Rebel fans have good showing

By By Will Bardwell/staff writer
November 9, 2003
In what has became something of a biannual annoyance for Auburn fans, a sizable group of Ole Miss fans belted out the school's "Hotty Toddy" cheer during the Tigers' alma mater. The cheer began shortly after Auburn's alma mater started and was met by a chorus of 80,000 boos.
Near the end of the song, after momentary peace had been restored, another recital emerged from the visitors' section, greeted again with very little welcome from the Tigers fans.
Ole Miss first drew the ire of the Auburn faithful in 1999, when the Rebels paid their first visit to Jordan-Hare Stadium since the departure of former Ole Miss coach Tommy Tuberville. "Hotty Toddy" interrupted Auburn's alma mater again two years later, the Rebels' last visit to Auburn before Saturday.
The 86,000th man
The Auburn faithful gave the Rebels plenty of trouble on Saturday. Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning had trouble making adjustments at the line, often having to walk into the backfield to shout instructions at running backs just inches from their faces.
The crowd noise was perhaps most distracting on the Rebels' first drive, when Manning called at least two audibles. On that drive, the Rebels drove 44 yards in five plays for a touchdown that gave them a 7-0 lead.
Announced attendance at Jordan-Hare Stadium was 86,063 a capacity crowd.
Wasting no time
For the eighth straight game, the Rebels came away with points after their opening possession. Manning's two-yard touchdown pass to Chris Collins less than three minutes into the game marked the sixth time during that span that Ole Miss has garnered a touchdown on its first drive.
Hometown hero
Ole Miss wide receiver Mario Hill, a Meridian native and former Meridian Wildcats standout, hauled in Manning's second touchdown pass on Saturday.
With just under eight minutes remaining in the second quarter, the sophomore streaked 15 yards before Manning hit him on a post at the goal line. The score gave Ole Miss a 14-10 lead.
The touchdown reception was Hill's second of the season. His other trip to the end zone came on Oct. 11 against Arkansas State.
Hold on tight
Saturday's game was only the second all season in which Ole Miss committed no turnovers. The last time the Rebels lost no fumbles and threw no interceptions was Oct. 18 in a 43-28 win over Alabama.
Tuning in again
The Ole Miss-Auburn game was televised for the eighth straight year on Saturday. The last time the Rebels' game against the Tigers was not seen on TV was in 1995, when NCAA sanctions blacked out all Ole Miss games. The Rebels are 3-11 all-time against Auburn when their match-up is televised.