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Ole Miss blasts Louisiana-Lafayette 56-15

Ole Miss blasts Louisiana-Lafayette 56-15

After opening the season with games in Atlanta and Nashville, the Ole Miss Rebels finally had the chance to play at venerable Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Rebels gave the home crowd many reasons to cheer, as Ole Miss blasted Louisiana-Lafayette 56-15 in the home opener. Ole Miss was efficient and outstanding on offense, while the defense was dominating and opportunistic all day.

Fast Start

On its second possession of the game, Ole Miss went 73 yards in just 3 plays to get on the scoreboard first, with I’Tavius Mathers running the ball 56 yards for the touchdown. After Trae Elston forced and recovered a Ragin’ Cajuns fumble on the ensuing drive, the Rebels marched 94 yards in 7 plays to grab a 14-0 lead. Bo Wallace connected on all 6 of his pass attempts on the drive, including the 40 yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Walton. Wallace finished the first quarter going 10 for 10 passing for 178 yards, and the Rebels amassed 249 total yards in the opening frame.

Ole Miss continued its fast start in the second quarter when Wallace connected with Vince Sanders for a 14 yard touchdown pass just over 2 minutes into the quarter. Following an interception by Senquez Golson, the Rebels needed just 5 plays to go 48 yards, as Sanders hauled in a 24 yard touchdown pass from Wallace to give the Rebels a commanding 28-0 lead. The Ragin’ Cajuns added a pair of field goals before halftime, but Ole Miss was firmly in control with a 28-6 lead at the intermission.

By halftime, the Rebel offense had racked up 361 total yards. Wallace completed 20 of 24 passes in the first half for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns. Sanders caught 8 of those passes for 125 yards and 2 scores. Meanwhile, the Rebel defense allowed the Ragin’ Cajuns only 78 yards passing and created 2 turnovers in the first half. As well, the Landsharks held Louisiana-Lafayette to just 2 field goals, despite the Ragin’ Cajuns having 3 red-zone possessions in the half. Simply put, the Landsharks rose to the occasion and stood their ground.

Putting the game out of reach

The Rebels put the game out of reach in the early part of the third quarter with more superb play on both sides of the ball. On the opening series of the second half, Mike Hilton intercepted a Ragin’ Cajuns pass to give the Rebels the ball. It took the Rebels just over 3 minutes to march 43 yards, with Wallace finding Cody Core for a 13 yard touchdown strike to put the Rebels ahead 35-6. It was Core’s fourth touchdown catch of the year. With the game in hand, Wallace’s stellar day was complete. He finished the afternoon completing 23 of 28 passes for 316 yards and 4 touchdowns.

On the ensuing drive, Senquez Golson intercepted his second pass of the game, returning this pick 59 yards for a touchdown to extend the Ole Miss lead to 42-6. Following a three-and-out by Louisiana-Lafayette, the Rebels needed just one play to add to the lead. Jaylen Walton took a hand off from Ryan Buchanan and went 71 yards to extend the lead to 49-6. The Ragin’ Cajuns scored their only touchdown of the day late in the third quarter, which ended with the Rebels leading 49-13.

Finishing touches

Coach Hugh Freeze was able to get many of his reserves on the field for significant minutes in the fourth quarter. The Rebels put the finishing touches on this game by driving 79 yards in 17 plays, capped by Jeremy Liggins rushing 2 yards for his first touchdown as a Rebel.

The Rebel offense was efficient and balanced all afternoon. Ole Miss had 35 rushes for 214 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Rebels passed the ball 36 times for 340 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Rebels scored 3 touchdowns in 3 red-zone chances.

The Rebel defense was stingy and suffocating on Saturday, limiting the Ragin’ Cajuns to 129 yards passing and creating 4 turnovers. The Landsharks have allowed only 2 touchdowns on the season and lead the SEC with 8 interceptions.

Looking ahead

Ole Miss finds itself ranked No. 10 in the AP Top 25 poll this week. The Rebels have the week off before finishing the September part of the schedule with a game versus Memphis at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

About The Author

Jeff Tetrick

Jeff is a college sports fanatic who was able to recognize many D1 team logos by kindergarten. Growing up, Jeff played football, baseball, basketball, and ran track/cross country. Jeff’s love for college sports was expanded while running track/cross country at Indiana University, where he earned a General Education degree and attended every sporting event possible when not running for the Hoosiers. A proud parent and husband, Jeff resides in Oxford. His wife is an Ole Miss graduate, and Jeff has a year of post-graduate studies at Ole Miss under his belt. Jeff and his family can be found at just about any Ole Miss sporting event throughout the year. Jeff follows the idea of God, Family/Friends, and Football as a way of life. Writing about Ole Miss sports plays to Jeff’s love affair with collegiate athletics perfectly!

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