Tampa, FL.—Ole Miss had an up and down season this year. But each week you could see the Rebels getting better.
In the Outback Bowl, the Ole Miss Rebels upset the No. 12 ranked Indiana Hoosiers, winning by a score of 26-20. Rebels quarterback Matt Corral completed 30 of 44 passes for 342 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Even before Rebels hit the field for the game, the Rebels felt good about their chances against the Hoosiers.
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin was rewarded with a new contract despite having only been at the University for one season. There also was no guarantee for one of the nation’s lowest-ranked defenses would be able to slow down No. 7 Indiana enough to ensure the team’s first bowl win.
“This is an investment in the future of the Ole Miss football program,” athletic director Keith Carter said of the extension, adding. “The future is bright.”
The Rebels took a 13-3 lead into the break following a pair of field goals and a 5-yard touchdown pass from Corral to Casey Kelly. After halftime, the Hoosiers began finding some of the offensive success it had been having all season.
The Rebels’ defense, which allowed 535.7 yards and 40.3 points per game during the regular season, came through with one more stop to solidify the school’s first bowl win since beating Oklahoma State in the 2016 Sugar Bowl.
Indiana, who don’t have a postseason win since the 1991 Copper Bowl bowl, drove to Ole Miss 33-yard before stalling and turning the ball over on downs.
“They made enough plays to come up with the win. I’m disappointed for our players,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “They have been through so much, sacrificed so much and worked hard. This one is going to hurt for a while.”
Indiana signal caller Jack Tuttle was 26 of 45 for 201 yards in his second start in place Michael Penix Jr. for the Hoosiers (6-2), which lost its quarterback to a season-ending knee injury in November.
Stevie Scott III rushed for 99 yards and scored on runs of 3 and 2 yards to help the Hoosiers trim a 20-6 deficit in the fourth quarter.
The Rebels missed the extra point after Drummond’s go-ahead TD catch, leaving the Hoosiers with an opportunity to pull out its first bowl win in nearly 30 years.
Corral’s 3-yard dart to Dontario Drummond put Ole Miss (5-5) ahead for good with 4:12 remaining in the contest.
“They made a stop, and the defense won us that game. Plain and simple. They finished it for us,” Corral said. We didn’t even need to go out on the field again. We did, but we took a knee. And that’s the easiest play in football.”