By Brett Martel/The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS — Jeff Scott ran for two touchdowns and Mississippi piled up 304 yards rushing in a 39-0 victory over winless Tulane on Saturday.
The Ole Miss defense, seeking redemption after yielding 66 points in a loss to Texas a week earlier, limited Tulane to 159 yards of total offense.
The Rebels (3-1) constantly pressured Green Wave freshman quarterback Devin Powell. Making his first start, Powell was sacked three times and threw three interceptions. Tulane (0-3) also struggled to run, finishing with 14 net yards.
Playing for the first time since safety Devon Walker fractured his spine at Tulsa on Sept. 8, Tulane wore Walker’s No. 18 on one side of its helmets. The similarly supportive Rebels had small “DW” stickers on their helmets.
Mississippi’s Bo Wallace was 7 of 16 for 101 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief. Randall Mackey and Ja-Mes Logan each added running touchdowns.
Ole Miss reserve quarterback Barry Brunetti, who rotated in regularly after Rebels jumped out to a large early lead, wound up leading his team in rushing with 67 yards on 13 carries. Scott finished with 62 yards on 11 carries.
If not for three turnovers, the Rebels’ performance would have had few flaws. Those proved inconsequential, however, as Tulane struggled to move the ball.
The Green Wave, losers of 13 straight dating to last season, were 2 of 16 on third-down conversions. Tulane’s longest running play was 10 yards on a Powell scramble early in the fourth quarter.
When Tulane players took the field with their usual T-wave logo replaced by Walker’s number, they were greeted enthusiastically by fans throughout the Superdome wearing white shirts with Walker’s number in green.
Riding the emotions of the moment, Tulane looked to strike quickly when Powell lofted a pass deep down the right sideline on the game’s first play from scrimmage and Ryan Grant dove to make a 32-yard catch near midfield. The drive quickly stalled there, however, and punter Peter Picerelli could not handle a high snap, giving Ole Miss the ball on the Green Wave 23-yard line.
The Rebels quickly capitalized on Scott’s 13-yard scoring run to make it 6-0, but could not convert their 2-point try.
Logan’s 14-yard scoring run on a reverse widened Ole Miss’ lead to 12-0, but Tulane again foiled the Rebels’ 2-point conversion.
Mackey’s 28-yard run on a draw made it 19-0, and it only got worse for Tulane when Powell’s deflected pass was intercepted by Denzel Nkemdiche in Tulane territory.
The turnover set up Wallace’s scoring strike along the left sideline to Moncrief, making it 26-0 before the end of the opening quarter.
Tulane’s only scoring threat in the first half came when the Green Wave forced a turnover in Ole Miss territory and drove down to the 2, from where Powell, under pressure, threw too high for Justyn Shackleford on fourth-and-goal.
Scott added his 4-yard TD in the third quarter, and Ole Miss tacked on a couple field goals by Bryson Rose.
Read more in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper Sunday.