Ole Miss

Ole Miss downplays sideline blowup during LSU loss

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze downplayed the sideline blowup between defensive players Saturday during the Rebels’ loss at LSU.
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze downplayed the sideline blowup between defensive players Saturday during the Rebels’ loss at LSU. AP

Ole Miss defensive players insist there’s togetherness on a unit trying desperately to play better and stop the other guys’ run game.

A sideline blow-up involving linebacker Terry Caldwell was caught by ESPN cameras Saturday night as the Rebels went on to lose 38-21 at LSU.

The 311 rushing yards gained by LSU dropped Ole Miss to last in the SEC and No. 113 out of 128 FBS teams in rushing defense.

Caldwell was sent to the locker room following the incident and may face discipline.

“It’s internal. I don’t want to go into it too deep, but it’s being addressed for sure. I’ve got a meeting with him today. We’ll decide further what happens,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said.

Unranked for the first time this season, Ole Miss faces No. 15 Auburn Saturday night at 6:15 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Tigers rushed for 543 yards in their 56-3 win over Arkansas Saturday.

“We’re all a family. The defense especially is a family. We all connect with one another, but there are going to be issues. Families argue,” said sophomore defensive end Victor Evans, who had a tackle for loss and a forced fumble against LSU. “Unfortunately, we got caught in that moment on TV. It didn’t look nice, and it didn’t look pretty, but we already knew we care about each other’s best interests.”

Auburn leads the SEC and is third in the nation with 302.9 rushing yards a game.

Freeze doesn’t believe unity among players is dwindling on a team that has lost two straight and three of four in the SEC.

“I would never say that. I would never let myself believe that,” he said. “Do I believe overcoming adversity is easy for young men in today’s time? No, I do not, and I think it has to be continually addressed, particularly defensively right now.

“We’re searching for some guys to take the leadership role and do it the right way.”

Injury Update: Offensive tackle Rod Taylor and right guard Jordan Sims are both suffering from ankle sprains and are listed as questionable for the Auburn game.

Freshman Greg Little will take the starting reps at left tackle this week with junior Daronte Bouldin getting the reps at right tackle.

Third-quarter Blues: Ole Miss rallied late in the second quarter the last two weeks to force ties at halftime against Arkansas and LSU. The Rebels have not trailed at halftime this season 78-34 in the third quarter including 17-0 the last two weeks.

Auburn Series: The Tigers lead the series with Ole Miss 29-11. They had won five of six against the Rebels before Ole Miss won 27-19 at Auburn last year.

Game plan

Who: Auburn at Ole Miss

When: 6:15 p.m. Saturday

TV: SEC Network