Ole Miss pulls away late, beats Boise State
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Bo Wallace and the Rebels shook off a slow start as No. 18 Ole Miss pulled away from the Boise State Broncos in a season- opening 35-13 victory at the Georgia Dome.
The Broncos hung close with the SEC program for three quarters and were within 7-6 before Wallace threw three fourth-quarter touchdown passes in the span of four offensive plays.
The late flourish made Wallace's numbers look decidedly better than they did after he was picked off three times in the first half. He finished with 387 yards and four scores on 25-of-36 passes.
Cody Core was on the receiving end of two touchdown passes, including a 76- yard score, while Laquon Treadwell had seven receptions for 105 yards and a TD for Ole Miss (1-0), which is sporting its highest preseason ranking since 2009.
Boise State (0-1) dropped its third straight season opener, though this time the program began on a sour note under Bryan Harsin's watch. Harsin took over for Chris Petersen after the wildly successful head coach bolted for Washington prior to last year's bowl game.
Grant Hedrick showed some flashes with his legs but threw four interceptions in the setback. Jay Ajayi totaled 179 yards from scrimmage and caught a late touchdown pass from Hedrick.
The Rebels turned a close game into a comfortable win in the blink of an eye. After Dan Goodale's 43-yard field goal pulled Boise State within 7-6 late in the third quarter, Wallace went to work.
On 3rd-and-8 early in the fourth, he and Treadwell connected for a 29-yard pickup, and the same combo hooked up again on the next snap, this time with the sophomore wideout pulling down a pass at the 1-yard line and back pedaling into the end zone for a 14-yard TD with 12:26 on the clock.
Tony Conner picked off Hedrick on the ensuing drive, and two snaps later Wallace completed a pass to Quincy Adeboyejo, who broke a tackle and went in for a 31-yard TD that stretched the lead to 21-6.
Core put the game out of reach midway through the fourth when he caught a short slant and split the secondary en route to a 76-yard touchdown, and Mark Dodson's late 19-yard touchdown run capped the rout.
The Broncos looked poised to take an early lead when they had 1st-and-goal in the first quarter, but on third down, Hedrick was flushed out of the pocket and tossed an ill-advised pass for the end zone.
Senquez Golson picked off the floater with one hand, and the Rebels responded with a 9-play, 80-yard drive, highlighted by Vince Sanders' 20-yard catch down to the Boise State 46 on 3rd-and-21.
Fourth down saw tight end Jeremy Liggins take a direct snap and move the chains. After Boise State was whistled for a personal foul, Wallace found Core wide open down the middle of the field for a 30-yard touchdown.
Each quarterback traded interceptions early in the second, and another goal- line stand by the Rebels kept them in the lead. Ajayi was stuffed three times inside the 2-yard line, and the Broncos settled for a 25-yard Goodale field goal with 7:58 remaining in the half.
Wallace took a hard hit to the head when he was stopped just short of a first down on the first possession of the second half. DeVante Kincade took over under center on fourth down, and a bad snap resulted in a turnover on downs.
Ole Miss is 8-0 all-time in August ... Hedrick threw five interceptions in 242 attempts last season. He logged 264 yards on 36-of-46 attempts ... Boise State has lost four in a row to ranked opponents ... Ole Miss senior linebacker Serderius Bryant was ejected in the first quarter for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Hedrick ... For the first time since 2008 the Broncos were not ranked in the preseason poll ... This was the first-ever meeting between the programs, which both went 8-5 last season.
08/29 00:07:19 ET