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ESPN's Pat Forde also weighs in on Ole Miss

The Daily Mississippian sports editor Austin Miller spoke with ESPN senior writer Pat Forde via e-mail about the state of the Ole Miss football program and the importance of Saturday’s Ole Miss-Georgia game for both teams and coaches. His thoughts below:

Austin Miller: What is the outside, the national perception after Ole Miss' loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday?

Pat Forde: Bad loss. Even if Vandy is better -- and it appears to be -- you don't lose by 23 points to the Commodores if you're a decent team. Especially after losing by double digits to them last year.

AM: What are your expectations and predictions for head coach Houston Nutt and the Ole Miss football team for this year and in the future?

PF: The home loss to BYU was a tough start, and when you pair that with the Vandy loss things obviously look pretty bleak for Ole Miss at the moment. Beating Southern Illinois does nothing to excite anyone. It's hard to see Mississippi making a bowl game playing in the brutal SEC West, and a second straight losing record will increase pressure on Houston Nutt. I believe he'd deserve a fifth year based on his early success, but Ole Miss has been notoriously impatient with its coaches in the past.

AM: What is the importance of Saturday's game for Nutt and Ole Miss and Mark Richt and Georgia? What are your predictions for the game and the reaction following the game?

PF: Huge game for both coaches. They need to win SEC games to quiet their detractors. I believe Georgia is the better team and should win. If Ole Miss drops to 1-3 after three home games, it will be trying times for Nutt in Oxford.