OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI/Ole Miss Athletics) –Ole Miss (3-3, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) led by 10 points in the fourth quarter against Texas A&M, but couldn’t hold on to the victory, falling at home Saturday night against the Aggies, 30-27.
After the Aggies (4-1, 2-1 SEC) got on the board with a 59-yard touchdown run by Ben Malena in the game’s opening 49 seconds, Ole Miss responded with a 15-play, 70-yard drive capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Jeff Scott. The Rebels faced 4th-and-1 from their own 39-yard line early in the drive, but Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze kept the Ole Miss offense on the field and the Rebels converted with a run up the middle by quarterback Bo Wallace.
With 4:08 on the clock in the first quarter and the Rebels inheriting possession on their own 18-yard line and the score knotted at 10, Wallace and Co. went to work in a hurry. The sophomore signal caller from Pulaski, Tenn., found senior wide receiver Randall Mackey streaking down the sideline for a 68-yard completion. On the very next play, Wallace called his own number and rushed up the middle for a 14-yard touchdown to give Ole Miss a 17-10 lead.
Texas A&M closed out the first half with a 37-yard interception return by Steven Jenkins to tie the score at 17-17 as they went into the break.
Ole Miss took a 27-17 lead, its largest of the game, when Wallace hit sophomore wide receiver Donte Moncrief for a four-yard touchdown. Ole Miss began the drive with optimal field position on the Texas A&M five-yard line after the Aggies had a muffed punt return that was recovered by the Rebels. Moncrief has a touchdown reception in each of the Rebels’ five games this season.
After nearly getting tackled for a safety, Texas A&M regrouped to drive 99 yards for a touchdown, but after missing the extra point attempt, Ole Miss still led by four points at 27-23.
Texas A&M gained possession again at the Ole Miss 39-yard line after the Rebels failed to convert on a 4th-and-1 opportunity. The Aggies converted on their third play from scrimmage with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Johnny Manziel to Ryan Swope in the back left corner of the endzone.
The Rebels had an opportunity to tie or take the lead later in the fourth quarter, but Bo Wallace was intercepted by Toney Hurd Jr. with just over one minute left to seal the game. Ole Miss had 1st-and-10 from the Texas A&M 32 when Wallace was picked off.
Wallace finished with 305 yards passing for Ole Miss, and Scott had 108 yards rushing. The Ole Miss defense caused six turnovers on the evening, and the offense scored on each of its four red zone chances.