By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Priority 1 for Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze was to win the game against Idaho.
Avoiding further injuries and getting key snaps for young players were almost as high on that to-do list Saturday night.
The Rebels again played without roughly a half dozen starters, but it appears no one else was lost with injury.
Freshman offensive lineman Austin Golson and sophomore defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton both left with injuries but later returned to play.
Cornerback Charles Sawyer left with what Freeze believed to be some sort of lower body strain.
“Those are the only three I know about. I think we came out of it fairly healthy,” he said.
With starting tailback Jeff Scott held out sophomores I’Tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton carried the ground game, but freshman Mark Dodson got his first carries since the SE Missouri State game.
Dodson had seven rushes for 57 yards and took a short pass 30 yards for a touchdown. Freshman Kailo Moore carried five times for 9 yards and caught three passes for 22 yards.
“Dodson showed some explosion and had some physical runs. He needs to take care of the ball better,” Freeze said. Dodson had a fourth-quarter fumble that was recovered by Ole Miss.
Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace began the season by going four games without an interception before throwing three in back-to-back weeks against Auburn and Texas A&M.
Against Idaho, Wallace posted his second-straight turnover free game.
He’s now thrown 73 passes without an interception going back to the final minute of the third quarter against Texas A&M.
His two touchdown passes bring his season totals to 12 against three interceptions.
Key number – 75.8
While Wallace was 15-for-22 passing, Barry Brunetti was 7-for-7. The Rebels were 22-for-29 as a team, 75.8 percent.
Idaho had just missed a golden opportunity to cut an early 17-0 deficit to just three points, but the Vandals missed a short field goal, and Ole Miss responded with a 13-play, 80-yard march.
Jaylen Walton and I’Tavius Mathers were the central focus of the drive. Walton got the points on a 1-yard run. He fumbled into the end zone, but the touchdown was upheld after review.
“The play was a slant. I rant a slant, and the cornerback bit on it. If it wasn’t for the offensive line, Bo wouldn’t have been able to make such a good throw.” – WR Ja-Mes Logan on his 37-yard TD catch in the first quarter
The Rebels have an open date, their second of the season, and return to action Nov. 9 at home against Arkansas.
Ole Miss had a season-high 10 tackles for loss. … The Rebels’ 572 total yards and 292 rushing yards were both season-highs. … Ole Miss is now 69-15-2 in homecoming games.