Two seasons of improvement under Hugh Freeze is all that Ole Miss can ask for. Despite an incredible recruiting class, they’re still quite far away from changing the order of things in the SEC. Bo Wallace put on an impressive performance in a 25-17 win over Georgia Tech in the Music City Bowl, hopefully as a sign for things to come.
Wallace did throw one interception, but he also completed 22 of 32 attempts for 256 yards and a touchdown. He was more useful on the ground, carrying the ball 13 times for 86 yards, scoring a couple of touchdowns. Ole Miss had a lot of success on the ground with 221 rushing yards, while limiting Georgia Tech to only 298 total yards, as Vad Lee had an awful time throwing the ball (5-of-17) and the Yellow Jackets as a team averaging only 3.1 yards per carry.
The win was also a way for the Rebels to get over their loss to Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. A season of taking a step forward isn’t the same when you lose your rivalry game, although there were other big moments in this season – the wins over Texas and LSU, to look back on with pride. The important thing for a program building its way up was finishing the season with a bowl win (second in a row for Ole Miss and Freeze), carrying even bigger expectations for next season.
I didn’t want to screw that up today. So I’m glad to win two bowl games in our first two years. With what we inherited, I think says we’re heading in the right direction for sure. It is a very positive step.
Despite the win and Georgia Tech looking very unimpressive offensively, they had a chance to win the game. Adam Gotsis blocked an extra point on the day, deflected a field goal attempt by the Rebles, giving Georgia Tech the ball on their own 20 with 4:36 left in the game, trailing 17-23.
Georgia Tech lost five yards on the first play of that drive, and on the next one completely lost their chance of winning a game, as a reverse play was botched up by Corey Dennis. Dennis tried to throw the ball but couldn’t handle the pressure, instead fumbling the ball before Ray Beno covered up the ball for a safety. Freeze argued that it should have been called a touchdown, but it didn’t matter as Georgia Tech couldn’t get any closer from that moment.
Bo Wallace wanted to put the loss against Mississippi State behind him and did it with flying colors. He’ll be heading into his senior season after a year of changing affection (or hatred) from the fans. Ultimately, Wallace did a good job in a 8-5 season for the Rebels, and there shouldn’t be too much doubt surrounding his ability to perform for the team during his senior year with even more at stake than before.
I knew I needed to have a good game. At the same time, I thought all day sometimes I try to make too many plays. I think all day I was thinking, ‘Don’t try to make too many plays. Just make the plays that are there.’ That’s what I did today.