The defense made the adjustments to take away two things Texas did well in the first half: the run game and the quick swing pass to corners playing deep off the line of scrimmage, and the Longhorns had only 100 yards after halftime.
The Rebels rushed for 272 yards with Jeff Scott leading the way with a career-high 164 and a touchdown on 19 attempts.
Bo Wallace picked his spots in the run game, and his 15-yard touchdown run was a thing of beauty.
The Rebels hurt themselves with penalties in the first half, and as at Vanderbilt, second-half adjustments were necessary because Ole Miss wasn’t a very good second-quarter team after a fast start.
Keys To Victory
(Updating the game keys from last week’s GameDay preview)
1. Pass rush
The Rebels were credited with only one sack, that from linebacker Serderius Bryant, but they bothered Case McCoy throughout the evening, and that helped a secondary that had given up 300 yards at Vanderbilt and two passing touchdowns to an option-running FCS team.
2. Read option
Texas had trouble with this when BYU ran it, and changing defensive coordinators didn’t really change the result against Ole Miss.
Wallace and Scott have gotten to know one another very well with this play, and they were on at Texas, particularly in the second half with Wallace picking his spots.
Wallace averaged 4.8 yards on 12 carries, Scott 8.6 on 19.
3. Win the turnover margin
The Rebels were even here, getting a key fumble when Texas could have cut a two-touchdown lead in half and stayed in the game and giving up a fumble when the ball slipped out of Wallace’s hand on a pass attempt. The Longhorns got a short field but were held to a field goal.
It was the first turnover of the season for Wallace. He threw 17 interceptions a year ago but hasn’t thrown a pick this season in his 87 attempts.
Jeff Scott. Scott’s big-play ability in special teams was missed last year when he wasn’t returning punts. His 73-yarder was a game-change. And so was his 164 rushing yards.
Yes, Texas was having drama with staff change and injuries, but beating the Longhorns at home by three touchdowns is a big deal and makes the Rebels 3-0 for the first time in almost a quarter century.