Rebs beat NW State 27-7

Ole Miss got its third win of the season Saturday, a fairly non-descript but still meaningful victory against Division I-AA foe Northwestern State of Louisiana, UM head coach Ed Orgeron's alma mater.

"We're pleased with the win," said Orgeron, whose Rebels moved to 3-7 on the season and now have an open date before playing at LSU on Nov. 18. "We're looking forward to the open date and getting some much-needed rest, but we're looking forward to LSU."

The Rebels scored first on the game's opening drive. The Demons, now 4-5 on the year, won the toss and deferred, and that decision came back to haunt the visitors. Ole Miss moved 71 yards in seven plays, from its own 29-yard line, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis taking it in from the 4-yard line. Joshua Shene converted the extra point to make it 7-0 Rebs with less than four minutes gone in the opening period.

Northwestern State came right back to tie it. Moving from their own 15, the Demons scored in five plays, covering the 85 yards in 2:15 with a 4-yard pass from quarterback Roch Carpentier to Dudley Guice the touchdown play. PK Robert Weeks was good on the point after, and the score stood 7-7 with 9:26 to go in the first.

Shene gave the Rebels a 10-7 lead on a 52-yard field goal with 12:08 to go in the second quarter. The drive had started when Marshall Burton punted into the end zone and Ole Miss began a series for points. Nine plays later the drive stalled at the NWSU 34-yard line, and Shene came through with a low line-drive kick that was true.

After the Demons got no points on their next possession, Ole Miss took over at its own 29 following an unsuccessful fourth and 3 play at that point. Bruce Hall was called on several times in the drive and eventually took it in from the 22-yard line for another UM touchdown. The scoring play began at the 22, Hall broke free of a defender at about the 15, and raced into the end zone. Shene was good and it was 17-7 with 2:19 to go before halftime.

On its first possession of the second half, the Rebels got more points as Shene nailed a 23-yard field goal. The drive began at the UM 21 following a Northwestern punt and culminated with the field goal 12 plays later.

Northwestern State went 3 and out on its next possession and the Rebels moved in for more points after a Burton punt. On just the third play of the drive, quarterback Brent Schaeffer hit Mike Wallace for 35 yards and a touchdown. Shene was good and UM led 27-7 with 3:34 left in the third. That would wrap up the scoring on the day.

The 20-point win ties the largest margin of victory in the Orgeron era at Ole Miss. Last season the Rebels beat The Citadel, another I-AA foe, by the same score.

Ole Miss had 401 yards of total offense - 209 passing, 192 rushing. The Demons had 261 yards, 91 through the air and 170 on the ground. The Rebs had 24 first downs to Northwestern State's 11.

Green-Ellis had 116 yards rushing on 14 carries with one touchdown. The Rebel running back now has 866 yards rushing on the season.

Schaeffer was 13 of 23 for 175 yards and one touchdown. Seth Adams played late in the game and was 3 for 5 for 34 yards. Wallace led Rebel receivers with six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.

Senior Patrick Willis was the top UM tackler with 11 total stops, seven of them solos.

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