Credit the South Carolina fans for getting ahead of the curve and do so boldly: they were chanting “o-ver-ra-ted” not at the end of the game. No, Gamecock fans, sitting on a mountainous 6-3 lead, went ahead and busted out a lusty chant of the four-beat classic as Ole Miss walked off the field at halftime.
It is both an indication of how awful Ole Miss looked on offense and how vicious the Gamecock defense was in reducing Jevan Snead’s Heisman launch party to a pile of smoking rubble. 9/21, 107 yards passing, one TD, and a rolling shambles of an o-line withering beneath the pressure of South Carolina DE Eric Norwood trashing blocking schemes singlehandedly.
Norwood’s insane effort and Gamecock defensive end Ellis Johnson’s suffocating game plan deserve credit, but they had a cast of accomplices on the opposite sideline in the Ole Miss coaching staff. Ole Miss left Dexter McCluster, the only offensive threat throughout the second half, on the sidelines for a crucial late 3rd and 12 after having McCluster take the ball and throw on a trick play the previous play. The next play topped the ineptitude of the previous one: Ole Miss was flagged for having 12 men on the field, and then fizzled out on a prayer of a pass to end the game.
Aside from that last series—which was inept and unpredictable—the rest was inept and predictable, with South Carolina defenders in position wherever Ole Miss put the ball. Add in a competent but unspectacular performance by Stephen Garcia and the Gamecock offense, and 16-10 played out like a big sloppy equation it takes you three and a half hours to unravel.