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No. 16 Ole Miss Defeats Liberty 27-14

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

No. 16 Ole Miss defeated the Liberty Flames 27-14 in the final non-conference game on Saturday.

“Glad to get the win,” head coach Lane Kiffin said. “To get to 7-2. The first half was great  to get up 24-0.”

Ole Miss (7-2, 3-2 SEC) got things started on the ground as Jerrion Ealy carried the ball 70 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the game.

“That was a great run,” Kiffin said. 

Ealy finished the day with 10 touches for 115 yards and two scores.

The Ole Miss defense had nine sacks on Liberty’s quarterback Malik Willis, the most sacks for the Rebels since the 2008 game against Mississippi State when they had 11.

The Rebels defense also forced Willis to throw three interceptions. 

“Nine sacks and three interceptions is awesome,” Kiffin said. 

In the first half, the Rebels scored 24 unanswered points on the Flames. Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral targeted seven different receivers with John Rhys Plumlee having seven receptions for 110 yards.

“It was good to see two backup receivers go for over a hundred yards in Plumlee and Jackson,” Kiffin said.

Junior wide receiver Dannis Jackson finished with six receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown. Jackson had two long receptions of 40 yards for the score and a 50-yard reception against the Flames.

Corral went 20-for-27 threw the air for 324 yards and a touchdown. He carried the ball six times for nine yards.

Ole Miss took a 24-0 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

“We had six sacks at halftime,” Kiffin said. 

Coach Hugh Freeze’s Flames came out in the third quarter and scored all 14 points. The two scores were on the ground by Shedro Lewis for 28 yards and Willis from three yards out.

“In the second half, we lost 14-3,” Kiffin said. “That is always challenging when the game goes so well at halftime.”

Ole Miss was led on defense by defensive back AJ Finley with 12 tackles and two interceptions. His teammate linebacker Chance Campbell recorded ten tackles and two sacks.

The Rebels put up 466 total yards of offense with 324 in the air and 142 on the ground. Liberty finished with 457 yards of offense with 284 yards coming on the ground and 173 yards in the air. 

Ole Miss returns to conference action next Saturday as they play host to No. 14 Texas A&M inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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