Wallace leads Mississippi past UTEP 28-10Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace (14) runs against UTEP during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, in Oxford, Miss. (AP Photo/The Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Bo Wallace threw for three touchdown passes and ran for another Saturday night as Mississippi defeated Texas-El Paso 28-10, improving to 2-0 for only the second time in 10 seasons.
Wallace finished 15 of 22 for 174 yards and rushed 11 times for 53 yards as the Rebels built a 21-0 halftime lead. The Rebels finished with 538 yards of total offense, including 113 yards by Jeff Scott on 13 carries.
UTEP (0-2), after failing to score an offensive touchdown in six quarters, rallied to pull within 21-10 in the third quarter. Nick Lamaison finished 21 of 33 for 213 yards but was sacked five times and the Miners never seriously threatened in the final quarter.
Ole Miss set the tone on its opening possession, as Wallace's first completion was a 55-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief. The stop-and-go sideline route was the longest play of the game as Moncrief finished with three catches for 72 yards.
UTEP couldn't capitalize on a pair of second-quarter scoring opportunities. Lamaison was stopped on fourth-and-goal at the 3-yard line by tackle Gilbert Pena. On the ensuring series, reserve quarterback Carson Meger was picked off in the end zone by Rebels safety Cody Prewett.
Ole Miss broke it open with consecutive touchdown drives of 97 and 84 yards to push its advantage to 21-0. Wallace capped the initial drive with a 51-yard touchdown strike to Jaylen Walton and finished the final scoring series with a 4-yard run with 28 seconds left.
The Miners broke through on the opening series of the second half. Lamaison connected with Jordan Leslie on a 26-yard touchdown pass to pull within 21-7 with 10:57 left in the third quarter.
Steven Valadez added a 37-yard field goal with 2:58 left in the third to cut the deficit to 21-10. Ole Miss sealed it two series later, as Wallace capped a 69-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to H. R. Greer.