Mississippi falls to No. 14 Texas, 66-31

Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze watched his defensive linemen get

manhandled, his linebackers look lost and his secondary get

embarrassed.

The first-year coach might have his offense headed the right

direction, but the defense has a way to go.

No. 14 Texas clobbered Ole Miss 66-31 on Saturday night at

Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, punishing the Rebels with a

straight-forward running game and explosive passing plays

downfield.

”Defensively we were bad,” first-year Ole Miss coach Hugh

Freeze said. ”We’ve got to go find out exactly why.”

By the end of the evening, the statistics were ugly. Texas

quarterback David Ash threw for a career-high 326 yards and four

touchdowns, receiver Marquise Goodwin accounted for 182 yards and

two touchdowns and the Longhorns gained 676 yards.

It was the most points Ole Miss has given up in a game since

1917.

”It’s not always that easy,” Ash said. ”But when you’re

playing physical and tough football, it’s amazing what you can

accomplish.”

Ash connected on touchdown passes of 46 and 55 yards while

completing 19 of 23 passes in a nearly flawless performance. Mike

Davis caught five passes for 124 yards and a touchdown.

”I was really excited about the number of explosive plays we

had tonight,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. ”After Marquise’s big

play, our offense really played well and played with a lot of

confidence the rest of the way.”

Texas (3-0) led 31-10 by halftime and 52-24 by the end of the

third quarter. The Longhorns could have scored more than 70 points,

but took a knee on their final two offensive plays rather than try

to punch in one last touchdown.

It was the only mercy shown toward the Ole Miss defense all

night.

Ole Miss (2-1) simply couldn’t match the Longhorns’ prolific

offense. Texas scored on seven straight possessions at one point,

including touchdowns on six of those drives.

Bo Wallace threw for 178 yards, one touchdown and three

interceptions for the Rebels. Donte Moncrief caught seven passes

for 144 yards and a touchdown.

It was obvious from the beginning that Texas was the bigger and

faster team. The Longhorns used their twin battering rams – running

backs Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown – to pound away at the Ole

Miss defensive line early in the game.

And when the Rebels finally made some progress stopping the

smash-mouth approach, Texas responded with a pair of big plays from

Goodwin. He rushed for a 69-yard touchdown on a sweep to give Texas

a 17-7 lead and then made a 47-yard catch on the next drive that

set up another touchdown and pushed the Longhorns ahead 24-10.

”We finally took advantage of opportunities that have been

there for two games,” Ash said.

Ole Miss managed to keep things close for a little while, thanks

to an 89-yard drive in the first quarter that ended with Randall

Mackey’s 3-yard touchdown run.

But the Rebels rarely gave Wallace much time to throw, and that

contributed to his three interceptions and generally inconsistent

night.

Texas didn’t waste any time putting the game away in the second

half, scoring on a 10-yard run by D.J. Monroe and a 5-yard run by

Malcolm Brown.

By the end of the third quarter, the Longhorns had an

insurmountable lead and the 61,797 in attendance started streaming

for the exits. It was the fourth-largest crowd in Vaught-Hemingway

history.

Those that stuck around watched Ole Miss freshman Jaylen Walton

return a kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown. It was a good moment on

an otherwise dismal night for the Rebels.

Freeze said his team showed some fight even during the hopeless

final minutes, but was clearly outclassed.

”They definitely played better than we did,” Freeze said.

”(Texas is) a good team – big, physical and fast.”

Ole Miss had some confidence coming into the game after winning

two straight against UTEP and Central Arkansas. And the Rebels had

some success against the Texas defense, gaining 399 total yards,

including 229 passing and 170 rushing.

Brown agreed that the Longhorns’ defense wasn’t perfect, but he

wasn’t going to get greedy.

”After every game you have concerns,” Brown said. ”But when

you win 66-31 you have to be pleased.”

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