While you were out; Birmingham hosts the BBVA Compass Bowl

By on January 8, 2013
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The Ole Miss Rebels defeated Pittsburgh in the seventh annual BBVA Compass Bowl, 38-17. The Ole Miss win secured a 7-6 winning season, a drastic change from the 2-10 Rebels team a year ago.

Legion Field was nearly full as fans from Pittsburge and Oxford watch Ole Miss take on Pitt. Dan Harralson/Staff Writer

Out went then head coach, Houston Nutt, and in came Hugh Freeze. “I’ve tried to learn not to make too much out of a single game either way, but no question this advances our journey a bit,’’ Freeze said. “To be where we’re sitting here year one far surpasses certainly the prognosticators and whatever they had for us. Our guys really chose to buy in and determine we could be who we want to be. We don’t have to have someone else determine that.’’

The game MVP, Bo Wallace, guided the Rebels to a fast start and an early 14-0 lead. Wallace finished his junior season campaign going 22-32, 151 passing yards, and three touchdowns. Wallace began the game completing his first eight passes including two touchdowns. “I played OK. Nothing just crazy,’’ Wallace said. “I felt really good at the start of the game and then had the two interceptions and just had to bounce back from it,” Wallace said.

Hugh Freeze has successfully implemented his high-pace offense throughout the 2012 season averaging 426 yards per game. On Saturday, the Ole Miss offense produced 38 first downs and 387 yards.
The game was played at the historic Legion Field and witnessed an impressive crowd. The announced attendance of 59,135 is the BBVA Compass Bowl record, previously 42,610 in 2010 (South Carolina vs. UCONN). The Legion Field stadium attendance record came in 1991 when Alabama faced Tennessee (86, 293).

The crowd was predominately the Ole Miss faithful, but also had many other SEC fan bases in attendance. One Georgia fan, Krisi Cooper, said of being at the game, “Anyone who doesn’t believe the SEC is the most dominant conference in college football clearly didn’t want Ole Miss to stomp all over the team who took Notre Dame to 3 overtimes. We (the SEC) own college football!”

The SEC chants were heard loud and clear from the Ole Miss fans throughout the fourth quarter. One thing to be said of SEC fans is that they stick together throughout the bowl season.

The Ole Miss football program showed their hunger to not only get back to a bowl game, but to win a bowl game for the first time since winning back-to-back Cotton Bowl’s in 2008 and 2009. The win marks the Rebels fifth consecutive bowl victory dating back to the 2002 Independence Bowl.

Dan Harralson
Staff Writer
danh82@uab.edu

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