Scores

Final

Cent Arkansas 27

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Ole Miss 49

(1-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: GamePlan

7:00 PM ET, September 1, 2012

Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS

1 2 3 4 T
CARK 7 13 0 727
MISS 14 0 14 2149

Top Performers

Passing: B. Wallace (MISS) - 264 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: B. Wallace (MISS) - 13 CAR, 82 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Moncrief (MISS) - 8 REC, 104 YDS, 1 TD

Bo Wallace rallies Ole Miss past Central Arkansas

Associated Press

OXFORD, Miss. -- 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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Team Stat Comparison

 
CARK
MISS
1st Downs1831
Total Yards347565
Passing247330
Rushing100235
Penalties3-253-18
3rd Down Conversions7-156-11
4th Down Conversions0-01-1
Turnovers21
Possession32:1427:46

Passing Leaders

Central ArkansasC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Smothers25/322477.721
Ole MissC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Wallace20/2426411.021

Rushing Leaders

Central ArkansasCARYDSAVGTDLG
Hinton13524.0011
Bobo6172.817
Ole MissCARYDSAVGTDLG
Wallace13826.3125
Brunetti8546.8124

Receiving Leaders

Central ArkansasRECYDSAVGTDLG
Lasker38929.7162
Soft44310.8021
Ole MissRECYDSAVGTDLG
Moncrief810413.0153
Mosley47919.8128

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCARKMISS
TD10:48Bo Wallace 25 Yd Run (Bryson Rose Kick) 07
TD05:14Jacoby Walker 3 Yd Run (Eddie Camara Kick) 77
TD03:01Jaylen Walton 10 Yd Run (Bryson Rose Kick) 714
SECOND QUARTERCARKMISS
TD13:12Terence Bobo 2 Yd Run (Pat Failed) 1314
TD08:24Al Lasker 62 Yd Pass From Wynrick Smothers (Eddie Camara Kick) 2014
THIRD QUARTERCARKMISS
TD06:40Ja-Mes Logan Recovered Fumble In End Zone (Bryson Rose Kick) 2021
TD03:20Donte Moncrief 53 Yd Pass From Bo Wallace (Bryson Rose Kick) 2028
FOURTH QUARTERCARKMISS
TD11:42Jamal Mosley 11 Yd Pass From Barry Brunetti (Bryson Rose Kick) 2035
TD10:29Philander Moore 25 Yd Pass From Bo Wallace (Bryson Rose Kick) 2042
TD05:57Barry Brunetti 11 Yd Run (Bryson Rose Kick) 2049
TD01:29Dezmin Lewis 15 Yd Pass From Wynrick Smothers (Eddie Camara Kick) 2749