GAMEDAY College Football

Mississippi 28, Troy 10

(AP Photo/Thomas Graning)

By CHRIS BURROWS
Associated Press

OXFORD, Miss. - Jaxson Dart thought about it. But the Mississippi quarterback did not want to get greedy in his debut performance.

"I wanted to throw deep. I wanted to. It just wasn't there," said Dart after evaluating his performance as No. 21 Mississippi beat Troy 28-10. "They took that away but we had a lot of success underneath and we gashed them in the first half."

Ole Miss built a 21-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes on drives of 82, 68 and 83 yards and was never seriously threatened. Dart was 18 of 27 for 154 yards, with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Malik Heath to cap the opening series of the second half.

The sophomore was efficient during the first half scoring drives, although the longest pass play covered 22 yards, a flare to running back Zach Evans. The Rebels relied primarily on a running game that produced 266 yards and mistake-free decision making by Dart.

"That's a good thing to be 1-0. Jaxson did a good job, especially early," Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin said. "The storyline was defense and the running game on offense. You want to play great in every areas for four quarters, so we will find a way to turn a poor second half into something positive."

Evans, a junior transfer from TCU, rushed for 130 yards on 20 carries as Ole Miss finished with 433 yards of total offense. The Rebels scored on 2-yard runs in the first half by Ulysses Bentley IV, Jonathan Mingo and Quinshon Judkins.

"I just looked for green grass and the offensive line gave all the backs the green grass," Evans said. "After you get green grass, then it's all about the eyes and feet. We got a lot to build off with this win."

Jon Sumrall lost in coaching debut for Troy.

Gunnar Watson threw for 275 yards for Troy, completing 34 of 47, with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Rajae' Johnson in the final quarter.

"We're disappointed with the loss because we didn't come here to play close. We came to win," Sumrall said. "But when it got to 28-3, it could have snowballed and our guys kept fighting all the way."

THE TAKEAWAY

Troy: Sun Belt Conference teams, even those like Troy with regular-season title and postseason hopes, are not expected to win on the road against SEC opponents. The Trojans were impressive on special teams as Mike Rivers had a 49.6 average on five punts and Brooks Buce ended the first half with a 31-yard field goal.

Mississippi: The answer was yes. An encouraging yes. The question whether Ole Miss could pull it together quickly despite wholesale changes in assistant coaches and player personnel was settled by a defensive unit with 10 tackles for loss and three scoring drives that spanned the first and second quarters. Dart was efficient but not as effective throwing the deep ball, including a second half interception before yielding to reserve Luke Altmyer in the final quarter.

TRANSFER DEFENSIVE TANDEM

Ole Miss was heavily reliant on the transfer portal to replace major losses from last year's Sugar Bowl team. One of the most heralded was linebacker Troy Brown of Central Michigan, finishing with 11 tackles.

One of the least heralded transfers was linebacker Khari Coleman of TCU, with a game-high five tackles for loss and two sacks.

"We showed a flash or two of what we can do on defense," said Brown, showcasing speed in the open field to make tackles. "We still have to patch up some of the little things. But I thought our defense came out and played with energy and that's what we require is energy."


Scoring Summary
First Quarter TroyMiss
Miss TD 2:25 Ulysses Bentley IV 2 yd run (Jonathan Cruz kick) 0 7
Second Quarter TroyMiss
Miss TD 11:51 Jonathan Mingo 2 yd run (Jonathan Cruz kick) 0 14
Miss TD 6:38 Quinshon Judkins 2 yd run (Jonathan Cruz kick) 0 21
Troy FG 0:00 Brooks Buce 31 yd FG 3 21
Third Quarter TroyMiss
Miss TD 10:42 Malik Heath 12 yd pass from Jaxson Dart (Jonathan Cruz kick) 3 28
Fourth Quarter TroyMiss
Troy TD 7:17 RaJae' Johnson 3 yd pass from Gunnar Watson (Brooks Buce kick) 10 28
Team Stats
  Troy Ole Miss
First downs 20 25
  Rushing 8 13
  Passing 12 10
  Penalty 0 2
3rd Down Efficiency 6-17, 35% 9-14, 64%
4th down efficiency 2-5, 40% 1-1, 100%
Rushes-Yards 33-60 44-266
Passing Yards 286 167
Return Yards 0 23
Completions-Attempts-Int 35-48-1 19-29-1
Sacks-Yards Lost 4--21 0-0
Punts 5 4
Punts-Average 49.6 41.3
Fumbles Lost 2-1 4-2
Penalties - Yards 6-37 3-16
Time of Possession 36:58 23:02
Troy Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
G. Watson 34 47 275 1 1
J. Doege 1 1 11 0 0
Ole Miss Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
J. Dart 18 27 154 1 1
L. Altmyer 1 2 13 0 0
Troy Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
K. Vidal 12 48 4.0 0
J. Woods 10 27 2.7 0
D. Billingsley 3 17 5.7 0
W. Choloh 1 1 1.0 0
T. Johnson 1 -2 -2.0 0
G. Watson 6 -31 -5.2 0
Ole Miss Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
Z. Evans 20 130 6.5 0
Q. Judkins 14 87 6.2 1
J. Dart 4 40 10.0 0
U. Bentley IV 2 5 2.5 1
J. Robinson 1 5 5.0 0
J. Mingo 1 2 2.0 1
J. Henry 1 -1 -1.0 0
Troy Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Barber 5 60 12.0 0
D. Stoudemire 6 45 7.5 0
D. Brown 2 40 20.0 0
R. Johnson 3 32 10.7 1
M. Rogers 2 24 12.0 0
M. Vice 3 23 7.7 0
K. Vidal 6 19 3.2 0
J. Woods 2 12 6.0 0
P. Higgins 2 11 5.5 0
T. Johnson 2 10 5.0 0
C. Ollendieck 1 7 7.0 0
D. Ross 1 3 3.0 0
Ole Miss Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
M. Trigg 4 33 8.3 0
J. Mingo 3 26 8.7 0
Z. Evans 2 22 11.0 0
J. Watkins 2 20 10.0 0
Q. Judkins 1 18 18.0 0
M. Heath 2 15 7.5 1
D. Wade 3 14 4.7 0
J. Henry 1 11 11.0 0
J. Robinson 1 8 8.0 0
Troy Interceptions
Player Int Yards
M. Colvin 1 0
Ole Miss Interceptions
Player Int Yards
M. Battle 1 10
Troy Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
M. Rivers 5 248 49.6
Ole Miss Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
F. Masin 4 165 41.3
Troy Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Ole Miss Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Troy Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Ole Miss Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
D. Wade 1 13 13.0
Troy Missed FG
Player Length
Ole Miss Missed FG
Player Length




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