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Ole Miss Falls to TCU 42-3 in CFA Peach Bowl

A dominant effort by No. 6 TCU on both sides of the ball was too much to overcome for No. 9 Ole Miss, as the Rebels (9-4) lost 42-3 in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.
“We did not perform well today,” head coach Hugh Freeze said. “TCU did. I take credit for that. It’s my responsibility. I didn’t have our kids prepared to play and compete today. But I’m extremely proud of our kids and how they’ve turned this program, in three short years, to being relevant and competitive. I’m just sick that it wasn’t that way for them today.”
imageThe nation’s second-leading offense, the Horned Frogs (12-1) scored early and often, and the defense suffocated the Ole Miss offense, holding the Rebels to a season-low 10 first downs and 129 yards of total offense.
“They’re a good defense,” senior quarterback Bo Wallace said. “They won some one-on-ones. And credit to them, they had a good plan against us.”
Senior cornerback Senquez Golson tied the school record with his 10th interception of the season, the 16th of his career, which is tied for third place in Ole Miss history. It also helped set up the Rebels’ lone score of the game, a 27-yard field goal by freshman kicker Gary Wunderlich.
Playing in their third straight bowl game for the first time since 1998-2000, Ole Miss had its six-game bowl winning streak snapped, which was tied with Florida State for the longest in the nation. The Rebels’ nine wins are the most since 2009, when they also finished the season with a 9-4 mark.
“We have a lot of kids returning next year, and there’s a valuable lesson to be learned from today and the way we prepared,” Freeze said. “We have to go back and look at all of that and the things that I need to do differently to make sure our kids put forth their best on a day like today.”
TCU scored on each of its first two drives, both courtesy of junior running back Aaron Green. The Horned Frogs used a trick play for the first score, as junior quarterback Trevone Boykin threw a screen pass to junior wide receiver Kolby Listenbee behind the line of scrimmage, who then hit Green for a 31-yard touchdown.
Green later found the end zone on a 15-yard run to cap a 15-play, 78-yard drive for the Horned Frogs. TCU stretched its lead to 21-0, as Boykin found junior wide receiver Josh Doctson for a 12-yard touchdown to cap an 11-play, 63-yard drive. The Horned Frogs capped their first-half scoring with an interception in the end zone for a touchdown.
The Southeastern Conference leader in interceptions and turnovers forced, Ole Miss forced three first-half turnovers, including two interceptions, but the Rebels were unable to turn them into any points, as they were outgained 226-59 in the half.
“I don’t know that we ever had any momentum,” Freeze said. “Our defense did create some turnovers, and I thought we stopped the run for the most part. But the defense just had to stay on the field the entire day.”
Boykin tossed a pair of touchdown passes in the third quarter, a 35-yarder to Listenbee and a 27-yarder to Doctson, to make it a 42-0 game in favor of the Horned Frogs. Boykin, who was named the game’s offensive MVP, finished 22-of-30 for 187 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.
“At times, we had him contained a little bit,” said junior defensive end C.J. Johnson of Boykin. “It all came down to execution.”
Threatening to get on the board, Wallace and redshirt-freshman quarterback DeVante Kincade led Ole Miss to the TCU 7-yard line, before the 15-play, 71-yard drive ended with a turnover on downs.
In the fourth quarter, taking advantage of great starting field position at the TCU 11 after Golson’s interception, the Rebels avoided the shutout with a 27-yard field goal by Wunderlich.
Playing in his final college game, senior quarterback Bo Wallace was 10-of-23 for 109 yards with three interceptions and was sacked five times. Freshman wide receiver Markell Pack finished with a career-high four receptions for 55 yards.
“I didn’t want to go out this way,” Wallace said. “I didn’t want the seniors to go out this way. We had a chance to help next year’s team in the preseason rankings, and that was important to me.”
Defensively, senior linebacker Keith Lewis and senior safety Cody Prewitt each recorded interceptions, along with Golson. For Prewitt, it was his 12th career interception, moving him into sole possession of eighth place all-time in Ole Miss history.
Johnson tied a career high with 3.0 tackles for loss, recovered a fumble and was one of three Rebels with a sack, along with junior defensive tackle Issac Gross and senior linebacker Serderius Bryant.
For more information on Ole Miss Football, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissFB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Football.
–Ole Miss Sports

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