Ole Miss Takes Down Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Carrie Anderson

Ole Miss Takes Down Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Jevan Snead sure knows how to finish.

The Mississippi quarterback recovered from an awful start to

throw two late touchdowns and Dexter McCluster scored twice to lead

the No. 8 Rebels to a 45-14 win over Memphis on Sunday. Snead hit 4

of 5 passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter,

breaking open a close game.

"Another thing you have to love about Jevan is that when things

don't go just right, he doesn't put his head down," Ole Miss coach

Houston Nutt said. "You don't have to be concerned about that.

He's a winner, and the guy really came back and played well."

Those who having been watching Snead at Ole Miss will start to

notice a trend. Snead got off to a slow start last season before

rallying the Rebels to six straight wins. He did just the same in

microcosm in the team's seventh consecutive victory.

Snead was the focus of preseason hype and mentioned as a dark

horse candidate for the Heisman Trophy. But when the spotlight

first hit him in 2009, he wilted. He completed just 8 of 17 passes

for 102 yards with two interceptions through three quarters,

missing badly at times.

The offense struggled because of it and was especially

dysfunctional in the first half when the team turned the ball over

three times, punted three others and gained 144 yards.

It took a big play by Fon Ingram to wipe away those troubles.

It looked like Memphis might take the lead late in the second

quarter. The Tigers trailed 10-7 and appeared to have an

opportunity to take the lead with a solid drive when Ingram stepped

in front of Arkelon Hall's pass and returned it 38 yards for a 17-7

halftime lead.

"It was just being in the right place at the right time,"

Ingram said. "He threw it right to me, and when I caught it I knew

it was six."

That gave Ole Miss confidence going into the second half and

Snead completed his personal comeback with a couple of rapid-fire

touchdowns of 18 yards to Markeith Summers and 17 yards to

McCluster in the fourth.

His counterpart had a much more difficult time in the face of

pressure from Ole Miss' defensive line.

Hall completed 15 of 30 passes with two interceptions for 110

yards. He had 37 yards in the first half and limited the Tigers'

effectiveness with several poor passes well off the mark.

The Tigers had 284 total yards, three turnovers and were 0 for 2

on fourth-down conversions and 4 for 16 on third down.

"You've got to give our defense a lot of credit," Snead said.

The defense's early stand was repaid as the offense gained

strength. Brandon Bolden rushed for 71 yards on nine carries,

scored one touchdown and set up McCluster's 1-yard plunge in the

third quarter with a 28-yard run.

McCluster had 50 yards rushing as both the Wild Rebel

quarterback and an I-formation tailback and 65 yards receiving,

too. Enrique Davis finished off the game with a 29-yard scoring

run.

Memphis coach Tommy West stocked up on transfers the last two

years in an attempt to improve the talent on his roster and it

appeared to work for a while, especially on defense and in the

running game. Curtis Steele had 90 yards and two touchdowns,

including one that cut it to 24-14. Wisconsin transfer Lance Smith

added 63 yards rushing.

The team couldn't overcome the performance by Hall.

"I thought (our guys) balled their tails off and I thought we

really busted some runs," West said. "I think our backs gave us a

chance to win."

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