Scoring Fest

Ole Miss and Fresno State combined for 93 points as the Rebels prevailed 55-38 in Oxford Saturday night.

Ole Miss' point total was the 12th highest in school history. Brandon Bolden's 228 yards on 19 carries was the sixth highest individual yards total in program history. He also scored two touchdowns.

Ole Miss (2-2) finished the game with 578 yards of total offense including 425 yards on the ground, which is a great sign for a team that has struggled to rush the football all season. Through the air, Ole Miss had 153 yards as Jeremiah Masoli was 8 for 12 with two touchdowns and one interception.

The Bulldogs (2-1) had 420 yards of total offense, but only 30 of it was on the ground. Through the air, senior quarterback Ryan Colburn was 32 for 42 for 390 yards and four touchdowns.

"Our guys played hard," Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt said. "The first thing (FSU head coach) Pat Hill said was we didn't expect your guys to play that hard. If you don't play hard against a team like that, you'll get beat. That's a good football team. I was proud of our effort."

"I knew we were going to run into a highly inspired football team," Hill said. "They have really good personnel. Their defense did a good job against us on the run. That was a tough environment tonight."

Fresno roared out of the starting blocks and put up a touchdown early. Ole Miss had won the toss and deferred. In seven plays the Bulldogs were in the end zone on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Colburn to Robbie Rouse. Kevin Goessling added the extra point, and with 11:43 to go in the first quarter, the visitors led 7-0.

But the Rebels came right back with a touchdown of their own in four plays. Jeremiah Masoli ran for 56 yards to the FSU 8-yard line. On the next play Enrique Davis took it in. Bryson Rose was good on the PAT, and the game was 7-7 with 10:37 to go in the first.

After forcing a Fresno punt, the Rebels moved out in front on their next possession. Masoli hit Melvin Harris on a 30-yard touchdown pass that completed an 8-play drive of 86 yards. Rose was good and it was 14-7 UM with 2:43 left in the opening period.

Ole Miss extended its lead to 21-7 early in the second quarter. Jeff Scott outraced all defenders for a 55-yard touchdown run as Rose added the point after with 14:15 to go before halftime.

The teams added field goals the rest of the half, Fresno getting a 50-yarder from Goessling and Rose adding a 40-yarder and a 21-yarder for a 27-10 UM lead at halftime.

The early portion of the third quarter saw lots of fireworks. There were four touchdowns in the first eight minutes of the third, the Rebels getting the first two and the Bulldogs the last two.

Brandon Bolden electrified the 55,267 in attendance with a 71-yard run on the first play of the second half.

On a punt by FSU's Andrew Shapiro, Jesse Grandy also electrified the crowd with a 51-yard punt return for a score.

Up 41-10, the Rebels let down a bit, as has been the trend all season, and Fresno scored twice.

It was 41-17 on a 9-yard pass from Colburn to Jamel Hamier that capped a 6-play, 62-yard drive.

Masoli then threw another one of the swing pass interceptions the Rebel offense is now becoming famous for. This one, unlike last week against Vanderbilt, wasn't returned for a touchdown, but Philip Thomas returned it 39 yards to the UM 10. Three plays later Colburn hit Austin Raphael on a 3-yard scoring pass play to make it 41-24.

Ole Miss got one back in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard pass from Masoli to Bolden to make it 48-24.

But the Bulldogs got it back on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Colburn to Tapa Taumoepeau to cut it to 48-31, then added another on a 2-yard run by Michael Harris.

It was 48-38 and 3:20 remained in the game when the Bulldogs tried an onsides kick. The Rebels recovered it at the FSU 40 and five plays later Bolden scored from the 14.

It was 55-38 and that's the way things ended.

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