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Symons has way with Ole Miss defense, 49-45

By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Sept. 28, 2003
OXFORD The Ole Miss defense is broken.
Texas Tech quarterback B.J. Symons set a new Big 12 single-game record with 661 passing yards, as he led the Red Raiders to a 49-45 comeback win over the Rebels on Saturday.
Symons set the old record just one week ago at North Carolina State with 586 yards through the air.
Trailing 45-42 in the game's closing minutes, Symons connected with wide receiver Carlos Francis on a nine-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute
remaining to give the Red Raiders the victory.
The score was one of six passing touchdowns for Symons, who was 44-of-66 for the day. It was the most passing yards, passing touchdowns, completions and pass attempts ever against an Ole Miss defense.
"Obviously it was a very long night for us out there," said Rebels defensive coordinator Chuck Driesbach. "Whenever it came time to make a play, we continually showed the inability to make a play. It didn't matter whether we were in zone or man-to-man. Very little of it worked."
Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning and the Rebels offense held up their end of the bargain. The Ole Miss offense put up 578 total yards, with Manning providing 409 of those on 29-of-49 passing with three touchdowns.
Manning also threw two interceptions, the second one coming with under 30 seconds to play as he tried to lead the Rebels to a last-minute victory.
"It was a forced pass," Manning said of the turnover. "I was just trying to make something happen. It didn't come out very good, and it was a bad decision."
Before the interception, Manning moved the Rebels from their own 20-yard line to the Texas Tech 32-yard line on 3-of-6 passing.
The Rebels built a 45-34 lead with under nine minutes to play in the game after Jonathan Nichols booted his sixth field goal of the night.
It was one of six times the Rebels offense came away with a field goal or less after driving inside the Red Raiders 20-yard line. Five of Nichols
six field goals were from inside 35 yards.
Rebels head coach David Cutcliffe, whose team is now 2-2 entering next week's game at Florida, said he did not regret kicking field goals rather