By Adam Brown
No. 8 Ole Miss fell 21-7 to the No. 7 Baylor Bears in the 2022 Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year’s night.
“Congratulations to Baylor,” head coach Lane Kiffin said. “They played great today. (Dave Aranda) had them ready to go. Magnificent defensive performance by them, 10 sacks and four turnovers.”
Ole Miss (10-3) was led by their defensive players after junior quarterback Matt Corral went down late in the first quarter, suffering an injury in his final game in a Rebel uniform.
“Matt’s injury is disappointing for the team, for him,” Kiffin said. “I know how much it means to him and how much he has put into it.”
Corral passed six times for 10 yards with an interception. He carried the ball seven times for 17 yards.
Rebels freshman quarterback Luke Altmyer stepped in for Corral. Altmyer went 15-of-29 on the night for 174 yards and a touchdown.
“We didn’t do a good enough job calling plays around Luke making plays,” Kiffin said. “Luke did some good things once he got playing a little bit. That is a really hard setting. Baylor is a really great defense and gives a lot of people problems.”
Kiffin added that coming into the game was going to be like an NFL game, with low scoring and having to protect the football and playing field position at times.
Ole Miss’ only touchdown came on a 37-yard pass play from Altmyer to Braylon Sanders in the third quarter.
Ole Miss’ defense contained the Bears’ passing game. Baylor’s quarterback Gerry Bohanon had only 15 yards passing going into the fourth quarter. He finished the game, going 7-for-17 for 40 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
Bohanon also ran the ball seven times for 23 yards.
“The defense can’t play lights out forever,” Kiffin said. “It’s just the way the ball broke.”
The Ole Miss defense led by linebacker Chance Campbell had a total of 10 tackles on the night.
Junior Miles Battle had the interception on Bohanon in the Rebels end zone that ended a potential scoring drive for Baylor in the third.
Baylor was led on the ground by running back Abram Smith with 26 touches for 172 yards.
Ole Miss held Baylor to only seven points through three quarters. The Bears intercepted Altmyer for a 96-yard touchdown to get on the board first in the second quarter.
“We gave them seven with the pick-six,” Kiffin said.
The Rebels threw three interceptions with one by Corral and two by Altymer.
Baylor scored two touchdowns in the four on a 48-yard scamper by Monara Baldwin and a two-yard pass to Thornton.