Final: Ole Miss 44, Texas 23

Rebels celebrate with fans in northwest corner of Memorial Stadium

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I thought Texas would play with more emotion, but I really didn’t see that. Ole Miss’ fast start may have zapped them a little.

It looked in the first half like Ole Miss might have its hands full with the Texas run game — as was the case last year. But Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said the Rebels were over-pursuing in the first half, and when that was corrected, things changed.

Jeff Scott’s career-high 164 rushing yards powered an offense that gained 449 yards, 272 on the ground.

Bo Wallace had the ball slip out of his hands on the fumble, but a guy with 17 picks a year ago has yet to throw it to the other team this season.

That’s significant. Wallace was 17-for-25 passing for 177 yards, two touchdowns and one rushing touchdown on a nifty 15-yard run where he avoided tacklers and stretched for the end zone.

While the offense was good, another big thing was the defense after halftime. The Rebels took away the swing pass that Case McCoy had so much success with in the first half. When they were able to do that, they held Texas to 100 yards and four first downs after halftime.

Hugh Freeze

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I didn’t get a look at Andrew Ritter’s missed PAT. That’s never good, but his 52-yard field goal on the last play of the first half really helped Ole Miss change the complexion of the game in the third quarter. When the Rebels got the ball for the first time they moved 80 yards and took the lead. With the field goal, they’d have still been behind.

Just having that one-point lead, I think, was an extra shot of confidence and maybe a little extra doubt for Texas.

Another big night for Serderius Bryant with 11 tackles, a sack and three tackles for loss.

I thought CJ Johnson and Robert Nkemdiche had their best combined performance.

Nkemdiche only had three tackles, but his 6-yard TFL was well-timed, and he was also credited with a pass break-up and a pressure.

Trae Elston has been pushed by Chief Brown, but Elston started tonight and had eight tackles.

More in Day After Observations tomorrow — late tomorrow — and I’ll close here with video of Mike Hilton:

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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.

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