By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
The Rebels scored 31 points on a Texas defense that was giving up 8.5 points a game over the first two weeks.
Running back Jeff Scott and wide receiver Donte Moncrief showed they can make plays against a top-level defensive unit.
Freshman Jaylen Walton got in the end zone for the third-straight week, this time with a 100-yard kick return, and in his most extensive playing time freshman defensive end Channing Ward (Aberdeen) had three tackles and a half-tackle for loss.
Quarterback Bo Wallace struggled against the Texas speed and threw three interceptions causing the Rebels to lose the turnover battle, for the second straight week.
The Longhorns’ speed advantage was most evident against the Ole Miss secondary, allowing Texas quarterback David Ash to complete 82.6 percent of his pass attempts.
Keys To Victory
Evaluating the keys to victory in Saturday’s GameDay section:
1. Deliver the first big hit: Didn’t happen. There were few big hits delivered by Ole Miss against Texas. The Rebels, who had nine sacks on the season going into the game, had no sacks and managed just one tackle behind the line of scrimmage.
Texas had almost 700 yards of offense, finishing with 676 yards on 78 plays.
2. Stop the run: A mixed bag of results here. The Rebels actually had stretches during the game where they did good things against the run, but at the end of the day the Longhorns had 350 yards on the ground and averaged 6.5 yards per attempt.
3. Maintain discipline: The least-penalized team in the SEC going into the game, the Rebels had false starts and a personal foul, penalties that had not been showing up.
Their 55 penalty yards weren’t earth-shattering, but it was double what the team averaged over the first two weeks.
Donte Moncrief: The sophomore wide receiver had seven catches for 144 yards and was one of the few players to match up well with the Texas speed as shown on Moncrief’s 75-yard catch-and-run with a pass from Wallace. It’s the third-straight week that Moncrief and Wallace have teamed up for a touchdown that covered more than 50 yards.
The Rebels competed for 60 minutes – as has been a main talking point for Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze – but just weren’t good enough to match up. The best way to fix that problem will be in recruiting.
In the meantime, Freeze and his staff have a big challenge. Texas isn’t the last fast and talented team that Ole Miss will face, and the coaches need to find a way to narrow the gap.