Ole Miss Opens Freeze Era With 49-27 Win Over UCA

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Bo Wallace ran for 82 yards in addition to his 264 yards passing against Central Arkansas. (Photo by Joshua McCoy)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Bo Wallace ran for 82 yards in addition to his 264 yards passing against Central Arkansas. (Photo by Joshua McCoy)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Sept. 1, 2012

Stats |  Quotes |  Notes |  AP Photo Gallery  |  Photo Gallery  Complete Game Book | Highlights

OXFORD, Miss. - Sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace went 20-24 for 264 yards and two touchdowns, and the Ole Miss football team (1-0) opened the Hugh Freeze era by coming back from a six-point halftime deficit to defeat Central Arkansas 49-27 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss.

Playing in front of 50,554 fans on a gorgeous Saturday evening, the Ole Miss Rebels fought off a resilient Central Arkansas team by outscoring the Bears 35-7 in the second half.

"We're thrilled to get a win," Freeze said. "Wins are important, no matter who they're against or when they occur. We've been in this long enough to know that, and the joy that's in that locker room right now is special. The kids are having a blast in there, and it's been a long while since they've been able to rejoice so I'm very excited for them."

The Ole Miss offense clipped along at an efficient rate for much of the game against the UCA defense, punting just three times all game.

Ole Miss' opening possession of the season nearly resulted in a punt, but Freeze made the gutsy call and went for it on fourth-and-inches from Ole Miss' own 31-yard line. After a QB sneak from Wallace for the first down, the Rebels' offense shifted into overdrive.

On the very next play, with no passing options open, Wallace showed his mobility by scampering for 13 yards. An end-around to senior Randall Mackey followed for another first down before Wallace again showed his wheels with a quarterback keeper up the middle for 25 yards and a touchdown three plays later.

Wallace, a junior college transfer from Pulaski, Tenn., entered Saturday night's contest entrenched in a position battle with junior quarterback Barry Brunetti. After Wallace passed for 268 yards and rushed for a team-high 82 yards, including a touchdown, Freeze said Wallace would be the Rebels' starting quarterback against UTEP on Sept. 8, but declined to say the competition between the two was over.

"Barry did some real nice things too, but certainly Bo had a great game, and I've always known that he's a gamer," Freeze said.

Central Arkansas entered the halftime break with a 20-14 lead, but Ole Miss responded in the second half by outscoring the Bears 35-7, including 35-unanswered, and erasing all doubt in the game's outcome.

The Rebels began their second half scoring in a rather unconventional manner. After marching down the field to the UCA six-yard line, Wallace rushed up the middle and attempted to dive into the end zone but the ball was popped free. Flying through the air, the ball eventually landed in the back half of the endzone where junior wide receiver Ja-Mes Logan was on the spot and recovered the ball for the touchdown. After a Bryson Rose extra point, the lead was Ole Miss' once again, 21-20, and the Rebels would never look back.

"(Defensive coordinator) Dave (Wommack) made a lot of adjustments defensively," Freeze said. "We didn't make a lot offensively. It was just execution."

Ole Miss followed up its first touchdown drive of the second half with another one on the ensuing possession that was capped off by a 53-yard touchdown throw from Wallace to Donte Moncrief down the middle. Moncrief finished the game with eight receptions for a game-high 104 yards and a touchdown. It was the first 100-yard receiving game of Moncrief's bright, young career.

Ole Miss' 565 total yards of offense were its most since netting 578 yards against Fresno State two years ago. The Rebels' 330 passing yards are their most since throwing for 332 yards against Arkansas in 2009.

Saturday's game marked Ole Miss and Central Arkansas' first-ever meeting in football. The Rebels' next game Sept. 8 against UTEP is schedule for a 6:00 p.m. CT kickoff at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

"We have got a long way to go, and we look forward to getting back to work next week for UTEP," Freeze said. "I'm very, very happy for our young men and our coaches and the Rebel Nation that we can start the season 1-0."

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Freeze, Rebels Focused on Auburn Showdown

      Thursday, October 30, 2014 - Football

      Not only will Saturday's matchup between No. 4 Auburn and No. 7 Ole Miss feature the first-ever meeting of top-10 team in Oxford, but it will feature half of the top four of the College Football Playoff Top 25 rankings... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 9

      Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 9 -LSU (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 20-26, 2014)

      Monday, October 27, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 20-26, 2014Football- Ole Miss took its first loss of the season with a 10-7 defeat to No. 23 LSU in Baton Rouge.- The Rebels held LSU to 10 points and created four turnovers (two... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 26

      Sunday, October 26, 2014 - Athletics

      In this week's edition of Observations from the Best Seat in the House, Metz Camfield and I teamed up to give you our thoughts and opinions of the week that was in Ole Miss athletics. I was able to travel... read more

    • Rebels Fall Short in Death Valley

      Sunday, October 26, 2014 - Football

      BATON ROUGE, La. -- Ole Miss had its chances. The Ole Miss defense made seven points stand up for the better part of four quarters, forcing four turnovers and limiting LSU to just three points on its first three trips... 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