No. 7 Georgia went on to score 37 unanswered points after the Rebels led much of the first half 10-7.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray torched a depleted Ole Miss secondary with 21-for-28 passing, 384 yards, no picks and four touchdown.
Ole Miss defensive coordinator Dave Wommack made mention of the Rebels’ lack of experience in the back end. Ole Miss was missing starter Senquez Golson and the top cornerback reserve, Wesley Pendleton.
Dehendret Collins started at corner, playing the spot for the first time since spring. He was out of position at times, but secondary play was a team-wide malfunction right down to Charles Sawyer getting beaten late in the game on Murray’s last TD pass.
Wommack said, “Obviously we’d have rather had those guys (Golson and Pendleton) they’re our starters, you guys know that, but …”
We’re getting on the road now. More to come in a bit.
Here’s what Hugh Freeze had to say:
The Rebels got the big gain on their first possession, a 50-something play from Bo Wallace to tight end Ferbia Allen. The Georgia defender went for the pick, and Allen moved the ball downthe sideline to the 14. From their, the Ole Miss drive netted minus-3 yards. On third-and-7 Randall Mackey had a run-throw option but was caught for a 6-yard loss.
Korvic Neat had a nifty punt return to help the Rebels win the field position battle for a stretch, After Ole Miss went three-and-out when it started at its own 42, the Bulldogs went from their 17 and a sack by Bryon Bennett helped force a punt situation. It was a boomer, and Ole Miss was back to its 26. The Rebels reached the Georgia 30 and on fourth-and-4 a pass to Mackey gained 3.
Early on, Dehendret Collins wasn’t in position to be tested at corner because of a successful pass rush that netted three sacks in the first quarter. He would have big PBU in the second quarter.
Near the end of the first you could see Georgia’s Aaron Murray take advantage of Ole Miss defenders in the box, lobbing it over their heads to a wide open tight end for a 31-yard gain.
That put Georgia at the Ole Miss 41 as the second quarter began. The Rebels stiffened, forced a long field goal miss, then followed with a 70-yard touchdownd rive with Mosley score on a 13-yard pass.
Georgia answered with a 66-yard pass to Marlon Brown on a third-and-1. The play was set up well, had a nice fake by Aaron Murray, who kind of was non-chalant with the ball after pulling it back from the running back. Brown was wide open, and that made it 10-7.
The teams went through a span of four turnovers in about 60 seconds in the latter half of the second quarter. Finally Georgia held possession long enough to drive for the go-ahead TD. When Georgia got away from its run game and into its 2-minute offense it moved down the field. The Rebels got back-to-back sacks from Gross and Grant to put the bind on Georgia which called time with 12 seconds left. Not very good clock management at the end of the Dogs.
Ole Miss had 5 sacks in the first half, Georgia had 4.
Ole Miss followed the Georgia timeout with one of its own. When play finally resumed there was more Ole Miss pressure, but Murray evaded it this time and completed a 40-yard touchdown pass.
Ole Miss should be leading now but isn’t. Dave Wommack has been really good with second half defensive adjustments. We’ll see what happens. The Rebels were solid in the first half except for two big plays.
Two big plays will get you beat in the SEC if you don’t follow with your own. The Rebels missed some opportunities with the turnovers in the first half.
Getting settled in at Sanford Stadium.
Had a Georgia guy ask me a few minutes ago if I thought it would be a close game. Yes I do, I told him. What could make it not as close as the 28-24 I posted Thursday would be the secondary for Ole Miss.
Dehendret Collins has some experience at corner, having played there in the spring, but it’s been a long time. Collins gives the Rebels a viable option with Senquez Golson and Wesley Pendleton out injured.
Collins has good ball-skills and could be OK. Or, being rusty, he could be picked on.
The Rebels’ shot to win will be based on not only how they play but whether Georgia lacks emotion, as it did in its loss at South Carolina and later when it let Kentucky hang around.
I’m hearing from some Ole Miss fans who are quite interested in the MSU-Texas A&M game. The Aggies are up 31-7 in the third quarter as of this posting.
Ole Miss fans need to look also at the Vanderbilt score. They Commodores are laying the wood to Kentucky, which makes me think they were very prepared, as I suspect they will be in Oxford a week from now. Both Ole Miss and Vanderbilt will view that game as a great opportunity to reach six wins and bowl-eligibility.
I think Ole Miss will be prepared also, today and next week. That’s not something you could say about the Rebels this time a year ago.
I’ll have live updates on Twitter and will be here at halftime and after the game.