Bo Wallace leads Ole Miss past Pittsburgh in Compass Bowl
Birmingham, AL, United States (4E Sports) – Sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace tossed three touchdown passes to lead Ole Miss to a 38-17 victory over Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl Saturday at Legion Field.
Wallace, who was later named MVP, completed 22 of 32 passes for 151 yards as the Rebels captured their first bowl win since beating Oklahoma State, 21-7 in the 2010 Cotton Bowl.
The Rebels, who broke the Compass Bowl scoring record with 38 points, have now won nine of their last 10 bowl games and their last five.
The win moves Mississippi’s bowl record to 22-12. The Rebels’ 22 bowl victories are tied for the 11th most in the country with Auburn and LSU.
The Rebels also capped their first season under coach Hugh Freeze with a 7-6 record after struggling with a 2-11 mark in 2011.
Freshman running back I’Tavius Mathers led Ole Miss on the ground with six carries for 96 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, as the Rebels dominated the rushing game, 224 to 81.
Meanwhile, the Rebels’ receiving corps also played a key part with wide receivers Vince Sanders and Ja-Mes Logan and quarterback Randall Mackey catching Wallace’s touchdown throws.
Senior quarterback Tino Sunseri completed 16 of 32 heaves for 185 yards and two touchdowns for the Panthers, who finished the season with a 6-7 mark.
The Panthers’ running game suffered immensely without leading rusher Ray Graham, who was sidelined by a hamstring injury he suffered in practice.
Freshman rusher Rushel Shell tried to fill the void left by Graham, running for 79 yards on 24 carries but he failed to prop up the Panthers ground attack.
Junior wide receiver Devin Street caught seven passes for 83 yards and a touchdown while Mike Shanahan tallied 57 yards on four receptions and a score.
In the first quarter, Wallace capped a five-play, 23-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Logan to give the Rebels a 7-0 lead.
Wallace later completed his eighth consecutive pass to start the game with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Mackey for a 14-0 Rebels edge.
Following a Pitt touchdown, Wallace completed his third touchdown pass of the game with an 18-yard strike to Vince Sanders.
The touchdown pass, Wallace’s 22nd of the year, moved him up to fourth on the Ole Miss single-season list, surpassing Eli Manning’s 2002 total of 21.
The Rebels closed out the first half with a 31-yard field goal from Bryon Rose that gave the Rebels a 24-10 lead at the break.
The Rebels stretched the lead to 31-10 when junior Barry Brunetti scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak with 21 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Mathers capped the scoring for Ole Miss with a 62-yard touchdown run.