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Cutcliffe says he's to blame

By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Sept. 30, 2003
OXFORD Solutions to Ole Miss' defensive breakdowns against Texas Tech on Saturday still elude head coach David Cutcliffe, but he makes no mistake about where the blame lies on himself.
The 49-45 loss to the Red Raiders was perhaps the lowest point ever for an Ole Miss defense. The Rebels gave up more total yards (713), passing yards (661), passing attempts (64), completions (44), passing first downs (32), and passing touchdowns (six) than in any other game in Ole Miss history.
In both losses for Ole Miss, now 2-2, the Rebels' opponents have come from behind in the fourth quarter to win.
After evaluating the loss, Cutcliffe said most of the mistakes by the Rebels defense are correctable, but the team has a long way to go to correct them.
The Rebels will have to make those adjustments in short order if they are to hold their ground in Gainesville on Saturday.
That homefield advantage could help the Gators (3-2, 1-1 SEC) send Ole Miss to their first 2-3 start since 1994, when the Rebels finished 4-7.
The Rebels hope improvements made during practice will carry over to this week's game. Following the Rebels' off date on Sept. 20, Cutcliffe said his team made strides during the extra week of practice, only to see any progress disappear in the loss to the Red Raiders.