OXFORD, Miss. —So many unusual things happened in the final three minutes of Mississippi's victory Saturday against No. 10 LSU, it got confusing.
Even for the participants.
"I don't know what all happened down there at the end," Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said. "I just know the scoreboard read 25-23 Ole Miss Rebels."
Nutt's confusion was nothing compared to what was happening on the LSU sideline as precious seconds ticked off the clock with less than a minute left and the game on the line.
The Tigers were divided over what plays to call, lost 17 seconds when the team tried for a timeout and didn't get it, and there was admittedly no backup plan when LSU went for the end zone on the last play of the game and came up short at the Ole Miss 6 with 1 second left.
"I can only tell you that the management at the back end of the game was the issue," LSU coach Les Miles said, later adding: "It's my fault that we didn't finish first in that game."
When reporters asked Miles which coach decided to try to spike the ball before the clock restarted rather than going for a field goal, he said he wasn't yet sure and would have to find out. Jordan Jefferson and the Tigers never got lined up anyway and Ole Miss earned its second straight win over the Tigers and the first at home since 1998.
Nutt has beaten LSU four straight times with Ole Miss and Arkansas and has never experienced anything like it.
"You were holding your breath every play," he said.
It was the first time Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) beat LSU (8-3, 4-3) in consecutive seasons since 1997-99. The win also gives the Rebels the inside track to second place in the SEC West, which could lead to a better bowl spot when invitations are handed out.
"You have to have a plan," Vaughn said. "I'm looking at the ref waiting for him to call the play. As soon as I hear the whistle and the clock went to zero, I threw my helmet and ran off. It felt good to beat LSU."