Central Arkansas at Ole Miss

Mississippi 49, Cent. Arkansas 27


OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Bo Wallace threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns in his Football Bowl Subdivision debut as Mississippi rallied to beat Central Arkansas 49-27 on Saturday night.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound junior college transfer was nearly flawless in first-year coach Hugh Freeze's offense, completing 20 of 24 passes, though he did have one interception. Wallace also rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Despite the comfortable final margin, the game wasn't easy for the Rebels, who came into the season on a seven-game losing streak. Central Arkansas led 20-14 at halftime before Ole Miss scored 35 unanswered points in the second half.

Donte Moncrief led Ole Miss with eight receptions for 104 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown catch from Wallace in the third quarter that pushed the Rebels' lead to 28-20.

Central Arkansas quarterback Wynrick Smothers completed 25 of 32 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns. Jackie Hinton led the Bears with 52 yards on 13 carries.

Freeze came to Ole Miss promising a wide-open, up-tempo offense and the Rebels delivered early on a muggy night at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Wallace completed his first two passes and then rushed for a 25-yard touchdown on the first drive to give Ole Miss an early 7-0 lead.

But offense wasn't the problem for the Rebels in the first half. Defense was.

Central Arkansas, which plays at the Football Championship Subdivision level, moved the ball with stunning ease on the ground and in the air early in the game. Smothers - making just his second career start - completed 11 of 13 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown in the first half, and the Bears outgained the Rebels 237-231.

The difficult game brought back memories of one of the biggest disasters in Ole Miss football history - a 49-48 double overtime loss to Jacksonville State in 2010. That was the first loss to an FCS team in program history.

Thanks largely to Wallace, it's still the only one.

Wallace led the Rebels on touchdown drives of 74 and 75 yards in the third quarter to push Ole Miss ahead 28-20. The second touchdown was the 53-yard pass that hit Moncrief in stride - and the Rebels hope that connection will be announced often this season.

Wallace and junior Barry Brunetti entered the game in a tight, two-man quarterback race. Brunetti wasn't bad, completing 5 of 7 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown, but Wallace's quick throwing release and accuracy looked perfectly suited for Freeze's methodical passing offense.

Ole Miss finished with 565 total yards, including 330 through the air and 235 on the ground.

But the Rebels' defense wasn't nearly as impressive.

Linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche led the team with eight tackles, including three for a loss. Ole Miss had nine tackles for a loss as a team, but those big plays were offset by several blown coverages and missed tackles.

The Rebels won their season opener for the first time since 2009.


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Scoring Summary
MISSBo Wallace 25 yd run (Bryson Rose kick)
CARJacoby Walker 3 yd run (Eddie Camara kick)
MISSJaylen Walton 10 yd run (Bryson Rose kick)
CARTerence Bobo 2 yd run (missed kick)
CARAl Lasker 62 yd pass from Wynrick Smothers (Eddie Camara kick)
MISSJa-Mes Logan 0 yd run (Bryson Rose kick)
MISSDonte Moncrief 53 yd pass from Bo Wallace (Bryson Rose kick)
MISSJamal Mosley 11 yd pass from Barry Brunetti (Bryson Rose kick)
MISSPhilander Moore 25 yd pass from Bo Wallace (Bryson Rose kick)
MISSBarry Brunetti 11 yd run (Bryson Rose kick)
CARDezmin Lewis 15 yd pass from Wynrick Smothers (Eddie Camara kick)
Team Stats
First Downs1831
Third Down Efficiency7-156-11
Fourth Down Efficiency0-01-1
Plays-Net Yards67-34778-565
Passing Yds247330
Kick Return Yds6149
Punt Return Yds020
Time of Poss.32:1427:46
Individual Stats
CAR: Jackie Hinton 13-52, Terence Bobo 6-17, Wynrick Smothers 12-16, Anthony Blackmon 3-12, Jacoby Walker 1-3
MISS: Bo Wallace 13-82, Barry Brunetti 8-54, Randall Mackey 15-50, I'Tavius Mathers 4-20, Maikhail Miller 2-15, Jaylen Walton 2-9, Devin Thomas 1-3, Nicholas Parker 2-2, Ja-Mes Logan 0-0
CAR: Wynrick Smothers 25-32-247-1
MISS: Bo Wallace 20-24-264-1, Barry Brunetti 5-7-66-0
CAR: Dezmin Lewis 6-41, Brett Soft 4-43, Al Lasker 3-89, Terence Bobo 3-22, Jesse Grandy 3-5, Dominique Croom 2-21, Jackie Hinton 2-18, Chase Dixon 1-5, Anthony Blackmon 1-3
MISS: Donte Moncrief 8-104, Korvic Neat 6-75, Jamal Mosley 4-79, Ferbia Allen 2-25, Randall Mackey 2-6, Philander Moore 1-25, Vince Sanders 1-13, Ja-Mes Logan 1-3

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