FINAL: Ole Miss 31, SEMO 13

Check out our online story from Kedrick Storey of The Southern Sentinel.

A lot of that first-half writing had to be re-written.

This game never reached the Jacksonville State level of urgency where you felt it slipping away.

But it was ugly to watch as Freeze mentions here.

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He talks in the video about depth, but honestly, the quarterback sets the tone, and Barry Brunetti just didn’t play well.

There remains a role on this team for Brunetti, who scored his third rushing touchdown of the season when he went over from 4 yards out in the first quarter.

But Brunetti’s inability to help close out a game against an FCS opponent did not inspire confidence that the Ole Miss offense will rock along if something happens to Bo Wallace.

In face, Freeze mentions in the video how close he was to playing a freshman quarterback, presumably Devante Kincade who was very impressive in camp.

As far as the numbers, Ole Miss outgained SEMO 532-252, but SEMO, an option team that rarely passes, exploited the Rebels’ secondary for chain-moving completions and two touchdowns.

The Rebels rushed for 272 yards, Brunetti leading the way with 111. I’Tavius Mathers — Freeze said Mathers talked him into letting him play — had 56 yards a touchdown on four carries and a very impressive 36-yard run.

We saw freshman Mark Dodson tonight, so no redshirt third.

Jeff Scott looked good in limited work.

After a slow start Wallace finished with 188 yards on 8-for-15 passing with no picks, though he threw one or two that should have been picked.

He had a 64-yard touchdown where he hit tight end Evan Engram on a seam, and Engram outran the SEMO secondary. Wallace also passed 67 yards to Donte Moncrief who did the same thing.

Here’s Wallace.

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Special thanks to Kyle Alford for the video tonight.

More tomorrow in Day After Observations.

The Rebels have overcome a slow start to take command of this game and get most of us here in the press box writing feverishly with hopes of a quick postgame.

The game is playing out the way you want it to for the FCS game. Starters exited early, playing time for young players and guys who need to get game reps.

We’ve seen Cody Core play both safety and wide receiver. We’ve seen Channing Ward get a sack. Ward has gotten a lot of D-line reps that he didn’t get last week. They’re taking a long look at Lavon Hooks too.

I’Tavius Mathers’ ankle must be well enough in Hugh Freeze’s estimate. Mathers entered late in the second quarter and carried twice, the second a 10-yard touchdown run. We’ve seen a lot Jaylen Walton – 10 carries, 34 yards – as Jeff Scott rests. Scott had four carries for 28 yards before leaving the game.

Bo Wallace played the first quarter and went 8-for-15 for 185 yards and two touchdowns. He did not have an interception, but threw a pass that a defender nearly picked.

Brunetti had the Rebels’ first turnover of the season shortly before half. SEMO took the ball at the 50 and ran two plays – the first Ward’s sack – before Cody Prewitt picked off a pass.

Prewitt had a forced fumble earlier that was recovered by Chief Brown.

Ole Miss has outgained SEMO 379-105.

Sometimes an option team can make an opponent look bad when that opponent doesn’t see much option. SEMO had some success with that earlier, but the Rebels have settled in there.

The Redhawks pass rarely, but they’ve hurt Ole Miss there, and pass defense remains a concern moving to Texas.

A stat alert here. The Rebels have 31 points. Their most under Hugh Freeze is 49 points scored last year against Central Arkansas.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to Kory Keys and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

Posted in Football

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