Nichols kicks way into Ole Miss record book
By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Sept. 28, 2003
OXFORD Ole Miss kicker Jonathan Nichols kicked six field goals and three extra points in Saturday's 49-45 loss to Texas Tech to set two single-game school records.
His six field goals set a new Ole Miss single-game record. The old record was five, set by Brian Lee against Tulane in 1991.
Nichols, a junior, also set a new school record for total points by a kicker with 21 points. The old mark was 16 points, which was held by Lee and Walter Grant (vs. UT-Chattanooga in 1993).
Things started off merrily enough for Ole Miss fans.
Kermit the Frog, sporting a red and blue Ole Miss tanktop, appeared on the jumbotron at Vaught-Hemingway stadium minutes before kickoff to lead the crowd in the traditional "Hotty Toddy" cheer.
Before asking the crowd "Are you ready?", Kermit made a biting reference to longtime companion Miss Piggy.
"I know the pigskin is ready," Kermit said. "In fact, I talked to her just a few minutes ago."
The continuing saga of Colonel Reb, the former-then-current Ole Miss mascot, was the subject of much attention on Saturday. Two students wearing costumes paraded around campus, accompanied by plain clothes students carrying signs that read, "Your new mascot." The two costumes were of a pink bear and a brown horse.
Two of the proposed replacements for the Colonel Reb logo were a bear and a stallion.
All plans for a replacement were postponed this week by Robert Khayat, chancellor at the University of Mississippi.
Several thousand fans wore red and white stickers that declared, "Colonel Reb is my mascot!"
Khayat was not one of the sticker-wearing fans, but he did wear a white polo shirt with a red and blue Colonel Reb logo on the breast.
Nichols was not the only Ole Miss player who entered the record books on Saturday. Senior wide receiver Chris Collins became the Rebels career leader in receptions on a 6-yard pass from Eli Manning on Ole Miss' first possession.
The reception gave the Rebels a first down and gave Collins his 143rd career catch, breaking the old mark of 142 which was held by Grant Heard.
Collins finished with four catches on the night, totaling 52 yards and bringing his career receptions to 146.