OXFORD, Miss. - Missouri's highly rated defense turned out to be as good as advertised. Meanwhile, Mississippi's offense, a game after setting a school record in total yards, was colder than the weather in the red zone Saturday night. The No. 8 Tigers bent but didn't break on defense en route to a 24-10 win over the No. 24 Ole Miss Rebels in front of a crowd of 61,198 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Ole Miss squandered three scoring chances in the red zone, including having a touchdown called back after a review showed wide receiver Ja-Mes Logan stepped out of bounds at the Tigers' 7-yard line. That came with just over eight minutes left in the game. While the Rebels maintained possession, the next four plays resulted in negative six yards, giving the ball back to the Tigers, who were able to run out the remainder of the clock up two scores. The victory was the 10th for the Tigers, a year after they won just five, and their sixth in the Southeastern Conference a year after they went 2-6 in their transition from the Big 12. Saturday's win also kept the Tigers alive to win the SEC East title and play either No. 1 Alabama or No. 6 Auburn in the SEC Championship game on Dec. 7. Missouri quarterback James Franklin started the game 7-for-7 and finished 12-for-19 for 142 yards. Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace fought through a fever to complete 26 of his 42 passes for 244 yards. He didn't garner a TD pass and threw a costly interception in the first quarter. All three of Missouri's touchdowns came on the ground. Henry Josey led the Tigers with 95 yards and two touchdowns. Missouri's goal of reaching the Southeastern Conference title game remained intact thanks to an impressive first half against Mississippi. The No. 8 Tigers took a 17-3 lead against the No. 24 Rebels thanks to the play of quarterbacks James Franklin and Maty Mauk. Franklin completed 7-for-7 passes for 89 yards, while Mauk, who started in place of Franklin in the second half of the season, was 3-for-7 for 83 yards. Missouri jumped out a 10-0 lead midway through the second quarter before the Rebels finally got on the scoreboard with a 30-yard field goal from Andrew Ritter. The Tigers scored on their opening drive, an eight-play, 72-yard possession, with Henry Josey getting the touchdown on a four-yard run. Following Ritter's field goal, the Tigers went on a seven-play, 68-yard scoring drive that was capped by Marcus Murphy's three-yard touchdown run. Ole Miss totaled 211 yards on 45 plays, but was stopped twice inside the red zone by the Tigers. The Rebels' best drive, one that lasted 18 plays, resulted in no points when the Tigers blocked Ritter's field goal attempt. Ritter also attempted a 61-yard field goal right before halftime, but it fell well short. NOTES: Ole Miss was held to 39 yards rushing on 17 attempts in the first half. ... Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace completed 20-of-28 passes for 172 yards, but threw a costly interception in the first quarter. ... Missouri's vaunted defense didn't garner a sack in the first half, but the offense was a perfect 3-for-3 in the red zone.
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