By Teresa M. Walker
AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bo Wallace ran for two touchdowns and threw for another score and Mississippi beat Georgia Tech 25-17 Monday in the Music City Bowl for the Rebels’ second straight bowl victory under coach Hugh Freeze.
The junior quarterback and Tennessee native made up for his three turnovers in the Egg Bowl overtime loss by throwing for 256 yards and running for 86 more, giving him the school record for total yards in a season and most completions in a season, topping Eli Manning for both.
Ole Miss (8-5) now has won six straight bowls and 10 of the last 11 in making up for the lone loss in that stretch in the 2000 Music City Bowl.
Georgia Tech (7-6) has lost eight of nine bowls. The Yellow Jackets scored 10 points in the fourth quarter as they tried to rally before a safety with 4:22 left ended their last chance.
Yellow Jackets lineman Adam Gotsis blocked a 32-yard field goal attempt by Andrew Ritter giving Georgia Tech the ball at their own 20 with 4:36 left trailing 23-17.
But Georgia Tech lost 5 yards on the first play, then Vad Lee flipped the ball to Corey Dennis on a reverse with the receiver apparently looking to throw when he fumbled under pressure. Right tackle Ray Beno covered up the ball in the end zone for the safety.
Ole Miss then chewed up the clock before finally punting back to Georgia Tech with 37 seconds left. Senquez Golson intercepted Lee on the next play to seal the victory for the Rebels in the bowl, sponsored by Franklin American Mortgage Company.
With a month to prepare, Ole Miss shut down the nation’s fourth-best rushing offense. Georgia Tech came in averaging 311.7 yards per game, and the Rebels smothered the Yellow Jackets, holding them to just 151 yards on the ground. Ole Miss held the ball for nearly 33 minutes and had a 477-298 edge in total offense.
Ole Miss had a 23-7 lead when the Yellow Jackets scored 10 straight points.
Harrison Butker capped a 64-yard drive with a 38-yard field goal in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, then D.J. White intercepted a Wallace pass intended for Donte Moncrief. On the next play, Lee found Darren Waller for a 72-yard catch-and-run for a TD with 13:25 left.
Ole Miss led 13-7 after an interesting first half where both teams opened the game driving for touchdowns with some special teams miscues.
Wallace capped the opening possession for Ole Miss with a 17-yard run for a touchdown, and he connected with Moncrief on a 28-yard TD catch where the receiver went down the right sideline and then held the ball out at the pylon for the score in the second quarter.
But Gotsis also blocked the extra point, keeping Ole Miss’ lead at 13-7. Ritter also missed a 29-yard field goal later in the quarter that was so low it bounced off the crossbar.
Georgia Tech looked impressive with a 14-play, 74-yard drive, and senior Robert Godhigh scored on an 8-yard run that tied the game.
The Yellow Jackets also hurt themselves with a fake punt attempt in the second when punter Sean Poole tripped short of the line of scrimmage on fourth-and-11 at midfield.