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'WE'VE GOT TO START WINNING GAMES'

Austin McAfee/The Daily Mississippian

 
In the week leading up to this past Saturday’s game against Texas A&M, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze spoke about his team needing to take the next step.
 
That step, he said, was “to get into the fourth quarter with some of these conference opponents that are really good teams and us learn from that regardless of the outcome.”
 
The Rebels clearly did that, as they opened up a 27-17 lead over the Aggies early in the fourth quarter. 
 
“We got into the fourth quarter with a very good football team, and they’re going to win a lot of games,” Freeze said. “We had a chance to win and put it away. We didn’t get a few breaks, we didn’t make some plays, we made some tough decisions. I just hate that our kids are hurting so bad when (we) had a chance to win the football game.”
 
However, after watching that 10-point lead slip away in an eventual 30-27 loss, Ole Miss’ players weren’t satisfied with just being in the game during the fourth quarter. 
 
“Eventually, we give great efforts; we’ve got to start winning football games,” sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace said. “We can say we had a great effort all we want, but if we’re not winning, it doesn’t really matter.”
 
Junior cornerback Charles Sawyer said it’s past the time to be happy about competing in games. 
 
“Absolutely. We’ve got to start winning games,” Sawyer said. “The effort is there, and the passion is there, we’ve just got to win games. We’ve got to come together as a team like we’ve been doing.”
 
Wallace said that the team was “crushed” in the locker room after the game, but that’s a good thing to see, Sawyer said after the game. 
 
“Everybody’s disappointed, and everybody should be,” he said. “Nobody should be proud that we kept a good game and it came down to the fourth quarter. Everybody’s disappointed because everybody wants to win.
 
“That’s what changed the program, not just one or three people want to win, everybody wants to win.”
 
Ole Miss gets another shot at ending its 16-game SEC losing streak when Auburn comes to town on Saturday. 
 
Sophomore safety Cody Prewitt, who had six tackles, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception against Texas A&M, isn’t worried about Saturday’s loss having a lingering effect moving forward. 
 
“It’s not going to be difficult to overcome,” Prewitt said. “We’re going to come in (Sunday), we’re going to fix our mistakes and this game is forgotten. We’re going to move on to next week and keep working hard.”
 
For continuing coverage of Ole Miss football, follow @thdm_sports and @bennetthipp on Twitter.