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August 30, 2013

Notes: Wallace makes right decision

Jeff Scott talks about the run of the game

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Bo Wallace said right before he took the snap and gave the ball to Jeff Scott his main thought was to not make a stupid decision.

When talking to the media a half hour after shocking Vanderbilt 39-35 on Thursday, the Ole Miss quarterback put his fingers together to describe how close he was to making the wrong decision on the game's pivotal play.

The read option went 75 yards with a minute remaining, as Scott went to the sidelines, cut back and outran the Commodores to give the Rebels a four-point cushion that ended up the final total.

But when Wallace took the snap, he read the play and started to pull it back out of Scott's belly, hoping to get 10 or 15 yards and continue toward field-goal range to tie the game.

"I tell you, I was about this close to keeping that ball," Wallace said. "I'm definitely happy I handed it off, and at one point I thought he was running out of bounds. He felt like the safety was over pursuing. He cut back. Man, what a great run."

Wallace followed behind Scott down the field, and as Ole Miss' senior running back nearly tripped around the 15-yard line, Wallace was ready to get another play from the sidelines. Instead, though, Scott kept his balance and stunned Vanderbilt, giving the Rebels some revenge after the 'Dores did something similar to Ole Miss in Oxford last season.

"When they scored the last one, I thought no way they beat us that way again," Wallace said. "Evan (Engram) sealed that block for Jeff. A lot of young guys stepped up… I was just running behind and praying."

After a slow first half Wallace led a 29-point barrage over the final two quarters, completing 31-of-47 passes for 283 yards. He also ran in two touchdowns and carried the ball 18 times, mixing in slides to protect his surgically-repaired shoulder and dives to gain extra yardage when necessary.

"I'll definitely need to get some treatment on it, but I feel good," Wallace said. "It always feels good after a win."

Engram caught five passes and freshman Laquon Treadwell brought in a team-high nine passes for 82 yards and also caught a two-point conversion in the third quarter. It's the most catches by an Ole Miss player since Mike Espy grabbed nine against Auburn in 2005.

"Big time kids stepped up under the lights on national TV," Wallace said. "They are great players, and y'all will have fun watching them three or four years."

BRUNETTI MAKES MOST OF OPPORTUNITIES: Ole Miss quarterback Barry Brunetti played just two snaps Thursday. He scored on both, getting touchdown runs of one and three yards.

"I just stay ready and be ready for my name to call," Brunetti said.

NO SURPRISES ON STARTING DEFENSE: Ole Miss opened Thursday's opener with C.J. Johnson and Robert Nkemdiche at defensive ends, Woodrow Hamilton and Carlton Martin at defensive tackle, Denzel Nkemdiche and Mike Marry at linebacker, Mike Hilton at husky, Dehendret Collins and Quintavius Burdette at cornerback and Cody Prewitt and Trae Elston at safety.

HOLDER DRAWS START: Ole Miss opened the game with four receivers, no tight end and a single running back. The Rebels' starting offense Thursday consisted of quarterback Bo Wallace, tailback Jeff Scott, tackles Emmanuel McCray and Pierce Burton, guards Aaron Morris and Justin Bell, center Evan Swindall and receivers Donte Moncrief, Ja-Mes Logan, Laquon Treadwell and Jordan Holder.

REBEL RUMBLINGS: Tyler Campbell, Marry and McCray served as Ole Miss' captains Thursday. The Rebels won the toss and deferred its choice to the second half. …Sophomore running back I'Tavius Mathers did not dress Thursday. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native is still recovering from a sprained ankle. …Kicker Andrew Ritter made the first field goal of his career Thursday, a 30-yarder in the first quarter. …Linebacker Serderius Bryant did not travel with the team, a school spokesperson said. The reason for his absence was not given. …Senior wide receiver Jordan Holder caught his first career passes Thursday, recording three receptions for 20 yards. …Senior D.T. Shackelford played for the first time in two years, contributing three tackles.

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