Too Few, Too Late

Saturday finished as an exemplary day for the Ole Miss offense. Unfortunately, it began one quarter too late.

Seth Adams threw for 305 yards and three scores and BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 226, but Missouri (2-0) used a second quarter air show to parlay a 28-point outburst into a 38-25 victory over the Rebels (1-1) in front of an announced attendance of 50, 897 inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Tiger quarterback Chase Daniel directed Mizzou into four second-quarter touchdowns and finished with 396 yards of total offense (66 rushing) while not yielding a turnover. He and running back Tony Temple, who rushed for 123 yards on 17 carries, executed a total of six scoring drives that put Ole Miss in an unrecoverable hole.

"Chase Daniel is a great player, and I give him credit," Coach Ed Orgeron said. "We made about three critical errors on defense, and it was suddenly 28-7.

"We were down at the half, but I am proud of the team for coming back. I thought overall in the second half we played a pretty good football game."

Facing a 35-7 deficit just two minutes into the third quarter, Adams and the Rebel offense found a groove, but the comeback was halted 13 points shy when the senior QB was picked off by Tiger defensive back Justin Garret with 24 seconds remaining.

"Obviously we started slow, but we came out and finished hard," Adams said. "Things were coming along and our guys were making plays. We were successful but came up short."

Ole Miss' first score materialized with 1:09 remaining in the first half on a 5-yard pass to Shay Hodge for his first career touchdown. That cut the Tiger lead to 14, but Mizzou answered before the half with a TD.

On the Rebels' first possession of the second half, Adams found speedster Mike Wallace for a 68-yard touchdown pass. Wallace finished with a career-high 136 yards on seven catches.

The Tigers added their final points of the night on a field goal on the ensuing possession and put the lead at 25 points with 9:40 remaining in the third period.

Ole Miss added six points on two more occasions with a three-yard fade into the corner of the end zone to Greg Hardy and a 2-yard plunge from Green-Ellis, but all other drives fell short. It was the third straight game, dating back to last season that Hardy has scored with a reception.

Adams' career-high in yardage on 23-of-41 passing was spread around to more than just Wallace. Marshay Green and Shay Hodge hauled in five passes apiece for 57 and 47 yards respectively.

Extra points were not converted on the final three Rebel scoring drives. A botched snap failed the first attempt, while Mizzou defensed two-point opportunities on the other occasions.

Defensively, only late was Ole Miss able to slow down Daniel. Strong safety Jamarca Sanford topped the team with 13 tackles, and Ashlee Palmer put together his second straight solid effort with 12 tackles of his own. The numbers are career highs for both Sanford and Palmer.

"Our head coach doesn't let us give up, and that is what happened in the second half," Palmer said. "We got some of our mistakes fixed and slowed them down by using our speed and the way we were covering."

Green-Ellis shook off a subpar game against Memphis with a career-high of his own on 33 carries.

The 534 yards of total offense was the most by Ole Miss under Orgeron and the most for the Rebels since Wyoming in 2004. It is also the first time since that game where the Rebels had a receiver and a rusher notch at least 100 yards along with a quarterback tossing for more than 300. The 1,093 yards of combined total offense is the most since facing Texas Tech in 2003.

Ole Miss returns to action at Vanderbilt next Saturday at 6 p.m.

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