Six of Significance

Ole Miss is 2-0 to open a season for the first time since 2009 following 28-10 win Saturday over UTEP. What six plays shaped the game? We take a look.

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Score: Tie game, 0-0
Situation: Second-and-9 from the Ole Miss 45-yard line with 10:23 left in the first quarter.
Play: The Rebels got on the scoreboard with 10:32 to go in the opening period when Bo Wallace rolled out and hit Donte Moncrief on a 55-yard pass play. After Randall Mackey had gotten the Rebels close to midfield on a couple of runs, one a 17-yarder, things were set up for the offense to do something if it could. And it did. Moncrief hauled the ball in just past the Miner defender and outraced everyone to the south end zone to the awaiting cheers of a red-clad student section.

Score: 7-0, Ole Miss
Situation: Fourth-and-goal from the Ole Miss 1-yard line with 13:33 left in the second quarter.
Play: It was early in the second quarter and Ole Miss needed something good to happen. The Miners were threatening to score and were apparently close to tying the ballgame. With first and goal at the 7-yard line to start the second period, the Rebel defense came up big. On fourth and goal at the 1, Ralph Williams, with some help from Gilbert Pena, stopped UTEP quarterback Nick Lamaison for a loss of two yards, and the Rebels took over on downs.

Score: 14-0, Ole Miss
Situation: Second-and-11 from the Ole Miss 12-yard line with 5:21 left in the second quarter.
Play: It was another stellar overall defensive effort by the Rebels as UTEP was threatening in the second quarter, trailing 14-0. On second and 11 at the Ole Miss 12, backup Miners quarterback Carson Meger was picked off in the end zone by Rebels safety Cody Prewitt, and out of there he raced to the UM 16. Meger had been effective with both run and pass to get the Miners into position for points once again. But it was the bending some but not breaking any, at least in the first half, Rebel defenders that stopped things right where they were.

Donte Moncrief
US Presswire

Score: 14-0, Ole Miss
Situation: First-and-goal from the UTEP 4-yard line with :36 left in the second quarter.
Play: Bo Wallace. Bo Wallace. Bo Wallace was the name heard most often on a scoring drive for the Rebels that put Ole Miss up three touchdowns in the second quarter at 21-0. He passed and rushed the Rebels down field with a little help from his teammates. Then on first and goal at the Miners 4-yard line, he faked a handoff and took it around the right end for a touchdown.

Score: 21-7, Ole Miss
Situation: Second-and-6 from the Ole Miss 15-yard line with 5:17 left in the third quarter.
Play: UTEP trailed 21-7 when Mackey was carrying the football and trying to help the Rebels get some decent field position. But he was hit hard and fumbled. It was recovered by UTEP at the Ole Miss 8. Four plays later the Miners were back in the game, although not with a touchdown but a field goal by Steven Valdez of 37 yards. Although down 11, there was still a quarter and more to go in the contest.

Score: 21-10, Ole Miss
Situation: Third-and-goal from the UTEP 3-yard line with 11:26 left in the fourth quarter.
Play: Wallace to H.R. Greer, in a play head coach Hugh Freeze said was designed just for Greer, ended the night's scoring. The play was just three yards in length, but Greer had to race to the corner and hop over the pylon for six points. Bryson Rose's fourth successful extra point in the game made it 28-10 Ole Miss with 11:18 left. It wasn't over, but in a sense, yes, it was.

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