You may never see worse end of game clock management than what the Ole Miss Rebels displayed in Saturday night’s 10-7 loss to LSU.
Down by three with 9 seconds remaining, the Rebels sent out freshman kicker Gary Wunderlich to attempt a 42-yard field goal.
However, before he got that chance, Ole Miss was penalized for a delay of game, pushing them back five-yards.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze still sent out his field goal team, but Les Miles called a timeout to ice Wunderlich.
Following LSU’s timeout, Freeze decided to send his offense back on the field rather than attempt a game-tying 47-yard field goal like he originally planned on doing.
On the ensuing play, Bo Wallace was intercepted by LSU safety Ronald Martin with two seconds remaining, giving the 3rd ranked Rebels its first loss of the season.
After the game, Freeze said the final offensive play was not drawn up the way it turned out to go.
“I thought we were plenty clear we were either going to take the flat throw or throw it out of bounds, and then try the field goal,” Freeze said. “He must have felt like he had a shot at the touchdown play there. … I wish I could do that over, for sure.”
Getting penalized for delay of game in that situation is utterly inexcusable, and then the indecision about whether to attempt a field goal or not can’t happen. As a coach, you have to make a decision, and roll with it.
Sending your offense back on the field in that situation was extremely risky to begin with. If Wallace had been sacked, the game would have been over, and if an Ole Miss player was tackled inside of 10-yards, the game would have ended.
Now, the Rebels have to take on current #5 Auburn next Saturday. In one week’s time, Ole Miss’s season can turn disastrous all because of poor clock management.