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(Thursday, August 29)
Final Score: Ole Miss 39, Vanderbilt 35
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Jeff Scott's 75-yard touchdown run with just over one minute remaining in regulation provided the Ole Miss Rebels with a thrilling 39-35 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores in the season opener for both SEC schools.
Scott finished the game with 138 yards on 12 rushing attempts for the Rebels (1-0, 1-0 SEC) as they generated a total of 489 yards of offense on the night. Quarterback Bo Wallace converted 31-of-47 for 283 yards, was sacked four times but also registered 48 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
The Commodores (0-1, 0-1) were paced by Austyn Carta-Samuels who connected on 21-of-36 for and even 300 yards and two TDs, but he was also picked off twice in the setback. Wesley Tate carried the ball 18 times, resulting in a modest 43 yards, but still two rushing scores.
Ole Miss got out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, thanks to a 30-yard field goal by Andrew Ritter and a one-yard touchdown run from Barry Brunetti.
However, the second quarter belonged to Vanderbilt as the host posted 21 unanswered points in the period, beginning with a two-yard TD run by Tate. Carta-Samuels then hooked up with Jordan Matthews on a 55-yard scoring strike, while Jerron Seymour carried the ball over the goal line from three yards out to give the Commodores a 21-10 lead at the break.
The Rebels produced a pair of three-yard TD runs in the third quarter by Brunetti and Wallace, but in between Vandy had one such run of its own by Tate. A successful two-point conversion following the Wallace score kept Ole Miss within three points, 28-25, heading into the fourth.
A one-yard TD run by Wallace at the 9:05 mark of the final period lifted the Rebels to a 32-28 advantage, a lead that appeared to be relatively safe with under two minutes remaining.
Vanderbilt refused to go away though, converting a crucial 4th-and-18 play, followed by a 34-yard TD pass from Carta-Samuels to Steven Scheu along the sideline with 1:30 left to play.
Down by three points, Ole Miss wasted little time in responding, as Scott took a handoff, ran out to the left sideline and then bounced back into the middle of the field which was wide open, galloping 75 yards to the end zone for what proved to be the game-winning score.
Vandy brought the ensuing kickoff almost to midfield, aided by a facemask penalty. Unfortunately, on third down a tipped ball over the middle was intercepted by Cody Prewitt, preserving the narrow win for the visitors.
Ole Miss, which placed first in the SEC and fourth in the nation last season with an average of close to eight tackles for loss per outing, logged five such stops and a single sack in the meeting.
Vanderbilt, which entered Thursday's game on a seven-game win streak (tied for fourth-longest in the nation), won last year's meeting by a narrow 27-26 final on the road, the victory serving to make the Commodores bowl eligible for the second straight season.
08/30 01:51:08 ET
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