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Rebels labor to finish off Vandy

Mississippi’s Cody Core tries to vault over Vanderbilt’s Torren McGaster during the Rebels’ sluggish first quarter.

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Mississippi’s Cody Core tries to vault over Vanderbilt’s Torren McGaster during the Rebels’ sluggish first quarter.

OXFORD, Miss. — Chad Kelly threw for 321 yards, Jaylen Walton ran for a season-high 133, and No. 3 Mississippi pushed past feisty Vanderbilt 27-16 on Saturday night.

It was a mostly mediocre performance for the Ole Miss offense, which went in averaging 64 points, tops in the nation.

The Rebels' red zone offense was particularly bad. Ole Miss settled for three field-goal attempts when inside Vanderbilt's 20. Two were made and one was blocked, which helped keep the Commodores in the game much longer than most expected.

Ole Miss broke it open midway through the fourth quarter when Walton ran for a 3-yard touchdown after two long runs earlier in the drive.

Vanderbilt lost its third straight to the Rebels. Johnny McCrary threw for 194 yards and Ralph Webb ran for 90.

Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell caught eight passes for 135 yards. Kelly completed 24 of 42 passes and a touchdown but also threw two interceptions.

Arguably the game's biggest play came late in the third quarter, when Cale Luke blocked a Vanderbilt punt to give the Rebels the ball at the Commodores' 20. Seven plays later, Robert Nkemdiche ran for a 1-yard touchdown to give Ole Miss a 20-13 lead.

Nkemdiche, a 296-pound junior who usually plays defensive tackle, has scored three touchdowns this season.

Special teams and the defense saved the Rebels when the offense was sputtering. Linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche had a career-high 14 tackles, including 12 solo.

Vanderbilt stayed within striking distance all night thanks to a defense that didn't give up big plays and generally played mistake-free football.

But the Commodores couldn't find much room to work on offense against the Rebels' suffocating defense.

NO. 7 GEORGIA 48, SOUTHERN 6: Nick Chubb knew he had to extend his streak of 100-yard rushing games when he saw how much it meant to his offensive linemen.

The big guys can relax. Chubb's streak is alive.

Chubb ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a TD as the host Bulldogs gained momentum for next week's visit from Alabama.

Chubb had scoring runs of 9 and 49 yards in the third quarter. The 49-yarder gave him 12 straight games with at least 100 yards rushing, one shy of Herschel Walker's school record. Chubb scored on a 24-yard pass from Greyson Lambert in the first quarter.

The linemen gave Chubb a pep talk when he had only 31 yards rushing at halftime.

"With them being more excited about it than I was, I knew we had to get it," Chubb said.

NO. 12 ALABAMA 34, LA.-MONROE 0: The Crimson Tide's defense rebounded with a vintage performance while Jake Coker and the offense overcame a sputtering start.

Coker, the Florida State transfer, threw three touchdowns for host Alabama, and a defense victimized for some big plays in a loss to No. 3 Mississippi allowed just 92 yards.

"(Linebacker) Reggie Ragland kept saying that no one's scoring on us, and that's been the motto," said safety Geno Matias-Smith, who had an interception. "It motivates us because it has to be the standard. We didn't have the best game last week, so we just have to keep creating an identity."

NO. 14 TEXAS A&M 28, ARKANSAS 21, OT: Kyle Allen threw for 358 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown to Christian Kirk in overtime, as the host Aggies completed another late comeback against the Razorbacks in their SEC opener. Texas A&M had a chance to win the game on the final play of regulation, but Taylor Bertolet's 38-yard field-goal attempt was just wide right.

KENTUCKY 21, NO. 25 MISSOURI 13: Patrick Towles threw two touchdowns and ran for another to help the host Wildcats end an 18-game losing streak against ranked teams. Towles' arm and feet were critical in Kentucky's first win over a ranked team since it beat No. 18 South Carolina 31-28 in Lexington five years ago. The junior threw TDs of 24 yards to tight end C.J. Conrad in the third quarter and the 5-yard clincher to Dorian Baker with 6:20 left.

MISS. ST. 17, AUBURN 9: Dak Prescott threw two touchdowns, and the Bulldog defense made four stops in the red zone as host Mississippi State preserved a chance to stay relevant in the Western Division. The Tigers continued a freefall that began with a preseason No. 6 ranking. Auburn had 313 yards entering the fourth quarter but missed on four possessions inside the 10.

Rebels labor to finish off Vandy 09/26/15 [Last modified: Saturday, September 26, 2015 11:27pm]
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