Ole Miss batters UK 42-35


Ole Miss forces a fumble from UK wide receiver Randall Cobb at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010. Three turnovers by UK in the first half enabled Ole Miss to score 21 points to go on and defeat the Cats 42-35. Photo by Scott Hannigan

OXFORD, Miss. – The scoreboard said Ole Miss beat UK 42-35 on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Derrick Locke had a different idea.

“We’re a good team, we’re just killing ourselves,” UK’s senior tailback said. “We are killing ourselves, man. The way that score should have been at half time, everybody knows what it should have been. We should have been in the lead. We set them up to score.

“We created a monster we couldn’t control.”

The Cats (3-2, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) rolled to an early lead before three first-half turnovers unleashed the Ole Miss offense. Junior receiver Randall Cobb fumbled, leaving the Rebels (3-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) within 11 yards of a touchdown. They capitalized. Senior quarterback Mike Hartline was intercepted and defensive back Charles Sawyer returned the ball to the nine. The Rebels punched it in. Senior wide receiver Chris Matthews fumbled in UK territory, and Ole Miss took a 21-14 lead they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way.

After the offensive miscues in the first half, the defense had its share of mistakes to open the second half. Ole Miss marched 75 yards on eight plays in the opening drive thanks to 30 yards on two personal foul penalties against UK, scoring again.

“We did a good job stopping them, but giving them 30 yards on penalties, you can’t win on the road like that,” junior linebacker Danny Trevathan said. He finished with a game-high 15 tackles. “We’ve got to get our heads together.”

UK Football vs Ole Miss – Images by Kentucky Kernel

UK’s offense stalled until late in the fourth quarter with the outcome all but decided. The loss was another departure from last season’s success on the road, when the Cats went 3-1 in hostile SEC stadiums while limiting turnovers and penalties.

“We cannot turn the ball over and give them a short field,” UK head coach Joker Phillips said. “We thought we had the momentum, but then we gave it to them, and turned it over two more times in the first half. That is really frustrating.”

Despite trailing by as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter, the Cats gave themselves a sliver of hope at the end. A late touchdown pass to Matthews pulled UK within a touchdown, and Trevathan nearly recovered an onside kick with about a minute and a half to go before the ball was knocked out of bounds. Trevathan said that a cast he’s wearing on his broken left hand might have prevented him from recovering the kick and giving UK one final chance.

But UK had given the Rebels one too many chances, as they ran the clock out.

“Those turnovers are the most precious thing you have,” Rebel coach Houston Nutt said. “When you get those turnovers and capitalize on them, that’s huge. That really won the game for us.”

After failing to win what many had considered a prime opportunity for the Cats to steal one on the road, they’ll head home to face three more SEC teams with their season on the line.

“I don’t take anything positive from this one,” senior defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin said. “It might be me reading too much into it, but there’s nothing positive about it. There’s opportunities there where we could have put them away.

“We beat ourselves once again, it’s a reoccurring thing. Ya’ll know it. We know it. And for some reason, we don’t fix it.”


Junior wide receiver Randall Cobb finished with six catches for 108 yards and a touchdown, the first 100-yard receiving game of his career. He also finished with a career-high 267 all-purpose yards. … Senior tailback Derrick Locke had eight catches for 108 yards. It was the first time UK had two players with over 100 receiving yards since Jacob Tamme and Rafael Little did it against Tennessee in 2007 … Locke moved into sixth place all-time on UK’s rushing list with 2,274 yards for his career. Senior quarterback Mike Hartline piled up a career-high 300 passing yards and moved into 8th place all-time on UK’s passing list.