CATEGORY: FOC College Football


HED:Tuberville continues tight lip on coaching decision

By Todd Vinyard

OXFORD - Tommy Tuberville said he wouldn't answer any non-football game question after his Rebels lost 28-6 Thursday night to Mississippi State, but they came anyway.

The Ole Miss head coach later gave a little bit of an answer about job talk that has swirled around him for three weeks without offering any clues about the future.

"As far as I know right now I'm going to be coaching here," Tuberville said. "There's nothing to say. I'm not looking for a job. I told everybody that. When teams called I told them I was not interested in anything else but coaching this team. Now we have to wait and see what happens."

Alabama media were reporting Tuberville will interview with Auburn today and will be offered the job. Auburn is expected to name a new coach Saturday. If Tuberville turns the Tigers down the likely choice is Temple coach Bobby Wallace, a former head coach at North Alabama.

Tuberville made the rounds, hugging several players in the teary Rebel locker room after the game.

"It was a distraction," Ole Miss tight end Rufus French said about Tuberville's job status.

Deuce busts lose: A third-quarter run made Deuce McAllister the first 1,000 yard rusher at Ole Miss in 48 years.

McAllister rushed for 177 yards for his fifth 100-yard rushing performance. His 40 carries ties the single-game record at Ole Miss. The Morton native said he would take his offensive line out to dinner.

McAllister became just the second player in Ole Miss history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Kayo Dottley is the only Rebels runner ever to reach the 1,000-yard plateau, doing so in both 1949 and 1950. The sophomore's output was the most for a Rebel back since Dou Innocent for 910 yards in 1994.

Rough debut: Walk-on freshman David Morris filled in for the injured Romaro Miller, but with only four days of preparation the freshman walko-on from Mobile s was 8 of 24 for 75 yards with three interceptions.

"I was nervous and everything was happening so fast," Morris said. "We were getting in the huddle really late sometimes."

Toughness is a family trait: Matt Luke has played through injuries in his career and his father wasn't about to miss any action either.

Luke's father Tommy recently had heart surgery in Tupelo, but was at the game Thursday night. He was waiting to greet the team as it walked through the Grove and later made it onto the field when Matt was honored with the other five seniors. Tommy was a defensive back at Ole Miss from 1964-66.

The senior center and Gulfport native has suffered several injuries including surgery to his right knee and a sprained right shoulder.

Rebel Ramblings: Ole Miss had its first loss at night since lights were installed at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and is now 17-1. ... The last true freshman to start at quarterback was Chris Osgood in 1985. Ole Miss lost the game 34-14 to Tennessee. ... Joe Gunn, an Amory native, did not see any action after an ankle injury. Gunn broke the Ole Miss freshman rushing record this season with 546 yards. ... The Rebels drew crowds above last year's capacity (42,577) in five of its six home games this year.

- Compiled by Todd Vinyard

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