Ole Miss beats Georgia Tech 25-17 at Music City
Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze spent 13 years coaching high
school football in Tennessee so he feels very comfortable in the
And his Rebels made sure he started and finished this season
with victories in Music City.
Bo Wallace ran for two touchdowns and threw for another score,
and Ole Miss beat Georgia Tech 25-17 Monday in the Music City Bowl.
The Rebels opened the season edging Vanderbilt 39-35 a couple miles
away, and they’ll be back here in September to play the Commodores
”It feels like it’s kind of a second home to me also,” Freeze
said. ”Anytime we can be in this area we enjoy it.”
Freeze said he also needs to get into Tennessee for some more
recruiting. Wallace already is a native of Pulaski, Tenn., and Ole
Miss’ top rusher this season I’Tavius Mathers is from Murfreesboro,
Wallace made up for his three turnovers in the Egg Bowl overtime
loss by throwing for 256 yards and running for 86 more, giving him
the school record for total yards in a season and most completions
in a season, topping Eli Manning for both.
”I knew I needed to have a good game,” said Wallace, also
chosen the bowl’s MVP. ”At the same time, I thought all day
sometimes I try to make too many plays. I think all day I was
thinking, `Don’t try to make too many plays. Just make the plays
that are there.’ That’s what I did.”
Ole Miss (8-5) now has won six straight bowls and 10 of the last
11 in making up for the lone loss in that stretch in the 2000 Music
City Bowl. The Rebels came in tied with Auburn and Florida State,
who play Jan. 6 for the BCS national championship, for the longest
bowl winning streak.
”I didn’t want to screw that up today,” Freeze said. ”So I’m
glad to win two bowl games in our first two years. With what we
inherited, I think says we’re heading in the right direction for
sure. It is a very positive step.”
Georgia Tech (7-6) has lost eight of nine bowls. The Yellow
Jackets scored 10 points in the fourth quarter as they tried to
rally before a safety with 4:22 left ended their last chance.
”We didn’t play well enough in any facet to win the game,”
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. ”We were fortunate that we
had a chance at the end to come back and win.”
Yellow Jackets lineman Adam Gotsis, who also blocked an extra
point, knocked down a 32-yard field goal attempt by Andrew Ritter
giving Georgia Tech the ball at their own 20 with 4:36 left
But Georgia Tech lost 5 yards on the first play, then Vad Lee
flipped the ball to Corey Dennis on a reverse with the receiver
apparently looking to throw when he fumbled under pressure. Right
tackle Ray Beno covered up the ball in the end zone for the safety.
Freeze said he thought it might have been a touchdown but was glad
to get some points. Johnson wishes his player had just tried to run
for what he could get.
”It’s disappointing,” Johnson said.
Ole Miss finally punted back to Georgia Tech with 37 seconds
left. Senquez Golson intercepted Lee on the next play to seal the
victory for the Rebels in the bowl, sponsored by Franklin American
With a month to prepare, Ole Miss shut down the nation’s
fourth-best rushing offense. Georgia Tech came in averaging 311.7
yards per game, and the Rebels smothered the Yellow Jackets,
holding them to just 151 yards on the ground. Ole Miss held the
ball for nearly 33 minutes and had a 477-298 edge in total
”That’s why it’s so difficult to play them probably in a short
amount of time,” Freeze said. ”You’re going to be forced to play
some of your base stuff. We were able to get some different stuff
Ole Miss had a 23-7 lead when the Yellow Jackets scored 10
Harrison Butker capped a 64-yard drive with a 38-yard field goal
in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, then D.J. White
intercepted a Wallace pass intended for Donte Moncrief. On the next
play, Lee found Darren Waller for a 72-yard catch-and-run for a TD
with 13:25 left.
Wallace scored on runs of 17 and 10 yards. He also connected
with Moncrief on a 28-yard TD catch where the receiver went down
the right sideline and then held the ball out at the pylon for the
score in the second quarter.