By Parrish Alford
AUSTIN, Texas – Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace, intent on reducing his interceptions this season, had his first turnover of 2013 Saturday night, a fumble.
That led to a Texas field goal and a 20-14 Longhorns lead in the middle of the second quarter.
But Wallace, who threw 17 interceptions last year, has gone three games and 87 passes without throwing it to the other team.
He was 17-for-25 for 177 yards, two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown to offset his fumble.
Last year Wallace threw three interceptions in the Rebels’ 66-31 loss to Texas.
Bryant’s big night
Ole Miss defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said he thought the “truth” would come out about Serderius Bryant against Texas, and Bryant didn’t let him down.
Starting for the second week after a knee injury to All-SEC linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche, Bryant was the Rebels’ leading tackler again with 11 stops, a sack and three tackles for loss. He also broke up a pass.
The Rebels got more pressure against Texas quarterback Case McCoy than they have in games against Vanderbilt and Southeast Missouri, but Bryant’s sack was the only one of the night.
The Rebels, though, had nine tackles for loss to Texas’ two, and held the Longhorns to 320 yards, just 100 in the second half.
Key Number – 2
The second punt return touchdown of Jeff Scott’s career gave the Rebels’ a 37-23 lead and a big cushion to carry to the finish. It’s second special teams touchdown in two games for Ole Miss against Texas. Last year, Jaylen Walton returned a kickoff 100 yards. The last Ole Miss punt return for a score was by Nick Brassell in 2011 against Georgia.
The Rebels on their first possession of the second half moved 80 yards in 12 plays to score on Bo Wallace’s 15-yard run and regain the lead. They would not trail again.
“I just think we lined up and played simple coverages that gave our kids a chance.” – Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze on his team’s improved secondary play.
The Rebels have an open date. They return to play Sept. 28 at Alabama.
Two prominent members of the Rebels’ freshman class, quarterback Devante Kincade and Quincy Adeboyejo, are from Texas, the Dallas area, and got plenty of Twitter mention from home-state fans during the week. .. The Ole Miss defense held Texas to 4-for-15 on third-down conversions. … Donte Moncrief’s first-quarter touchdown catch was the 16th TD reception of his career. … Defensive end C.J. Johnson had five tackles and a career-high three tackles for loss.