Role Reversal

Quarterback Seth Adams sputtered for the first time as a starting quarterback on Saturday. Fortunately, he picked the perfect time to do it.

The Ole Miss defense relieved four weeks of frustration and keyed a 24-0 shutout of Western Athletic Conference member Louisiana Tech (1-4) in front of an announced homecoming attendance of 45,138 inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

"We're glad to have a win, no doubt about that," Orgeron said. "We worked very hard this week on teaching some things on defense. We made some strides and did a better job of tackling."

It was the first blanking of an opponent since the Rebels (2-4) defeated Mississippi State 31-0 in 2003.

Linebacker Ashlee Palmer led the defense with 15 tackles, more than double the amount of any other Ole Miss defender. Jamie Phillips tossed in seven stops, while Greg Hardy added six tackles and a sack, Johnny Brown finished with six also.

"We just emphasized tackling and winning today," Palmer said. "We wanted a shutout and we got it. We worked a lot on tackling this week because it has been our downfall this year."

The Rebel defense, which has been victimized throughout the season, shut down the Bulldog attack from the onset and forced four fumbles, recovering two of them. The two turnovers were also a welcome change, considering Ole Miss had only forced one takeaway in the last four weeks combined.

The premium defensive effort was needed thanks to a poor showing by the Rebel offense. Adams completed 16-of-32 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns but also threw three interceptions. The run game also struggled, with only 65 yards rushing on 23 attempts. BenJarvus Green-Ellis finished with 54 yards on 14 carries, and Bruce Hall ran four times for 19 yards.

La. Tech outgained the Rebels and totaled 301 total yards (150 rushing, 151 passing) but was only able to break into the Rebels' red zone on one occasion.

"Frustrating is an understatement," Tech Coach Derrick Dooley said. "It wasn't just penalties. It was missed assignments and poor execution."

The Bulldogs' lone opportunity in scoring territory occurred with just more than two minutes remaining in the game and turned into points for Ole Miss. La. Tech drove to the Rebel 7-yard line before a Hardy sack caused fourth down and a 36-yard field goal attempt. On the try, Brandon Jenkins broke through and blocked the kick before Dustin Mouzon picked it up and raced 55 yards for the final touchdown.

The opening Rebel drive of the day appeared to foreshadow an offensive outing, but the ensuing possessions wouldn't come as easy.

Ole Miss recovered a Bulldog fumble at the 30 and scored two plays later on a pass play from Adams to Dexter McCluster from 28 yards out.

The Rebels' next score was a result of their best drive of the day that covered 66 yards in 14 plays during the second quarter before stalling at the Bulldog 10-yard line. Josh Shene punched a 27-yard field goal through to make it 10-0.

After a kick-catch interference penalty on La. Tech gave Ole Miss the ball at midfield halfway through the third quarter, Ole Miss covered 50 yards and capped it with a 24-yard strike from Adams to Shay Hodge. Hodge was hit at the goal line and was declared across the plane after an official review.

That would be the final score before Mouzon ran the kick back.

Mike Wallace led the Rebel receivers with 72 yards on five catches, and McCluster added three receptions totaling 48 yards.

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