Bowl Champs: Ole Miss Tops Pitt 38-17

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze led the Rebels to a 7-6 record and a BBVA Compass Bowl victory in his first year.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze led the Rebels to a 7-6 record and a BBVA Compass Bowl victory in his first year.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Jan. 5, 2013

Stats |  Quotes |  Notes

Finished In-Game Live Blog | Complete Game Book | Photo Gallery

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - It was worth the wait.

Six weeks after closing out its regular season by defeating No. 24 Mississippi State to bring home the Egg Bowl trophy for the first time since 2008, Ole Miss (7-6) took down Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., 38-17. It was Ole Miss' first bowl appearance since topping Oklahoma State 21-7 in the 2010 AT&T Cotton Bowl. The 38 points scored by Ole Miss is a BBVA Compass Bowl record.

"I try to not make too much out of a single game either way, but it's no question that this advances our journey a bit and the process we're on to develop in the SEC West year in and year out," Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said.

Ole Miss has now won nine of its last 10 bowl games and each of its last five. The win moves Ole Miss' bowl record to 22-12. The Rebels' 22 bowl victories are tied for the 11th most in the country with Auburn and LSU.

Ole Miss sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace, the BBVA Compass Bowl MVP, finished the game 22-32 passing for 151 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The Rebels spread the ball around through the air with three receivers catching five or more passes. Freshman running back I'Tavius Mathers led Ole Miss on the ground with six carries for 96 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, the longest in BBVA Compass Bowl history.

On the defensive side of the ball, junior middle linebacker Mike Marry led Ole Miss with seven tackles, four tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

Playing in front of a predominantly red-clad BBVA Compass Bowl record crowd of 59,135, Ole Miss got off to a quick start. Rebels cornerback Senquez Golson dropped back into coverage and picked off Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri's pass and returned it to the Panthers' 23-yard line. The interception was Golson's third of the season, with all three coming in the last three games.

Following Golson's interception, which was just the third against Sunseri this season, Wallace capped off a five-play, 23-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Ja-Mes Logan to give the Rebels a 7-0 lead.
 
Wallace later completed his eighth consecutive pass to start the game with a 27-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Randall Mackey, who made a gorgeous diving catch in the end zone to give the Rebels a 14-0 lead. Mackey's touchdown reception was the first of his career.

Following a Pitt touchdown, Wallace completed his third touchdown pass of the game with an 18-yard strike to sophomore wide receiver Vince Sanders. The touchdown pass, Wallace's 22nd of the year, moved him up to fourth on the Ole Miss single-season list, surpassing Eli Manning's 2002 total of 21.

The Rebels closed out the first half with a 31-yard field goal from Bryon Rose that gave the Rebels a 24-10 lead going into the break. Ole Miss' 24 first-half points tied the BBVA Compass Bowl record for most points scored in a half.

Ole Miss took a 21-point lead with 21 seconds remaining in the third quarter on a one-yard quarterback sneak from Barry Brunetti that put the game on ice. The Rebels' defense gave up just four yards in the entire third quarter, and did not allow a single first down.

Following the game, Freeze was doused with yellow Gatorade and spoke about how far Ole Miss came during the season after being picked to finish last in the Southeastern Conference in the preseason prognostications.

"Our guys really chose to buy in and decided we can determine who we want to be. We don't have to have someone else determine that," Freeze said. "I didn't know if we could (go to a bowl) or not, but I knew we could attack each week as an individual challenge and game. I was very clear with our goal in year one, that was to play with passion of football for our great university. I have no question, it was not always the prettiest thing, but I don't doubt one single game that we didn't give passion for our university."

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • VIDEO: Hugh Freeze LSU Postgame Presser

      Saturday, October 25, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Three and Out: Ole Miss-LSU

      Saturday, October 25, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss travels to No. 23 LSU for an SEC West Showdown on Saturday. Stopping The Run Not just this year, but throughout head coach Les Miles' tenure, LSU's running game has been... read more

    • What They're Saying: Ole Miss-LSU Pregame

      Friday, October 24, 2014 - Football

      Ahead of a rivalry renewed on a national stage, complete with a visit of ESPN's "College GameDay" and the mystique of a Saturday night game in Death Valley, here's link roundup of videos and stories from local and national media... read more

    • Extra Emphasis on Special Teams Play

      Thursday, October 23, 2014 - Football

      Extra Emphasis on Special Teams Play Through the years, special teams play has provided a winning edge in the Ole Miss-LSU rivalry, and and you don't have to go all the way back to Billy Cannon's 1959 Halloween run. In... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 8

      Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 8 - Tennessee (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Freeze, Miles Talk Ole Miss-LSU Rivalry

      Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and LSU head coach Les Miles on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Baton Rouge.For the full SEC teleconference, go here.Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at 1:06:12... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 13-19)

      Monday, October 20, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 19

      Sunday, October 19, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more

    • Winning Formula for Rebels is No Secret

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Tennessee Motivational

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Tennessee Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Tennessee

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more

    • SEC Nation Talent Talks Ole Miss on Visit

      Friday, October 17, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from today's media opportunity with SEC Nation host Joe Tessitore and analysts Tim Tebow and Marcus Spears discussing the show's visit to Oxford for the SEC matchup between No. 3 Ole Miss and Tennessee. Tessitore recalls calling the first college... read more

    • What They're Saying: Midseason Honors

      Friday, October 17, 2014 - Football

      At the halfway point of the regular season, Ole Miss is 6-0 for the first time since 1962, when it went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. It's No. 3 ranking in the national polls is its... read more

    • Rebels Slow Offensive Tempo

      Thursday, October 16, 2014 - Football

      With a dominant defense that ranks among the nation's leaders in most statistical categories, head coach Hugh Freeze acknowledged he has changed his offensive philosophy and play-calling to limit negative plays and quick possessions. Ole Miss averaged the second-most offensive... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 7

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 7 - Texas A&M (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more