Posted by Jerry Hinnen
If you're an Ole Miss fan, you probably entered Saturday's ritualized slaughter against Alabama thinking things would be bad ... but that after losing 30-7 to Vanderbilt earlier in the year, nothing the Tide could do to you would actually make things worse.
Sorry, Ole Miss fan: things have gotten worse. Houston Nutt announced Sunday that senior defenders Wayne Dorsey and Marcus Temple, both of whom left the Alabama game with injuries, will now miss the rest of the season. Both players' Rebel careers are over.
"Two really good players and two captains that have done a lot for us," Nutt said.
Temple broke his right ankle early in the game, while Dorsey fractured his right arm in the fourth quarter.
Both players had taken on pivotal roles for the improved (really) Ole Miss defense this season, and not only in the leadership roles Nutt mentioned. Temple had nabbed two of the team's eight interceptions and was a major part of the Rebel pass defense moving into the top half of the FBS in yardage allowed after finishing 103rd a year ago.
But Dorsey is, almost without question, the even bigger loss. The former JUCO transfer had led the Rebels in both sacks (with three) and tackles-for-loss (five), and not surprisingly was leading the defensive line in tackles as well. As pointed out by the Clarion-Ledger, Dorsey's production had essentially doubled the production from the other defensive end spot.
The Rebels' 2011 season already in a deep, deep hole; at 2-4 overall (0-3 SEC) and with their only remaining conference home games coming against heavy favorites LSU and Arkansas, Nutt faces a steep uphill battle just to hit four or five wins, much less bowl eligibility. And with Temple and Dorsey gone, that hill has now gotten just that much steeper.