-quarter special teams collapses put the game in blowout mode. At that point, a muted disbelief set in.
At 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the Southeastern Conference, there's still time for Ole Miss to right the ship and make a bowl game. A Western Division title, though, would likely take wins in all four remaining games, including trips to No. 17 LSU and No. 5 Georgia.
Home sweet home
After the consecutive blowout losses on the road, the Rebels are glad to be playing another game in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Ole Miss is 5-0 at home this year and 0-3 on the road. The Rebels are tied with Georgia for the second-longest active home SEC winning streak at six games, dating back to a 35-15 loss to Georgia on Nov. 17 of last year.
The Arkansas game produced more of the same in the injury department for Ole Miss, which has had one of its most injury-plagued in recent history.
Lost in Fayetteville were running back Tremaine Turner (knee) and tight end Justin Sawyer (ankle). Neither practiced Monday.
Sophomore tight end Bo Hartsfield and receiver Bill Flowers practiced in a limited role Monday despite nagging injuries. Flowers returned to the Arkansas game despite his injury and made 11 catches for 88 yards.
Senior running back Robert Williams (shoulder) got some work at practice Monday, but nothing full-speed.