Rebels desperate to solve season woes|[10/23/07]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 23, 2007

OXFORD — Nothing went right for Ole Miss Saturday.

Rebel quarterback Seth Adams threw four interceptions. The Rebel defense saw Arkansas players running free and unimpeded for six touchdowns and 437 yards in total offense.

Even the halftime show at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium went awry. A fireworks display, on a sunny afternoon mind you, went haywire as several streamers landed on and took out one of the main power stations next to the stadium. The booms were heard throughout the stadium and the press box. The video scoreboard went blank and so did the message boards that hang between the sky boxes. The only working scoreboard was the smallest one on the enclosed end zone side.

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Not that too many seemed to mind. Only a smattering of Rebel fans remained to see the second half as Arkansas finished off its afternoon pummeling of the Rebels, 44-8.

Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron gave a pretty concise description of his now 2-6 Rebels, who have also yet to win a Southeastern Conference game this season.

“We didn’t play our best, which was obvious. We have to play at our best and be at our best to beat teams like Arkansas or anyone else in this league,” Orgeron said. “Physically, we have to be clicking on all cylinders.

“But the big difference was the turnovers, especially in the third quarter. We were still in it, even though we were down 21-0, but we didn’t give ourselves a shot because of the interceptions. We couldn’t get anything going on offense.”

Following Adams’ fourth interception, which led to an Arkansas field goal that made it 31-0, Adams was replaced by former starter Brent Schaeffer. Oregeron said Monday that Adams is still the starting quarterback as the Rebels prepare for Saturday’s game at Auburn, but he will be on a short leash.

Schaeffer led the Rebels on their only scoring drive of the day, completing a 37-yard touchdown pass and then firing a 2-point conversion to make the score 37-8 at the time.

Schaeffer completed 5 of 13 passes for 103 yards.

Things were pretty cheerful in the Arkansas locker room as the Razorbacks went back over .500 at 4-3 and won its first SEC game of the season after three tough losses, including the 9-7 decision to Auburn on Oct. 13 in Fayetteville, Ark.

“We were able to get them down and we just kept pounding them,” said Arkansas running back and 2006 Heisman Trophy runner-up Darren McFadden. The junior’s 110-yard rushing effort puts him over 900 yards for the season and took a step in revitalizing his Heisman hopes.

“I’m trying to get back there (New York City),” McFadden said as he left the media room.

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt was thrilled to see his team finish off a foe.

“We’ve had some tough losses and this was a difficult road test, and I know how Ed feels because I’ve been there, but for us, this was the start of a new season. Our offensive line set the tempo and created some seams for our guys to run through,” Nutt said.