Imagine being a quarterback in a big-time arena needing one more win for an unlikely - before the season - bowl berth.
Imagine throwing for over 400 yards in that game.
Imagine having no turnovers.
Then imagine beating yourself up for the "three or four decisions I could have made."
That's what Rebel QB Bo Wallace experienced in the 27-26 loss to Vanderbilt Saturday night, a game that he has replayed over and over in his head since then.
"I watch the film and if I had just made a different read here, a better decision there, we sore more and we win," he said Monday. "I was in class today thinking about the four or five different things I could have done just to get us in the end zone one more time when we were in the Red Zone.
"It weighs on your mind, but you have to let it go. You have to. . . . "
some of those decisions he relives vividly, almost having forgotten the many excellent plays he engineered and executed.
As Coach Hugh Freeze said in his press conference minutes earlier, "When you lose, everything is magnified. Bo's decisions, my decisions - there are plenty of things you wish you had done differently."
Wallace gleaned a couple of examples that are obviously sticking in his craw.
"One time, Vandy was straight man and I knew they were man and I should have thrown a slant to Donte (Moncrief) but I tried to run it instead of waiting for him to come open and holding the ball a little longer," he explained. "Then there was a time I had a bad read on an option play. If I had given the ball to Jeff (Scott) instead of keeping it, he probably would have scored without anyone touching him. It was just a bad decision, the kind that live with you."
Vanderbilt obviously "sold out" to stop the Rebel ground game, and did a fine job of it, limiting Ole Miss to just 55 net yards on 40 carries.
"You have to run the football to keep defenses honest, but we had some execution issues and I also made a couple of bad decisions to run it when I should have thrown a bubble screen against their alignment," Wallace continued. "Some of that is on our execution, some of it is on me, but I thought we compensated with over 400 yards passing on 49 attempts.
"Our receivers did a great job of making plays and running with the ball after the catch. The big thing is that we didn't capitalize in the Red Zone the way we should have."
Bo was down, but not out Monday. He looks forward to the next game.
"We are excited to get back going. LSU is a really fun environment - 90,000 people or whatever - and to play on CBS and have a chance to show our improvement - we want all that," he stated. "We will play as hard as we can and hopefully come out on top. It's the next game, which makes it the biggest game of the year for us."
Bo, ever the competitor, looks forward to playing the upper echelon teams on the Rebel schedule.
"That's why you play. You put on the helmet and compete. You see upsets every week and every time we step on the field we think we are going to win. You have to prepare that way and go into the game with the mindset to win and execute," he noted.
So what's left in the Rebel emotional tank after the second "last second" loss on their home field this season?
"We have two games to try to get to a bowl. We are banged up, but we are going to play as hard as we can, banged up or not, that does not matter," he explained. "We just have to do the small things better.
"We got hurt in the Red Zone on little things and those things stick with you, but you learn from them, move on and do better the next time."
Sometimes "moving on" and "flushing that loss" and "forgetting about the last one" is easier said than done.
But Bo Wallace seems to be in the right place mentally to do just that.
Even if the Vandy game sticks with him just a little longer than normal.
Ole Miss Quarterback Bo Wallace said he has replayed the Vanderbilt game in his mind over and over and comes up with the same conclusion. If only he'd have done just a little more. . . .