Ole Miss comes from behind to win against Tulane

Published 9:01 pm Saturday, September 9, 2023

NEW ORLEANS – No. 20 Ole Miss found itself in a 17-7 hole in the late stages of the first half, but the Rebels used a complete second half and closed the game on a 30-3 scoring run to best the 22nd-ranked Tulane Green Wave, 37-20, at Yulman Stadium on Saturday.

The Rebels (2-0) were stymied early by a stout Green Wave (1-1) run defense, while Tulane hit on some crucial early plays to take that 17-7 lead, but Ole Miss came out of the second half on a mission, using big plays in each facet of the game to come out of New Orleans with the victory. The win extends Ole Miss’ winning streak over Tulane to 13 games and moves the Rebels to 62-17 (.785) against non-conference opponents dating back to a 38-0 win over Tulane on Nov. 12, 1994.

Quarterback Jaxson Dart went 17-of-27 for 267 yards and two touchdowns while adding 41 yards on the ground, while running back Quinshon Judkins led with 48 rushing yards and his third touchdown of the season. Wideout Dayton Wade led with a career-high 106 yards on seven catches, and defensively the Rebels were led by Trey Washington with eight tackles in addition to a sack fumble forced by Khari Coleman and a 26-yard recovery for a touchdown by Jared Ivey that put the game on ice for the Rebels.

Ole Miss struck first and struck fast, taking an early 7-0 lead in only 48 seconds, into the game with Dart hitting wideout Tre Harris on a 31-yard touchdown strike. This was the second consecutive game with an opening scoring drive of 51 seconds or fewer, but it would be nearly halftime before the Rebels scored again as the Tulane defense stopped the Ole Miss offensive attack.

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The Green Wave responded at 9:37 in the first quarter with a touchdown run by Makhi Hughes in the wildcat from two yards out, the beginning of a 17-point unanswered stretch by Tulane across the first half. That included a 44-yard field goal at 14:10 in the second quarter by Valentino Ambrosio and a 41-yard touchdown pass from Kai Horton to Jha’Quan Jackson at 5:49.

Ole Miss would break the drought with 1:36 to play in the half, tacking on a 37-yard field goal from Caden Davis to head into the break down 17-10.

That field goal would be the beginning of a 30-3 final scoring run for the Rebels, however, as sophomore running back Quinshon Judkins found the endzone with 6:11 in the third quarter to pull the game to a 17-17 tie. That rushing score is the 19th already for Judkins, putting him into a tie for 10th in Ole Miss history.

After forcing a Tulane punt late in the third, the Green Wave caught a break when a Dart pass fell into the arms of defensive back Lance Robinson with 2:01 to play, but senior Deantre Prince immediately picked his quarterback up, picking off Tulane’s Horton and returning it 44 yards to the Tulane 20-yard line with 30 seconds to play in the frame.

That set up an early fourth quarter field goal, as Caden Davis hit his second of the day, this one from 27 yards out to give Ole Miss a 20-17 lead with 12:50 to play.

Tulane proceeded to chart the longest drive of the game, a plodding 14-play, 45-yard sequence that gobbled up 6:01 of clock time, but ended with a huge momentum-shifting turnover on downs when Horton came up a yard short on a 4th-and-2 that was originally called a first down before a booth review overturned it and gave the ball to the Rebels.

Ole Miss did not waste the good fortune, with Dart pump-faking short and finding Dayton Wade on an incredible career-long 45-yard reception to put the Rebels into Green Wave territory. The Rebels found the endzone not long after, with Dart connecting with Michael Trigg on a 21-yard score to take a 27-17 lead with 4:28 to play.

Tulane responded with another long drive that took 10 plays and went 67 yards before a 26-yard field goal from Ambrosio, but it only took 1:32 off the clock.

From there, Ole Miss went into cruise control, with Caden Davis knocking down his third field goal of the day – the fourth-longest field goal in school history at 56 yards – and Jared Ivey taking a Khari Coleman sack fumble back 26 yards for a touchdown to put Ole Miss on top 37-20 and complete a 30-3 scoring run from the closing stages of the second quarter.

Ole Miss now returns home to play host to Georgia Tech next Saturday, Sept. 16, with kickoff at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium set for 6:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.