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Ole Miss vs. Southern Illinois live updates, score: Rebels explode for 41 second-half points in home opener win

Ole Miss will open the home portion of its schedule today when Southern Illinois visits Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (3 p.m., SEC Network alternate).

Check back here for live updates.

The Rebels (1-0) come in with the early momentum of last week’s win over Big 12 foe Texas Tech while SIU (1-0) knocked off Murray State decisively to begin its season. Ole Miss’ talent level will likely overwhelm the Salukis, who compete in the Football Championship Subdivision, but there are things the Rebels need to work on against an SIU team that rolled up 295 rushing yards last week heading into next week’s SEC opener against No. 1 Alabama.

Whether linebacker Kevontae’ Ruggs and receiver DaMarkus Lodge are available for today’s game remains to be seen. Both players were going through concussion protocol this week and had not practiced as of the team’s final media availability Wednesday. The Rebels will also start life without cornerback and kick returner Jaylon Jones, whose season is over after tearing an ACL in the opener.

Ole Miss has won the only two meetings with SIU. Both of those wins came in Oxford.

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FINAL: Ole Miss 76, SIU 41

Corral’s first career completion comes on a 31-yard catch by Alex Weber. It was Weber’s first career catch, also. Corral then scores his first career touchdown with a one-yard run. Ole Miss 76, SIU 41 1:42 4Q

Ole Miss forces a punt, and freshman quarterback Matt Corral enters the game for Ole Miss.

Straub is hit and stripped of the ball. Victor Evans scoops it up and takes it 44 yards for the Rebels’ second defensive touchdown. Ole Miss 69, SIU 41, 9:34 4Q

Ole Miss extends its lead with a seven-play, 52-yard drive capped by Isaiah Woullard’s first career touchdown run. Ole Miss 62, SIU 41, 12:00 4Q

Freshman cornerback Keidron Smith steps in front of Straub’s next pass to make it turnovers on back-to-back possessions for SIU. Ole Miss takes over at its own 48.

Straub floats a pass intended for Nate Strong, but it’s intercepted by Vernon Dasher and returned 88 yards for a touchdown. It’s the first turnover of the game. Luke Logan’s extra point attempt is no good. Ole Miss 55, SIU 41, 14:42 4Q

END OF THIRD QUARTER: Ole Miss 49, SIU 41. SIU is driving in Ole Miss territory to start the final quarter.

Linebacker Detric Bing-Dukes and defensive lineman Austrian Robinson leave the game with injuries.

Ole Miss finds the end zone again in five plays with the drive capped by Ta’amu’s 5-yard touchdown toss to DK Metcalf. A 55-yard completion to Braylon Sanders got the Rebels close. Ole Miss 49, SIU 41, 3:48 3Q

A 25-yard completion gets SIU inside the 10, but the Rebels hold the Salukis to a short run and a negative play before C.J. Moore breaks up a third-down pass. Gualdoni tacks on a 26-yard field goal to get the Salukis closer. Ole Miss 42, SIU 41, 5:00 3Q

Ole Miss goes backward and punts. SIU will take over with good field position at Ole Miss’ 44.

A pair of penalties helps Ole Miss get SIU off the field for the second straight possession. Another punt, and the Rebels will take over at their own 10.

Ole Miss needs just two plays to regain the lead. Ta’amu airs one out for a 46-yard touchdown to Brown, his second of the day. Ole Miss 42, SIU 38, 11:22 3Q

SIU punts for the first time on its initial possession of the second half.  Ole Miss will take over at its own 41 after a 10-yard punt.

HALFTIME: SIU 38, Ole Miss 35

With SIU trying to run out the first-half clock, Ole Miss calls a pair of timeouts. The strategy backfires with Straub completing a 70-yard catch-and-run that results in another touchdown for Leonard after review. SIU 38, Ole Miss 35, 0:40 2Q

The back and forth continues with Ole Miss marching 75 yards in 10 plays. Phillips notches his second score with a 6-yard scamper to put the Rebels back in front. Ole Miss 35, SIU 31, 1:17 2Q

SIU needs just six plays to answer on Straub’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Raphael Leonard. Straub is 18 of 24 for 229 yards and three touchdowns. SIU 31, Ole Miss 28, 4:06 2Q

Ole Miss gets across midfield on a long run from Scottie Phillips before facing its first fourth down of the day. The Rebels go and find paydirt on a deep ball from Ta’amu to A.J. Brown covering 38 yards on the drive’s fifth and final play. Ole Miss 28, SIU 24, 6:40 2Q

With the help of pass interference on third down, SIU reaches the red zone again, but D.J. Davis is picks up just 2 yards on a third-down run from the 7. Nico Gualdoni converts a 22-yard field goal to put SIU back in front. SIU 24, Ole Miss 21, 8:12 2Q

Ole Miss is back in the end zone on four plays. Ta’amu goes 3-for-3 on the drive with a 50-yard catch-and-run pass to freshman Elijah Moore for his first career touchdown. Ole Miss 21, SIU 21, 14:52 2Q

END OF FIRST QUARTER: SIU 21, Ole Miss 14

SIU uses a 30-yard completion on fourth down to keep another scoring drive alive. Straub runs in from 2 yards out to cap the longest scoring march of the day (10 plays, 75 yards). SIU 21, Ole Miss 14, 1:01 1Q

Ole Miss needs to just three plays to answer with Jordan Ta’amu finding Braylon Sanders for a 30-yard touchdown pass. A 51-yard completion to DK Metcalf helped set that up. Ole Miss 14, SIU 14, 5:31 1Q

A 32-yard run and a 29-yard completion get SIU to Ole Miss’ 14-yard line before the Rebels force a fourth-and-3 inside the 10. SIU goes for it and scores on Straub’s 7-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Landon Lenoir. SIU 14, Ole Miss 7, 6:32 1Q

Ole Miss answers with its first scoring drive. Scottie Phillips runs in from 7 yards out to cap an 11-play, 65-yard drive to draw the Rebels even. Ole Miss 7, SIU 7, 9:57 1Q

Ole Miss goes three and out on its first possession before Southern Illinois comes out throwing. Sam Straub goes 4 of 5 on the Salukis’ first drive and caps it with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Nigel Kilby. SIU 7, Ole Miss 0, 13:04 1Q