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Miss 16 Ole faced the challenge from Tulsa


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OXFORD, ma’am. – Jason Dart and Quinshon Judkins accounted for four touchdowns in the second quarter as the Mississippi No 16 rebounded from an early deficit to beat Tulsa 35-27 on Saturday.

Ole Miss (4-0) passed for the first time this season, 14-7 before bursting with 28 decisive points. Dart throws 31-yard touchdown passes for Malik Heath and Jonathan Mingoand Judkins hit 1 and 4 yards to complete the rally and build a 35-14 cushion.

“The bottom line is we’re leading 4-0 and that’s the best you can do,” said Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin. “It’s a lot better than 2-2, which is what a lot of people around the country are doing.”

Dart directed 75, 64, 93 and 46 yards in a row for the quarter and finished 13/24 passes for 154 yards, adding 116 yards to 13 attempts. The Rebels had a total of 462 yards of attack, marked by 140 yards of Judkins’ 27 executions.

“We believe in consistency and we actually performed at a high level in the second quarter,” Dart said. “We are a talented team but we have to take the next step to stabilize because in the second half we shot ourselves in the foot.”

Tulsa (2-2) was led by Davis Brinthrow for a touchdown pass 20 yards for Isaiah Epps and one more 1-yard touchdown run. Brin was the first of 13 to pass 112 yards long before leaving the field due to injury in the second quarter. However, he remained on the sidelines in uniform in the second half.

“We’ve had adversity and we’ve fought through it,” said Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery. “We gave ourselves a chance to win late.”

Braylon Braxton came on for Brin to complete nine of 22 83-yard passes, including a 17-yard touchdown pass for Epps to pull Tulsa up 35-27 in the fourth half. Golden Hurricane, despite a total of 457 offensive yards, failed to break through midfield in their last three properties.

“Defense stopped them the last few drives and that was huge,” Kiffin said. “But we were eliminated in the second half due to fouls and obviously we have a lot of work to do.”

CARRIED AWAY

Ole Miss: All September targets have been accomplished. Rebels 16 are leading 4-0, with more than 30 new players, a squad of assistant coaches and other coordinators along with the setup of a starting midfielder. The competition increased dramatically, but Ole Miss is in the best possible position to start the SEC game.

Tulsa: Before Brin was sidelined with a lower body injury, he ran 87 and 75 yards in the first 12 minutes to take a 14-7 lead. The defense left 127 points in four games, but the attack had enough firepower, 5 of 5 in the red zone, to pose a serious challenge to the USA Conference title.

“I think we played a full game that lasted 60 minutes,” Montgomery said. “I’m really proud of our players and our running game has gotten better, but we still have room to grow.”

RUN POP

Ole Miss hit a 100-yard dash for the fourth straight game to open the season for the first time in this century. Zach Evans, Judkins and Dart took turns breaking barriers in the four starting games. Rebels lead the SEC in quick yards with 1,123 yards. Judkins, a freshman, is the team leader with 429 yards while Evans has 365.

“It solves a lot of problems when you can do it,” says Dart. “We have talented full-backs and maybe it doesn’t have to be me. I need to be a bit smarter to not take those shots.”

HINT POLL

The victory allows Rebel 16 to at least maintain the tempo in the AP Top 25 poll. Ole Miss is sixth out of eight teams ranked by the SEC, which is unlikely.

NEXT

Tulsa: The hosts Golden Hurricane were defending AAC Cincinnati champions in the opening match of the game for both teams.

Mississippi: Rebel #16 hosts #8 Kentucky in a high-stakes SEC game against ranked teams.



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