VIDEO: Ole Miss routs Cowboys in Sugar Bowl
NEW ORLEANS — Quarterback Chad Kelly threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns, Laquon Treadwell caught three touchdown passes in what was likely his final college game, and Ole Miss avenged its ugly showing in last year’s postseason with a 48-20 rout of Oklahoma State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Friday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
No. 12 Ole Miss (10-3) scored 27 unanswered points in the first half to take control and nearly doubled Oklahoma State (10-3) in total yards (554-366) to put the finishing touches on its first 10-win season since 2003 in its second straight New Year’s Six Bowl. The rout came 366 days after the Rebels were on the other side of a 42-3 blowout against TCU in the Peach Bowl.
Kelly, who was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player, turned in his eighth 300-yard passing game of the season and also added a team-high 73 yards on the ground as the Rebels’ firepower overwhelmed No. 16 Oklahoma State. Ole Miss scored on five straight possessions to build a 27-6 lead late in the first half before the Rebels delivered the kill shot as time ran out on the second quarter.
With 5 seconds left and Ole Miss at Oklahoma State’s 2-yard line, the Rebels kept their offense on the field and further strengthened their hold on the Cowboys when Kelly brought the defense with him on a rollout to his right before stopping to throw back across the field to offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil, who walked into the end zone to put Ole Miss up four scores at the break and well on its way to its sixth Sugar Bowl victory.
Oklahoma State didn’t get any closer than 28 with the Rebels, even without star defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, suffocating an offense that was averaging more than 41 points a game coming in. Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh ran for touchdowns of 2 and 8 yards in the second half.
Walsh and starter Mason Rudolph combined to throw for 303 yards, but the Cowboys were far too one-dimensional. Oklahoma State mustered just 63 rushing yards and had minus-11 on the ground at one point in the fourth quarter as the Rebels notched 12 tackles for loss.
Jordan Wilkins ripped off a 36-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to give Ole Miss its biggest lead at 41-6, and the Rebels answered Walsh’s first scoring run with Treadwell’s final touchdown grab — a 14-yarder early in the fourth.
Kelly’s four scoring tosses set an Ole Miss bowl record and tied a Sugar Bowl record. Treadwell also tied a Sugar Bowl record with those three touchdown receptions and finished with six catches for 71 yards, setting single-season school records for catches (82), receiving yards (1,153) and touchdown catches (11).
Cody Core hauled in a 31-yard pass on Ole Miss’ third possession to give the Rebels a 10-3 lead before Kelly and Treadwell went to work. Treadwell ended the Rebels’ ensuing drive in style, fending off cornerback Kevin Peterson to haul in a 34-yard touchdown with one hand, before snagging a 10-yard score with 6:58 left in the second quarter.
Ben Grogan booted a 31-yard field goal for Oklahoma State to make it 27-6 before Ole Miss went 74 yards in eight plays to tack on its final score of the first half.
Watch players and coaches get presented with the Sugar Bowl trophy afterward as well as an interview with Treadwell in the videos below.
See Sunday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage from Friday’s game.