Despite the best efforts and some strong defensive play from a young Idaho team, the Rebels of Ole Miss proved to be the superior, downing the Vandals 59-14 this past Saturday in Oxford.
The game started off fairly rough for Idaho as their first possession of the contest ended without the Vandals gaining a single positive yard of offense. Ole Miss would take advantage of the ensuing punt, taking five plays to cover 60 yards and ending with QB Bo Wallace finding Ja-Mes Logan on a 37-yard pass to give the Rebels a 7-0 lead. The offensive woes would continue through the rest of the quarter for Idaho as their next three possessions all ended with the ball being given back to the Rebels. At the same time, Ole Miss was able to score twice more with a 40-yard break-away run by RB Jaylen Walton and a 50-yard field goal by Andrew Ritter to take a 17-0 lead into the second quarter.
Idaho would manage to find the end-zone early in the second quarter after QB Taylor Davis ended a nine-play, 75 yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run to make it 17-7. The Vandals would use the score as a momentum point, forcing Ole Miss to punt the ball on their next possession on a drive that lost them 14 yards. Idaho was sadly unsuccessful on the following drive as Austin Rehkow missed a 27-yard field goal. The struggling for Ole Miss wouldn’t last much longer as the Rebels reasserted themselves with another touchdown later in the quarter to make it 24-7 going into the half.
Although the half didn’t start out well for either teams, Ole Miss took a bit of the momentum they got at the end of the first half and put it to good use. The Rebels would strike first in the second half as Wallace once again found Logan for a touchdown, this time from 65 yards out, to push the lead to 31-7. The Rebel defense would take it a step further in the third by forcing a fumble and returning it for a touchdown to make it 38-14.
Idaho responded to Ole Miss’s 21 unanswered points in a big way when Davis would WR Dezmon Epps on a 62-yard touchdown pass to bring the Vandals within 24 points. This was the last time the Vandals would see the end-zone while Ole Miss would go on to score three more touchdowns to win the game 59-14.
Davis would finish the game with 166 yards and one touchdown on 12 of 30 passing with one touchdown on the ground. For the Vandals, RB Kristoffer Olugbode led all backs with 33 yards rushing on what was an otherwise dismal 87 yard team effort on the ground. Epps led all Vandal receivers with 89 yards and a touchdown on five catches.
“Our guys fought hard most of the game,” said Coach Paul Petrino. “We still have a long way to go. We just have to keep getting better.”
The Vandals, who fall to 1-7 for the third straight season, will return home this coming Saturday to take on Texas State at the Kibbie Dome.