But even Freeze was shocked Saturday when informed his Rebels had shattered a total offense record that dated to 1951 in a 51-21 win over Troy. The Rebels rolled up 751 yards, the best of any Southeastern Conference team this season.
“I knew we were executing pretty well, but I admit I was surprised when I was told it was 751 yards,” Freeze said. “I thought we were sharp, but never did I think it was 751 yards. What really make me happy is how balanced the numbers are.”
The Rebels (7-3, 4-3) rushed for 382 yards and passed for 369, primarily on the strength of Bo Wallace, who completed 17 of 26 for 272 yards and three touchdowns. Wallace added a rushing touchdown on 9 carries for 66 yards.
The total offense production was the best since 1951, when the Rebels totaled 623 yards against Auburn. The previous season best for an SEC team was 714 yards by Texas A&M against Sam Houston State.
“We took care of business today,” Wallace said. “With Missouri coming in, it's the right time and we're excited about the opportunity. They're a 9-1 football team with a lot of play for.”
The Rebels extended their winning streak to four games with the impending home date against East Division leader Missouri (9-1, 5-1). The results will have extensive meaning to the postseason bowl hopes and national rankings of both teams.
“We want to play in those type of environments and I'm sure Missouri does
too,” Freeze said. “But today I was excited with our game plan, the way we executed and our balance.”
USA TODAY images
That was evident early. The Rebels raced to a 27-7 halftime lead, including 423 yards of total offense and coasted in. Reserve quarterback Barry Brunetti played the majority of the second half and finished with
97 yards on three completions and rushed for 47 yards on eight attempts.
Troy (5-6) was led by quarterback Corey Robinson, who became the fourth
quarterback in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards in four consecutive seasons. Robinson was 24 of 36 for 258 yards while the Trojans had 313
yards of total offense.
“It was a pretty good demonstration of an SEC school that's pretty talented,” Troy coach Larry Blakeney said. “I certainly think Hugh Freeze has it headed in the right direction with what he demonstrated to us today.”
Wallace directed three consecutive touchdown drives in the opening quarter, capped by scoring passes of 25 and seven yards to Treadwell. The first scoring catch by Treadwell was the game's signature play, breaking
four tackles and slipping another after pulling in a short crossing route through the middle of the Troy defense.
Walton had a four-yard touchdown run to complete the first quarter flurry and Wallace added a 23-yard scoring run to build an insurmountable 27-7 halftime lead. The Rebels had 423 total yards in the opening half.
Ole Miss pulled away in the second half, opening with a 19-yard field
goal by Andrew Ritter and a pair of third quarter touchdown passes. Brunetti hit Walton on a 43-yard scoring pass followed by a 24-yard touchdown strike from Wallace to Adeboyejo.
Troy scored on fourth quarter touchdown runs of 2 and 1 yards by Jordan Chunn and Daron White, respectively. Brandon Burks had a 5-yard scoring
run in the first quarter.
The loss was the third straight for the Sun Belt Conference Trojans, who
become bowl eligible with a win in the season finale with Texas State.
Blakeney admitted he would be surprised if his club did not respond.
“If these guys are what I think they are and the coaches are what I think
they are, there's a lot of resiliency there.”