Defense dominates as Ole Miss routs Tennessee

Oxford, MS ( - Bo Wallace threw two touchdown passes, but it was the defense of No. 3 Ole Miss that propelled the Rebels to a convincing 34-3 win over Tennessee at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Wallace matched a season-low with 13 completions for 199 yards as Ole Miss (7-0, 4-0 SEC) remained unbeaten thanks to a tremendous defensive effort against the overmatched Volunteers. Tennessee turned the ball over four times and converted just 3-for-16 chances on third down.

"We're a team that plays to our strengths until we get the right opening. We're playing so well right now. We held them to zero rushing yards," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said.

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley was intercepted three times, including two by SEC leader Senquez Golson. Golson's sixth and seventh interceptions on the season lifted him to second in the nation behind Louisville's Gerod Holliman.

Jaylen Walton ran for 60 yards and a touchdown for Ole Miss, which got receiving scores from Vince Sanders and Evan Engram.

Tennessee (3-4, 0-3) has dropped four of its last five games, with the lone win coming against Chattanooga, an FCS program.

"Again, turnovers were the story of the game. We had a lot of negative yardage. When you are 3-for-16 on third-down conversions you are not giving yourself an opportunity to be in the game and win," Volunteers coach Butch Jones said.

After a scoreless opening quarter, Tennessee broke through first early in the second on Aaron Medley's 27-yard field goal.

The first seven Ole Miss drives in the first half ended in punts, including six three-and-outs. The Rebels hadn't had more than five three-and-outs in any game this season.

Despite the offensive woes early on, it got rolling late in the second quarter. On 3rd-and-4 from the Ole Miss 33, Wallace hit Sanders for a 28-yard gain. On the very next play, the two hooked up again for a 39-yard touchdown that put the Rebels in front.

Golson then picked off Worley, and Ole Miss took advantage of the prime field position, marching 35 yards in five plays for another score. Jordan Wilkins' 19-yard carry highlighted the drive that ended with Walton's 7-yard TD.

The Rebels put the game away with a strong showing toward the end of the third. Gary Wunderlich's 34-yard field goal at 2:04 made it a 14-point game. Evan Berry fielded the ensuing kickoff and ran 26 yards before DeMarquis Gates jarred the ball loose. Marquis Haynes recovered the fumble and on the first play from scrimmage, Wallace hit Engram for a 28-yard touchdown.

Wunderlich hit a short field goal midway through the fourth, and Mark Dodson had an 8-yard rushing score in the final minute to put the finishing touches on the rout.

Game Notes:

Sanders had four catches for 108 yards ... Ole Miss outgained Tennessee, 383-191 ... The Volunteers finished with zero rush yards as a team ... The Rebels put their perfect record on the line next week when they visit LSU ... Worley went 19-of-34 for 191 yards.