"From the very first moment and first series we executed," said Ole Miss first-year head coach Houston Nutt. "I'm proud of our defense. We never felt threatened all day long. For the past four or five weeks, we have put points on the board and pressure on the defenses to keep them off balance. It's been a great season and now we are anxiously waiting to see what happens."
The Rebels, now 8-4 overall and 5-3 in Southeastern Conference play, took the opening kickoff and drove 76 yards in just five plays with a 21-yard pass from Jevan Snead to Shay Hodge the tone-setter and a Dexter McCluster rush of 36 yards the capper. Joshua Shene connected on the extra point, and the race was on - a race that by the end of that opening quarter Ole Miss was clearly going to win.
After the Rebel defense held State (4-8, 2-6) on three plays and a punt, Ole Miss moved in for more points, this time via a Shene field goal of 43 yards. The Rebs moved from their 48 to the MSU 25 and on fourth and three Shene was true with 8:08 to go in the first.
On MSU's next drive Bulldog quarterback Tyson Lee was intercepted on the second play by Ashlee Palmer. The Rebels moved in six plays from their own 46 to the MSU 10 where Snead hit Hodge for a touchdown. Shene connected and with 4:31 to go in the first, it was 17-0. The rout was not only on but would continue in a big way.
State's second quarterback of the day, Wesley Carroll, was intercepted by a most unlikely Rebel on the next Bulldog series as Jerrell Powe pulled one out of the air after Greg Hardy hit Carroll to give the Rebs possession at the MSU 35. In four plays UM had another score on the board, this one a 17-yard pass from Snead to Mike Wallace. Shene was good again, and it was 24-0 with 36 seconds to go in the first.
By this point, the Rebels had plenty and would settle for a touchdown in each of the next three quarters. After several exhanges of possessions, the Rebels struck for a big one for its next points. After a Blake McAdams punt put Ole Miss at its own 18, Snead hooked up with Wallace from some long-distance magic. The sophomore quarterback hit a streaking Wallace for a 72-yard scoring play with 42 secoonds to go before halftime. Shene was good again, and the Rebels had a most comfortable 31-0 lead at intermission.
Statistically the domination was obvious in the first half. Ole Miss held MSU to seven yards rushing and 42 total yards while the Rebels had amassed 324 yards.
Snead was 10-of-13 passing and was 9-for-9 before throwing an interception. That pick was more than offset by the three TDs he had thrown.
Ole Miss' third-period touchdown came after the Rebels pinned State back on its own 18 on the opening possession of the second half. McAdams punted 34 yards and the Rebs began at the State 39 after a Marshay Green return of 13 yards. Slowly, methodically the Rebels moved in for another score as on fourth and goal at the 1-yard line, Snead hit Bradley Sowell, now in the tight end post, just over the goalline. Shene made it 38-0 with 7:09 left in the third.
The final points of the contest came on another short-field drive for the Rebs after a McAdams punt. From the Bulldog 42 with backup Billy Tapp at the controls, Ole Miss was in the end zone in three plays, the final one a 24-yard rush by Brandon Bolden. Shene connected and with 12:18 to go, the scoring for the day was done.
The Rebels held State to a minus 5 yards total offense in the second half on 26 offensive snaps.
For the game Ole Miss had a school-record 11 sacks. The Rebels ended up with 461 total yards.
Ole Miss had 22 first downs and MSU 8. Ole Miss had 220 yards rushing and held State to minus 51 yards rushing, a school record in that department for Ole Miss.
Snead was 14-of-19 with four touchdowns for 213 yards and one interception. Hodge had seven catches for 89 yards and one touchdown, while Wallace caught four passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
McCluster had nine carries for 68 yards and a touchdown, while Bolden had five rushes for 40 yards and a touchdown. Eason had 11 carries for 39 yards.
For MSU, Lee, Carroll, and third quarterback Chris Relf were a combined 10-for-30 for 88 yards with two interceptions.
The Rebels held State's top back, Anthony Dixon, to 17 yards on eight carries.
Patrick Trahan had seven total tackles (3 solos) to lead the Rebs including two tackles for losses, while Peria Jerry had five tackles (3), four of them for losses.
Dominic Douglas led MSU in tackles with 16, while Karlin Brown had 11.
OM Spirit Top Stories
Spring Football: Photo Gallery XIOle Miss returned to the practice fields off of spring break with a week of full-pad practices. Now the Rebels are set to usher in week No. 4. Photos courtesy of Petre Thomas.
OM SpiritYesterday at 10:00 PM
Marquee MarquisThere's no doubt senior Rebel DE Marquis Haynes is a marquee player for the Ole Miss defense and it was important for the team that he decided to come back for his senior year…
OM SpiritYesterday at 10:00 PM
UA Dallas: Defensive PreviewScout identifies some of the top-rated defensive prospects expected to compete at Sunday's Under Armour Dalllas regional camp.
Scout FootballYesterday at 2:50 PM
UA Dallas: Offensive PreviewScout previews some of the top 2018 offensive prospects expected to compete at Sunday's UnderArmour Dallas camp at Cedar Hill High School.
Scout FootballYesterday at 1:55 PM
Mississippians in New Orleans Nike RegionalsSeveral of Mississippi's top prospects attended the Nike Regional that was held in New Orleans last week. The results are in.
OM SpiritYesterday at 11:31 AM