Sophomore wide receiver Donte Moncrief now has a touchdown reception in five of the Rebels' six games this season.
Oct. 6, 2012
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OXFORD, Miss. – On a chilly Saturday evening at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, the Ole Miss Rebels fell in heartbreaking fashion, 30-27, to Texas A&M. Ole Miss (3-3, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) led by 10 points in the fourth quarter against the Aggies, but couldn’t hold on to the victory.
“Obviously, I’m very disappointed,” Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. “The kids are hurting. It’s a game we easily could have won. We’ve been looking at a lot of different things. We got into the fourth quarter with a very good football team. We had a chance to win it and put it away, but we didn’t get a few breaks and we didn’t make a few plays. We made some tough decisions, and I just hate that our kids are hurting so bad when we had a great chance to win the football game.”
Leading by four points with just over three minutes remaining in the game, Ole Miss had possession of the ball and faced a fourth-and-1 opportunity from its own 39-yard line. Already two-for-two for the game, the Rebels went for it again, but junior running back Jeff Scott was stopped at the line of scrimmage and Texas A&M (4-1, 2-1 SEC) took over on downs.
The Aggies wasted little time with the ball, converting on their fourth play from scrimmage with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Johnny Manziel to Ryan Swope in the back left corner of the endzone.
“We haven’t won an SEC game in however long it’s been, but I was just going for it. Period,” Freeze said. “Everybody can sit back and second guess, but I was giving our kids what I thought was the best chance to win the game. Obviously, I wish I would have called something different now, but we would go for it again.”
After the Aggies got on the board with a 59-yard touchdown run in the game’s opening 49 seconds, Ole Miss responded with a 15-play, 70-yard drive capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Scott to tie it at 7-7. The touchdown was the fifth for Scott in the last four games.
With 4:08 on the clock in the first quarter and the Rebels inheriting possession on their own 18-yard line and the score knotted at 10, Wallace and Co. went to work in a hurry. The sophomore signal caller from Pulaski, Tenn., found senior wide receiver Randall Mackey streaking down the sideline for a 68-yard completion. On the very next play, Wallace called his own number and rushed up the middle for a 14-yard touchdown to give Ole Miss a 17-10 lead.
Texas A&M closed out the first half with a 37-yard interception return by Steven Jenkins to tie the score at 17-17 as they went into the break.
Ole Miss took a 27-17 lead, its largest of the game, when Wallace hit sophomore wide receiver Donte Moncrief for a four-yard touchdown. Ole Miss began the drive with optimal field position on the Texas A&M five-yard line after the Aggies had a muffed punt return that was recovered by the Rebels. Moncrief has a touchdown reception in five of the Rebels’ six games this season.
After nearly getting tackled for a safety, Texas A&M regrouped to drive 99 yards for a touchdown, but after missing the extra point attempt, Ole Miss still led by four points at 27-23.
Ole Miss drove the ball 23 yards on the ensuing possession before facing fourth-and-1 from its own 39-yard line. The Rebels chose to go for it on fourth down, but were stopped at the line of scrimmage and gave up possession on downs to Texas A&M with 3:02 on the clock.
Wallace finished with a season-high 305 yards passing for Ole Miss. The Ole Miss defense caused a season-high six turnovers on the evening against a Texas A&M offense that had only turned the ball over once all season. The Rebels offense finished with 464 total yards. It was the fourth time in six games that the Ole Miss offense has accumulated at least 450 yards.
Ole Miss will play again at home on Saturday, Oct. 13, as it celebrates Homecoming against Auburn at 11:21 a.m. CT.
“You’ll stay up all night and think of everything you could have done differently to affect the outcome,” Freeze said. “But tomorrow we’ll come back and we’ll get past it and move on to Auburn.”