OSU football notebook: Ole Miss in focus

BY BRANDON CHATMON, Staff Writer, bchatmon@opubco.com Published: December 25, 2009
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The Rebels had won three straight games including wins over Tennessee and LSU heading into their rivalry game with Mississippi State.

Ole Miss suffered a disappointing 41-27 loss to finish 8-4 after Mississippi State used an effective run game to pull off the upset. Mississippi State rushed 59 times for 317 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and two touchdowns, while passing for only 95 yards.

In the Rebels’ four losses, Ole Miss allowed 189.3 rushing yards per game. In their eight wins, Ole Miss allowed 117.8 yards per game.

SLEEPER OF THE CLASS

Oklahoma State has put together a strong class of defensive backs in their 2010 recruiting class, with roughly seven defensive back prospects currently committed.

One of the least talked about, but most talented, is Arp (Texas) safety prospect Lavocheya Cooper. The 6-1, 185-pounder picked the Cowboys over TCU, Texas Tech, Utah, Missouri and others.

"The Cooper kid has the potential to be one of the best steals in the state of Texas,” Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Jeremy Crabtree said. "He’s a kid that has gone unnoticed but on his senior tape, he flies up and makes a lot of big plays as a safety. I look at him and I think he’s the steal of this class.”

THE ROLE OF THE UNDERDOG

AccuScore.com does projections for every college football game for ESPN.com using over 10,000 simulations for every game.

The website projects OSU as a slight underdog in the Cotton Bowl, with Ole Miss winning 51 percent of the simulations and the Cowboys winning 49 percent of the simulations.

The game forecast expects it to be a close game with plenty of points. Ole Miss averaged 25.7 points per simulation, OSU averaged 25.2 points.



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