Texas falls to No. 25 Ole Miss 44-23 to continue early-season tailspin
Texas’ worst nightmare was realized on Saturday night, as Ole Miss dismantled the Longhorns' defense en route to a 44-23 win. Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace led the way by racking 240 total yards and three scores.
With 'Horns quarterback David Ash out and new defensive coordinator Greg Robinson having only a few days to adjust to his role, Texas flopped. Ole Miss, which has plenty of talented players and should only become more dangerous as its young contributors gain experience, outscored the Longhorns 27-0 in the second half to close out the rout.
For a moment, after Texas weathered two early Rebels' touchdowns, it appeared as if the Longhorns might bounce back. They rattled off 23 straight points to pour a bucket of water on the firestorm of discontent that's spreading in Austin. Yet the flames came back roaring back after the break, as running back Jeff Scott -- who piled up 164 yards and a touchdown -- helped Ole Miss bury coach Mack Brown's reeling squad. With just more than nine minutes remaining and the Rebels up by 21, 'Horns fans started filing for the exits:
Touchdown Ole Miss. DKR is emptying, rapidly.
— Steven Godfrey (@38Godfrey) September 15, 2013
Texas quarterback Case McCoy resembled his older brother Colt at times, completing 23-of-35 passes for 189 yards and a score. But McCoy scrambled too frequently and left himself exposed to punishing hits, which led to a fumble on one of Texas' most promising drives of the second half. Running back Johnathan Gray finished the night with 90 rushing yards and a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Texas’ porous D, which allowed 278 yards on the ground just one week after surrendering a school-record 550 rushing yards in a 40-21 loss to BYU.
Former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is already gone. Reports surfaced on Friday that longtime AD DeLoss Dodds is set to step down at the end of the calendar year. (The university denied those reports.) Even though Texas plays winnable games against Kansas State and Iowa State in the coming weeks, things have gone from bad to worse.