NOTES: Bo's Best
Departing the game in the third quarter with the Rebels comfortably in the lead, Wallace was 23 for 28 for 316 yards and four touchdowns. He threw his first interception since the first half of the season opener against Boise State in a 35-13 Rebel victory.
“It was a really solid day from Bo,” said Freeze, who now has a coaching record at Ole Miss of 18-11. “He played really well. Bo threw for 300-plus yards in basically two quarters.”
Wallace set a successful tone early in this one with an amazing start. He was 12 of 12 for 199 yards and two touchdowns by early in the second quarter.
“I was thinking I don’t want to throw an incompletion. I felt good out there,” he said. “This is what I expect of myself. I’m trying to get in a rhythm as soon as I walk out.”
Wallace wasn’t the only quarterback to see action on this day for the Rebels. Both Ryan Buchanan and Devante Kincade got substantial playing time in the second half of the game.
Kincade had the longer of it in terms of time on the field. He made the most of it, especially in the passing department. He was 5 of 6 for 20 yards but gained more confidence for the season ahead. Kincade rushed three times for 15 yards.
Buchanan, who had a little more extensive playing time in the game last weekend in Nashville, was 1 of 2 passing against ULL for only 4 yards.
Senquez Golson had a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter that simply added to the Ragin’ Cajuns’ misery. Golson restled the ball away from the receiver and headed goalward. With Andrew Fletcher’s extra point, Ole Miss led 42-6, and only the final margin of victory remained in doubt.
Golson had one solo tackle and one assist. He also had another interception of a ULL pass with Ole Miss up 21-0 that set the Rebels up at midfield and allowed them a short field for a 28-0 lead.
“He had a solid day,” Freeze said.
Freeze also said Golson’s having a solid senior season, and it all begins with work ethic, which Freeze said Golson has more of this year than any previous season.
“There’s no question the way he comes to work every day and allows me to coach him that he’s just a different guy,” Freeze said.
“He’s really taken on that leadership role,” said fellow defender Mike Hilton. “This is his last year, and everything is out there for him. He’s trying to make the best of it.”
Not So Slim Pickings
Ole Miss came into Saturday's game with a Southeastern Conference leading five interceptions. They added three more to that lead in this one.
“We say every time before we break out defensively, if the ball’s in there, it’s ours,” Hilton said. “That’s our mindset.”
Hilton said the Rebels work on their craft to be the best defenders they can be.
“Just knowing the schemes and knowing the exact spots to be,” he said. “And with the pass rush we have, the quarterback is going to throw some errant balls we can get our hands on.”
Jaylen Walton led a Rebel rushing attacking that Freeze said, “is getting better,” but is not where it needs to be.
The junior from Memphis rushed seven times for 89 yards and a touchdown.
The scoring run was a long one – 71 yards that, along with Fkletcher’s extra point, gave Ole Miss a dominant 49-6 advantage.
Walton had already made his mark in this game through the air, catching a 40-yard pass from Wallace for the Rebels’ second touchdown of the day. It was 14-0 at that point, and that was the way the first quarter ended.
But the productive tone for the day had been set.
Ole Miss was without the sideline reporting of veteran Stan Sandroni who, after 25 seasons with Rebel football, died unexpectedly and suddenly earlier this week.
There was a tribute to Sandroni from the Today Show’s Hoda Kotb on Vaught-Hemingway Stadium’s videoboard before the game. There was a “silent mic” in this game with no sideline reporter. And a stool was placed on the home sideline with a headset resting on it in his honor.
“I had just been with him that day,” Freeze said. “To me he always seemed to be the picture of health for a guy his age, so happy and obviously he loved Ole Miss football and athletics for years.”
Freeze said he talked to his team about it.
“The one thing that I know Stan would always be about is making the most of your opportunities. We talk about winning the day, I would think he’s a guy that won most of his days. It makes you ask this question of yourself, did I make the most of every opportunity I had today to be the best husband, father, coach, friend, all of those things? His wife, Glenda, and his son, Christopher, are certainly in our thoughts and prayers. The Ole Miss family will always miss him.”
Two Weeks To Memphis
Ole Miss now has two weeks to prepare for its next game. The Rebels host Memphis in the renewal of that long-running series that’s been dormant since 2009 when Ole Miss opened the season with a 45-14 win at Memphis.
The Rebels should enter the game against the Tigers with their highest ranking since that 2009 season.
The open date appears to be coming at a good time. Ole Miss has a few bumps and bruises.
“It’s going to be a good open date for us,” Hilton said. “Memphis will come in here with some momentum. They played UCLA well last week. We can use this week to get healthy and fix anything on offense or defense, and just come out next week ready to play.”
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