Ole Miss Rebels 44, Texas Longhorns 23: The Surprisingly Unsurprising Upset

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

A little bit of unseen schadenfreude for the SEC as Ole Miss clobbers Texas and recalibrates its goals

Before the season, the hopes for an Ole Miss upset at Texas seemed rather slim. After all, we were assured that the Longhorns really were back this season, and so only a fluke or some sort of mishap would be reason to hope that the Rebels could go into Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and walk out as winners.

Then, the BYU loss happened, and the path to an Ole Miss win seemed to clear up a little bit. And everything seemed to be unfolding according to plan when Ole Miss took a 14-0 lead, even if the outside world was largely ignorant of what was going on in Austin thanks to ESPN's desperation to salvage its boneheaded attempt to build a one-school network.

But when the Longhorns ripped off 23 unanswered points, it looked like maybe firing Manny Diaz and hiring Greg Robinson had been just what the doctor ordered. During that stretch, Ole Miss turned in drives of minus-4, 44, minus-7 and five yards. A 37-yard field goal drive by the Rebels on a drive at the end of the first half finally ended Texas' run.

In an apparent tribute to the power of halftime adjustments -- again, I haven't been able to actually watch the game -- Ole Miss turned things around in the second half. They scored touchdowns on their first two possessions, capping off drives of 80 and 81 yards. By then it was 31-23, and the return game and Jeff Scott tacked on extra touchdowns to make the win a rout.

The value of the win for Ole Miss is anyone's guess. There is the cachet that comes from going to Austin and beating Texas, no matter how good or bad the Longhorns are in a given year. A better measuring stick might be in two weeks, when the Rebels travel to Alabama for a game that suddenly looks like it could have SEC West implications. An upset there looks unlikely, but so did one against Texas just two short weeks ago.

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