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Ole Miss 44, Texas 23

The SportsXchange

AUSTIN, Texas -- No. 25 Ole Miss showed Texas that changing defensive coordinators in the middle of the season doesn't change everything.

The Rebels used a dominating second-half performance to turn a halftime deficit into a 44-23 victory on Saturday night at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Texas, which replaced defensive coordinator Manny Diaz with Greg Robinson this week after an embarrassing 41-21 loss to BYU, was hoping for the start of a different era.

Ole Miss (3-0) made sure Texas' new era began like the old one ended.

Trailing 23-17 at halftime, the Rebels outscored the Longhorns 27-0 in the final two quarters.

The dominance began with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown run by quarterback Bo Wallace, who had 234 total yards of offense. That gave Ole Miss a 24-23 lead.

After a three-and-out, the Rebels proceeded to go on another methodical drive down the field. This one lasted 11 plays and ended with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Wallace to Evan Engram.

It took four more plays for Ole Miss to increase its lead.

That's when Texas (1-2), after another three-and-out, decided to punt to Jeff Scott. Scott, who also piled up 163 yards rushing, slipped past a couple of would-be tacklers and turned on the speed down the sideline for a 73-yard return and a 37-23 lead.

It looked like it was going to be easy for Ole Miss from the start.

The Rebels jumped out to a 14-0 lead by running over and around the Texas defense, averaging 8.3 yards per play on their first two possessions.

Scott rumbled into the end zone from 5 yards for the Rebels' first touchdown. On Ole Miss' second drive, Wallace hit a wide-open Donte Moncrief from 18-yards for a 14-0 lead with the game was less than seven minutes old.

After giving up 40 points and a school-record 550 rushing yards a week ago in a loss to BYU, many were thinking the Longhorns would fold facing a double-digit deficit.

They did the opposite.

Texas responded with 23 straight points thanks to a combination of screen passes and running back Johnathan Gray.

Quarterback Case McCoy, filling in for injured David Ash, led the Longhorns on a nine-play, 78-yard drive that ended with a 13-yard bubble pass to Mike Davis to cut the Ole Miss lead to 14-7.

That turned the momentum in Texas' favor.

An Anthony Fera field goal pulled the Longhorns to four, and after another stop, Gray went to work.

The sophomore running back ran for 82 yards in the first half, including an 8-yard touchdown that gave Texas a 17-14 lead.

Two more field goals helped the Longhorns head to the locker room with a 23-17 halftime lead.

Both came out of their respective locker rooms as different teams.

The Rebels adjusted. The Longhorns didn't.

NOTES: Ash didn't just miss the game, he wasn't even at the stadium. Texas doctors told the quarterback to stay home to help him recover from a head injury. ... When Texas forced a three-and-out with 2:01 left in the first quarter, it was just the third time the Longhorns had prevented their opponent from scoring in their past 17 possessions. ... Fera made three field goals in the first half after not having one attempt through the first two games of the season.
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