Monday, October 13, 2003
Indians reflect on rout by Ole Miss
OXFORD, Miss. -- The Arkansas State Indians did a bit of
soul-searching on the long road back to Jonesboro, Ark., smarting
from a 55-0 rout at the hands of Ole Miss Saturday.
It was a lopsided contest in a lopsided series, with Arkansas
State falling victims to a brutal passing game put on by the
Rebels' Eli Manning, who was 23 of 36 passes for 306 yards and
three touchdowns in three quarters.
Ole Miss (4-2) leads the series 19-1-2, having now recorded its
highest point total and largest margin of victory over the Indians
At the very least, the defeat will be educational for
second-year ASU head coach Steve Roberts.
"Hopefully there will be a point where we can look back and
say, 'Hey, we realized where we are and what we have to do to be
successful," Roberts said. "We had a good talk in there in our
locker room after the game. That's what we've got to do."
The Rebels (4-2) confirmed their status as the Southeastern
Conference's leading offensive team, with 582 total yards, nearly
100 above their pregame average.
"He's one of the best quarterbacks I've ever played against,"
ASU quarterback Elliott Jacobs said of Manning. "Whether he was
born to do it or what, I think he's hard working. You can tell he
takes the leadership role of their offense and moves them."
The Ole Miss defense was successful in shutting down ASU's
running game, which had previously averaged 198.5 yards, allowing
just 54 yards on 28 attempts Saturday.
The Indians finished with 235 yards (only 84 in the second half)
and threatened to score only once, on a 71-yard drive to the 5-yard
line in the second quarter. They stalled and Eric Neihouse hit a
21-yard field goal attempt off the upright.
The Indians look forward to a bye week before starting a string
of Sun Belt Conference games at Utah State on Oct. 25. They're
hoping the down time will sort some things out.
"We need to get our swagger back. Something is missing,"
senior safety Casey Venters said. "We've got guys who are
confident on our team, we've got a lot of guys who have played who
are confident guys. We need to come together and jell together."
"We proved that when we play like we're capable of playing,
it's fun," Roberst said Saturday. "This today wasn't any fun.
We've got to get back to that point."