Ole Miss’ home opener is tonight against FCS opponent Southeast Missouri. The Redhawks enter the matchup with an 0-1 mark while the Rebels are 1-0 overall after defeating Vanderbilt 39-35 in their season opener.
For more on tonight’s game, including features on LB Keith Lewis, OL Justin Bell and WR Jordan Holder, check out this week’s Gameday section found http://oxfordeagle.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/GDP-SEMO.pdf
The Rebels and Redhawks have never met on the field before tonight. Ole Miss a 52-point favorite so tonight’s matchup is more about coach Hugh Freeze getting his team healthy while getting some more youngsters playing time. There is also going to be a big emphasis on getting better and cutting down on mistakes with a visit to No. 15 Texas looming next week.
Ole Miss wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. After holding SEMO on a fourth-and-1 situation, the Rebels drove from their 38-yard line and went 42 yards in 11 plays. The drive was culminated by a 37-yard field goal from Andrew Ritter. Ole Miss 3, SEMO 0. 9:02.
The Rebels went right back down the field after recovering a SEMO fumble. Barry Brunetti scored his third rushing touchdown of the season on a 4-yard run, capping an 8-play drive that started at the SEMO 47. Ole Miss 10, SEMO 0. 3:06.
Bo Wallace decided to forget a long drive and connected with TE Evan Engram for a 64-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the third drive for the Rebels. The one-play possession only took 10 seconds off the clock and put the Rebels up 17-0 on SEMO. The Rebels end the quarter up 17-0 and the Redhawks just having picked up a first down at their own 37.
Wallace decided that his 64-yard pass to Engram had to be topped so he found Donte Moncrief in the middle of the field and the junior standout from Raleigh carried it the rest of the way. End result: A 67-yard catch-and-run for a score. Ole Miss 24, SEMO 0. 13:03.
Ole Miss went to the ground to score its second TD of the second. I’Tavius Mathers capped an 11-play, 76-yard scoring drive with a 10-yard run. It was his first scoring run of the season and second carry of the year. Jaylen Walton did most of the running on the drive, while Brunetti had a nifty 22-yard carry that featured a couple of spin moves on his part. Ole Mis 31, SEMO 0. 6:36.
The Rebels finally made a mistake when Brunetti was sacked and fumbled at midfield. The Redhawks get the ball with 1:12 left in the half. Two plays later, the Redhawks gave the ball right back as Cody Prewitt got an interception at the Rebels’ 30.
Ole Miss was unable to mount another score before intermission. At the half, the Rebels lead SEMO 31-0. They finished with almost 400 yards of total offense and played several on both sides of the ball. The Rebels totaled 379 yards on offense. Wallace was 8-for-15 for 188 yards and two scores. Brunetti led the rushing attack with 62 yards on eight carries.
SEMO breaks the Rebels’ shutout with a 14-yard pass from Scott Lathrop to D.J. Foster. The drive started at the Redhawks’ 49-yard line. Ole Miss 31, SEMO 7. 7:30.
The Redhawks continued to eat into the Rebels’ lead as Lathrop completes a touchdown to Spencer Davis cut the deficit to 18 (31-13) with just 2:46 left in the quarter.
Ole Miss was unable to score a point in the quarter and heading into the fourth, the Redhawks trail by only 18 (31-13).
The Rebels didn’t fare much better in the early part of the quarter. After moving the ball on the ground, Ole Miss’ third-string QB, Robert Ratliff, was picked off with just over nine minutes left in the game.
Ole Miss failed to score the remainder of the game but held on to win 31-13. Ole Miss is now 2-0 on the year. Up next is No. 15 Texas next Saturday. (September 7, 2013)