AP: Ole Miss rolls over Texas

AUSTIN, Texas -- Jeff Scott ran for 164 yards and a touchdown and also scored on a 73-yard punt return, helping No. 25 Mississippi roll over reeling Texas 44-23 on Saturday night.

Bo Wallace passed for two touchdowns and ran for another for the Rebels (3-0), who led 14-0 midway through the first quarter before Texas scored 23 straight points.

"I'm just really proud of our group of guys in that locker room," Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. "To represent our university on a stage like that is a blessing to us. We just feel great about the opportunity to come into this kind of arena as a young program with young kids and fight for 60 minutes. That's what our kids did tonight."

The Rebels rallied when Andrew Ritter kicked a 52-yard field goal on the last play of the first half and Wallace directed consecutive touchdown drives in the third quarter. Scott eluded six tacklers on a weaving, cross-field touchdown return that put the Rebels ahead 37-23 late in the third.

Texas, which gave up 550 yards rushing a week earlier in a loss to BYU, surrendered 274 on the ground to Ole Miss.

"We've won five games in a row now," Freeze said. "Our kids have some confidence but we still make a lot of mistakes. On a national stage like tonight, when you're playing the University of Texas, one of the nation's best programs … to come in and stand toe-to-toe with them, it's a step in the right direction."

Case McCoy started at quarterback for Texas (1-2) in place of injured David Ash and passed for 196 yards and one touchdown.

For Mississippi, a road win at a historical powerhouse such as Texas will be another confidence boost under second-year coach Hugh Freeze. The Rebels are ranked for the first time since 2009, are 3-0 for the first time since 1989 and have a week off before playing at No. 1 Alabama.

The victory also served as some payback for last season, when a young Rebels defense was blistered by the Longhorns' speed and big plays in a 66-31 loss at home.

Ole Miss held McCoy and the Longhorns scoreless in the second half
USA TODAY images

For Texas, the loss will turn up the heat on coach Mack Brown, who is facing the most serious grumbling from a restless fan base in his 16 seasons in Austin. After three sub-par seasons, the Longhorns had hopes of contending for the Big 12 title and returning to the national stage, but an embarrassing loss a week ago at BYU led Brown to fire defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.

"I thought they played hard again," Brown said. "We were just inept on offense in the second half. (Ole Miss running back Jeff) Scott hurt us badly. We've got a new start next week. We've got Kansas State. We can get all this righted by winning the Big 12 Championship, and that's what they've got to do."

Brown brought back Greg Robinson, the Longhorns' defensive coordinator in 2004. Texas was more aggressive against the Rebels, but still gave up big yards rushing and surrendered a halftime lead when it looked as if the Longhorns were firmly in control. The offense stumbled as well, gaining just 100 yards in the second half.

And Mississippi is just the latest visiting team to wallop Texas on its home turf. The Longhorns are 11-10 at home since 2010, including seven consecutive losses to ranked opponents.

The Rebels scored on their first two drives for a quick 14-0 lead. Wallace and Scott carved up the Longhorns on the read option and Scott scored on a 5-yard run before Wallace connected with Donte Moncrief on an 18yard touchdown pass.

At one point in the first half, a pre-recorded message from Brown on the scoreboard video screen was greeted with audible boos from the crowd of 101,474, the third-largest in school history.

Texas fought back with 23 straight points. The defense recovered a Wallace fumble, knocked down a fourth-down pass and McCoy started connecting on short passes. After Mike Davis scored Texas' first touchdown on a 13-yard reception, Jonathan Gray ran 8 yards for a touchdown that gave Texas a 17-14 lead.

The Rebels retook the lead on two impressive drives in the third. Ole Miss returned to the dominant running game it had early and Wallace scored on a 15-yard run when he spun through two defenders at the goal line. After a Texas punt, Wallace found Evan Engram for a 17-yard scoring pass.

Scott's punt return was the dagger. He eluded two defenders immediately after the catch, moved to his left and had a wall of blockers to the end zone for a touchdown and a 37-23 at the end of the third quarter.

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