By John Davis
ATLANTA – Already down a linebacker with Denzel Nkemdiche suspended, Ole Miss lost Serderius Bryant during the first quarter of Thursday night’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.
The senior was ejected on Boise State’s third offensive series when he was called for a personal foul for a hit placed on quarterback Grant Hedrick.
Bryant, the Rebels’ leading tackler last season, was replaced in the lineup by Keith Lewis and Tayler Polk, a redshirt freshman from Magee. Polk finished the game with three tackles, including one for a loss.
Keith Lewis led all the linebackers with six stops, while Deterrian Shackelford had five stops. Each had a tackle for a loss. As a defense, Ole Miss finished with 10 tackles for a loss in the 35-13 win.
The Rebels showed a lot of aggression on defense, up front with the front, and also in the secondary. Senior cornerback Senquez Golson had the best game of his career, finishing with an interception and eight tackles.
His running mate, senior Mike Hilton, finished with nine tackles playing at the other corner spot and some at Huskie late. Senior Cliff Coleman, who has played sparingly during his first three years, was part of the rotation at the corner spot. Freshman Kendarius Webster also saw his first action of his career at corner and finished with a pass breakup.
Nursing a 7-6 lead, and the momentum swinging towards the Broncos, the Rebels finally got on track offensively. They reeled off an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive that bridged the last minute of the third quarter and the start of the fourth. Quarterback Bo Wallace took 3 minutes, 36 seconds off the clock and he capped the possession when he found Laquon Treadwell for a 14-yard touchdown. It came just two plays after Wallace hooked up with Treadwell for a gain of 29 yards on third-and-8 at the Broncos’ 43-yard line.
The Rebels are in an NFL stadium for the second straight week when the face Vanderbilt in Nashville at the Tennessee Titans’ LP Field. Kickoff is 3 p.m. It’s the SEC opener for both teams.
After a slow start that included three interceptions in the first half, Wallace finished the game 25-for-36 for 387 yards and four touchdowns … Treadwell led the Rebels with seven catches for 105 yards … Cody Core had a career game, catching four passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. His first touchdown covered 30 yards, while his 76-yard reception for a score came in the fourth quarter … The Rebels struggled to move the ball on the ground, finishing with just 71 yards on 27 carries.