By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Ole Miss overcome some early sloppiness to set a school record with 751 total yards in a 51-21 win over Troy on Saturday afternoon before a Vaught-Hemingway Stadium crowd of 52,931.
Now the Rebels can set their sights on a top 10 visitor.
The last Ole Miss effort against a top-10 team went well, as the Rebels defeated then-No. 6 LSU 27-24 on Oct. 19. Ole Miss (7-3, 3-3 SEC) has won three more since then and heads into the Missouri game on a four-game win streak.
SEC East-leading Missouri was off Saturday.
Sun Belt Conference member Troy (5-6) owns one of the nation’s top statistical offenses but did not appear to be a worthy tune-up. The Trojans’ most competitive early series was their second, when Ole Miss safety Trae Elston was burned by Chandler Worthy on a pass play covering 64 yards to the Rebels’ 11.
Two plays later, Troy scored on a 5-yard run by Brandon Burks. The PAT tied the game at 7.
The Rebels answered on their next possession, a 4-yard score by Jaylen Walton capping a 68-yard drive, and the route was on.
“I was excited about the way our kids performed. I thought we executed fairly well. We had an explosive play that we gave up early and a few too many penalties early, but I thought we settled in after that,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said.
Bo Wallace was 14-for-22 passing for 223 yards and two TD passes in the first half, both to Laquon Treadwell.
Ole Miss rushed for 146 yards in the first two quarters, 58 by Wallace who also scored on a 29-yard run.
The Rebels led 27-7 at the break.
Wallace finished 17-for-26 passing for 272 yards and three TDs. His scoring passes to Treadwell covered 25 and 23 yards, and he hit another freshman, Quincy Adeboyejo, with a 24-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
The total yardage reminded Wallace of his career at East Mississippi Community College.
“It was pretty ridiculous,” he said. “The penalties made us look sloppy, but at the same time, we were pretty much executing at will.”
Wallace led Ole Miss with 66 rushing yards. Kailo Moore, Walton, I’Tavius Mathers and Jeff Scott all had at least 50 yards as the Rebels totaled 382 on the ground.
The Rebels’ defense held Troy to 313 total yards – the Trojans were averaging 462.2 – and minus-13 yards rushing.
The sloppiness showed up in pre-snap penalties and with a fumble by Walton at the end of a 30-yard run but was off-set as the Rebels forced turnovers. Issac Gross recovered a fumble forced by a Serderius Bryant sack, and Mike Hilton killed a mini-scoring threat with less than a minute left in the first half.
The Rebels were penalized seven times for 50 yards, most of that early in the game.
“A lot of us didn’t come out to this game ready to play defensively,” Bryant said. “They scored that early touchdown on us. That kind of made us upset, and we stopped them throughout the game until the end.”