OXFORD, Miss. – Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another as Mississippi beat Kentucky 42-35 on Saturday.
Masoli, who helped the Rebels take advantage of good field position throughout the game, accounted for his four touchdowns despite otherwise pedestrian stats. He completed 9 of 17 passes for 90 yards and rushed for 43 yards.
Ole Miss (3-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) has won seven of its past nine games against the Wildcats. Kentucky (3-2, 0-2) hasn't won in Oxford since 1978 — a streak spanning five games.
Kentucky opened the game with an impressive 8-play, 60-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 7-yard touchdown run by Derrick Locke. The Wildcats had little trouble moving the ball all afternoon, outgaining the Rebels 424 yards to 301.
But every time they tried to gain further momentum, there would be a crucial error. Ole Miss scored all three of its first-half touchdowns on drives immediately following Kentucky turnovers.
The Wildcats turned the ball over on the first play of back-to-back drives during the second quarter — once on a Mike Hartline interception and once on a Chris Matthews fumble — which helped the Rebels turn a 14-7 deficit into a 21-14 lead.
Charles Sawyer's interception was the first for Ole Miss this season. The Rebels were one of only three teams in the nation that didn't have an interception going into Saturday's games.
Kentucky's Craig McIntosh kicked a 50-yard field goal just before halftime to pull the Wildcats within 21-17.
Ole Miss pulled away in the second half, putting together drives of 75 and 60 yards, respectively, to take a 35-20 lead by the end of the third quarter. The Rebels added another touchdown early in the fourth quarter on an 4-yard pass from Masoli to Ferbia Allen for a 42-20 lead.
But the Rebels have had trouble holding second-half leads this season and Saturday was no different. Kentucky scored 15 unanswered points to pull within 42-35 with 1:34 remaining in the game, but the Wildcats' ensuing onside kick bounced off several pairs of hands before going out of bounds as Ole Miss hung on for its second straight victory.
Hartline completed 27 of 46 passes for 300 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Locke caught eight passes for 108 yards and rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns.
Ole Miss' Brandon Bolden rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. It was his first 100-yard rushing game against an SEC opponent.