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Rebels ahead of TCU, alone at No. 3 in AP poll

Ole Miss’ sluggish performance didn’t change the minds of many voters in this week’s Associated Press poll.

The Rebels came in at No. 3 all by themselves in the latest rankings released Sunday after being tied with TCU at that spot a week ago. Ole Miss tallied four more total points, up to 1,349 from 1,345 last week, from voters following its 27-16 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday, though the Rebels lost one of their 11 first-place votes from a week ago.

Ole Miss (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) was tied with the Commodores in the third quarter, and it was still a one-score game until Jaylen Walton scored from 3 yards out with 6:47 left. The Rebels struggled to sustain drives, going 3 of 13 on third down, and were flagged for a season-high 11 penalties after committing just 16 through the first three games combined.

“If we want to be elite, we’ve got to prepare like we’re an elite football team,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said afterward.

TCU, which is now ranked fourth with 1,254 points, wasn’t much better against Texas Tech, needing Aaron Green’s fourth-down touchdown catch off a deflection with 23 seconds left to escape with a 55-52 win.

Up next for Ole Miss is a trip to the Sunshine State to take on unbeaten Florida, which cracked the poll for the first time this season at No. 25 following its comeback win over Tennessee on Saturday. The Gators (4-0, 2-0) are one of four ranked teams left on Ole Miss’ schedule with No. 9 LSU, No. 14 Texas A&M and No. 21 Mississippi State being the others.

Ohio State and Michigan State held on to the top two spots in the poll, respectively. Baylor rounded out the top five at No. 5 following its 70-17 shellacking of Rice.