Vince Sanders

No. 19 Ole Miss bottling up Dak Prescott, leads Egg Bowl at the half

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Ole Miss hasn’t accomplished much of anything in the first half, but with a defense playing like the Land Sharks have in the first half, it won’t take much offense to win the Egg Bowl.

No. 19 Ole Miss leads No. 4 Mississippi State 7-3 at the half.

Bo Wallace led the Rebels to the Bulldogs’ 17 on their second drive of the game, but he was intercepted by Taveze Calhoun. No matter, the Rebels forced a three-and-out, and Wallace hit Evan Engram for a 46-yard completion on the next possession, taking the ball to the Mississippi State one-yard line. Wallace punched it in on the next play.

On the opposite side, Dak Prescott has completed 6-of-10 passes for 64 yards and rushed 14 times for 29 yards, and Josh Robinson has carried nine times for 32 yards. The Bulldogs have been out-gained, 190-128. A 45-yard Evan Sobiesk field goal 15 seconds into the second quarter accounts for their only scoring play to date.

Wallace has completed 8-of-19 passes for 145 yards with the aforementioned interception, while Jaylen Walton has rushed six times for 43 yards.

Ole Miss lost wide receiver Vince Sanders to an apparent knee injury, and is already playing without Laquon Treadwell, meaning the Rebels’ margin-for-error on offense, defense and special teams is now paper-thin.

Mississippi State will receive the ball to open the second half.

Dislocated ankle, broken fibula for Ole Miss’ Laquon Treadwell


Unfortunately, the official diagnosis for Laquon Treadwell was as bad as the way-too-many replays suggested.

An Ole Miss spokesperson has confirmed to the Associated Press that the Ole Miss wide receiver sustained a dislocated left ankle and broken left fibula in the Saturday night loss to Auburn.  As a result, obviously, Treadwell will miss the remainder of the 2014 season, including whatever bowl game in which the Rebels play.

Shortly after being taken off the field via a cart, Treadwell underwent surgery to repair the damage.  The sophomore is expected to be fully recovered in time to participate in spring practice next year.

Treadwell was injured as he crossed the goal line for what would’ve been the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter.  To add insult to literal injury, Treadwell fumbled the ball prior to scoring and, after a review of the original touchdown ruling on the field, the Tigers were given possession, essentially capping the Rebels’ second consecutive loss.

It should go without saying that losing Treadwell is a devastating blow to Ole Miss’ offense.

Through nine games, Treadwell is easily the Rebels’ leading receiver, with his 48 receptions for 632 yards and five touchdowns tops on the team.  He does share the latter lead with Cody Core.

With Treadwell sidelined for the duration, it’ll be up to Core (29-415-5) and Vince Sanders (33-536-4) to pick up the slack in the passing attack.

No. 3 Ole Miss dispatches Tennessee, 34-3


We’re headed to late October and Ole Miss still has not allowed more than 20 points in a game this season.

The third-ranked Rebels’ defense continued its claim as the best unit on either side of the ball in college football, manhandling an overmatched Tennessee squad to the tune of a 34-3 win in Oxford.

The Volunteers actually opened the scoring at the 12:40 mark of the second quarter with a 27-yard field goal by Aaron Medley. Needless to say, the highlights began and ended there for Tennessee.

Dave Wommack’s defense victimized Tennessee for seven sacks, three interceptions, one fumble recovery, minus-two rushing yards, just three third-down conversions in 16 tries, only 10 first downs and 189 yards of total offense. Justin Worley completed 19-of-34 passes for 191 yards and those three interceptions, while Jalen Hurd managed 40 rushing yards on 13 carries. No Tennessee possession lasted more than nine plays, and seven of its 15 touches went three-and-out. The Volunteers punted nine times.

To put Ole Miss’ dominance in perspective: Tennessee’s only scoring drive started in Rebel territory. Every one of the other 14 possessions started in Volunteer territory, and only two crossed midfield.

Bo Wallace put Ole Miss on the board with 5:08 remaining in the second quarter what turned out to be the winning score, a 38-yard toss to Vince Sanders. He also found Evan Engram for a 28-yard scoring strike late in the third quarter to truly put the game away at 24-3, and hit 13-of-28 passes for 199 yards with 33 additional rushing yards on the night.

Seven Rebels combined to rush 47 times for 180 yards and three scores, led by Jaylen Walton’s 10 rushes for 60 yards and one touchdown, a seven-yarder with 1:51 to play before halftime.

The win pushes Ole Miss to 7-0 (4-0 SEC) with a trip to LSU waiting Saturday, while Tennessee falls to 3-4 (0-3) SEC with a visit to – gulp – Alabama next week.

Manziel injured but returns, Nkemdiche still out for Ole Miss


Two of the young stars in the SEC West suffered injuries in the first half, but only one has returned. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel fell to the ground looking to have a severe knee injury, but returned quickly for the Aggies to put those concerns to rest. Ole Miss defensive end Robert Nkemdiche suffered a strained hamstring while chasing Manziel after his return, and the top Ole Miss recruit in the Class of 2013 is not likely to return in the second half. Texas A&M leads Ole Miss 14-10 at the half.

The SEC West contest between Texas A&M and Ole Miss figured to be a bit more high-scoring that it has been so far.

Manziel has gone 12-for-15 for 98 yards and zero touchdowns and leads the Aggies with 64 rushing yards as well. His counterpart, Bo Wallace, has gone 13-for-19 for 154 yards and a touchdown. It is not as though the offenses have been completely shut down, but Ole Miss should take pride in holding the Aggies to their lowest halftime score of the season.

Ole Miss may have had the play of the game when Wallace connected with Vince Sanders for a 70-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Maybe the teams will pick up the scoring pace after halftime.

Charles Sawyer won’t travel with Ole Miss to Texas

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As expected, Ole Miss won’t have one of its top defensive backs when it takes on a reeling Texas squad this weekend.

Head coach Hugh Freeze confirmed Wednesday that cornerback Charles Sawyer will not travel with his teammates when the Rebels head to Austin for its matchup with the Longhorns.  The senior was arrested shortly after Ole Miss’ win this past Saturday and charged with driving under the influence.

It was not specified by Freeze whether Sawyer didn’t make the trip because of the drunk-driving arrest or a health issue. A shoulder injury limited him in the season opener against Vanderbilt and kept him out of this past weekend’s game against Southeast Missouri.

Freeze has said that the corner will be facing discipline from the team as a result of the incident.

Over the past two seasons, Sawyer has started all 25 games for the Rebels.

It wasn’t all negative on the personnel front for Ole Miss, however, as Freeze stated that wide receiver Vince Sanders will likely make his 2013 debut Saturday.  Sanders, who was the Rebels’ second-leading receiver last season, suffered a broken colarbone early on in summer camp.