'One Step'

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas embarrassed Ole Miss last season in Oxford, hanging 66 points on the Rebels en route to a blowout win. On Saturday, they got their revenge.

Follow SpiritBen on Twitter

Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace, who completed 17 of 23 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns, called the victory "sweet." The Rebel win was their first over Texas since the 1958 Sugar Bowl. They're 3-0 for the first time since 1989.

"A great win for our program," he said. "We wanted to come in and knock down a traditional power, and it's something to be excited about."

Wallace accounted for 57 rushing yards on 12 carries and another touchdown to lead Ole Miss to its fifth-straight win dating back to last season. The Rebels' offense totaled 449 yards, including 250 rushing yards.

Ole Miss raced out to a 14-0 lead, only to see Texas score 23 unanswered points. However, the second half was all Wallace and Ole Miss. The Rebels dropped 30 on the Longhorns, with running back Jeff Scott leading the way with 243 all-purpose yards.

"Jeff's our guy," Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. "I think that's a reflection of the way he's living. I've said many times, when I first got here, I didn't think there was any way he would make it with me. Today, he's one of my favorite kids to coach. I'm very, very proud of the change he's made in his life and in his academics.

Jeff Scott
Associated Press

"He trained hard in the summer, lived right, did things the right way and made a 3.0 (G.P.A.). I think it's a direct correlation."

Scott rushed for a career-high 164 yards on 19 carries. It was his ninth career 100-yard rushing game, and his second this year.

"We didn't really adjust much at all," Wallace said. "Just a few things here and there, some wrinkles. We had some big plays to Evan (Engram) and got some big runs, so I think that's all it was."

What expectations?:

Ole Miss engineered a five-game turnaround last season, finishing 7-6 overall. With its 3-0 start, expectations, according to junior defensive end C.J. Johnson, are certainly changing.

"Definitely," he said. "Our expectations changed once the season started, and I think we've done a great job of responding to everything that's been thrown at us."

"We're better than we were when I got here," Freeze said. "Our kids have some confidence but we still make a lot of mistakes. We're playing a lot of young kids. On a national stage like tonight, when you're playing the University of Texas, to come in and stand toe-to-toe with them … it's a step in the right direction, but it's one step.

"We didn't take six tonight. We just took one step, but it's a step in the right direction."

What a step it was. Ole Miss is now 2-6 in games against Texas. The Rebels' 44 points were the most ever against the Longhorns.

Ole Miss entered the game ranked No. 25 in the country, and could very well find itself much higher when rankings are released early this week. The Rebels have a bye week prior to their trip to top-ranked Alabama Sept. 28. The Crimson Tide defeated Texas A&M earlier Saturday.

Bo Wallace
Associated Press

"We're playing another great program," Wallace said of the Crimson Tide. "We have a bye week, so we'll get in there, get some guys healthy, and just take it from there."

Ole Miss defense gets back to basics:

After struggling in the first half, the Ole Miss defense stood tall in the second frame, holding the Longhorns scoreless and to just 100 yards of total offense.

Freeze said the coaching staff simply stripped the scheme down to basics.

"We said, ‘Hey, look I know we're young, but let's go out and play our base defense and see if our kids can compete. Just line up and play base with the exception of the zone adjustment,' and we did," Freeze said.

Ole Miss allowed Texas to convert only 4 of 15 third-down attempts, and 1 of 3 fourth-down tries. The Rebels produced a season-high nine tackles for loss, and were led in tackles by Serderius Bryant, who had 11 (six solo), his second straight double-digit performance in place of injured Denzel Nkemdiche.

"We just did a better job of executing the game plan," Johnson, who had five tackles and a career-high three tackles for loss, said. "There were a few little things that we had to get adjusted up front."

What's next for Mack?

Texas head coach Mack Brown's hot seat got a little warmer following the loss to Ole Miss. The third-largest crowd (101,474) in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium history watched as his Longhorns fell to 1-2 on the still-young season.

"We've got to worry about what we can control," Brown said. "And what we can control is what we can improve and do better. We win the Big 12 Championship, we'll be excited, and that's all we've got left.

"Our guys will go back to work. They've been around here before. They understand outside stuff and they understand what's important, and they'll work hard this week. I thought they really handled all the outside stuff last week really well. I thought they worked really hard, and I thought they played hard tonight."

OM Spirit Top Stories