OXFORD Chad Kelly threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns to help No. 19 Ole Miss rout Wofford 38-13 on Saturday.
Ole Miss (1-1) played just five days after losing to Florida State 45-34 on Monday night. The Rebels didn’t appear tired, though, scoring on all four of their first-half drives to take a 24-3 halftime lead.
“I thought our kids came out with an edge,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. “Especially on offense.”
Kelly completed short touchdown throws in the first half to Markell Pack, D.K. Metcalf and Quincy Adeboyejo, and Gary Wunderlich made a 40-yard field goal as the Rebels methodically moved the ball against overmatched Wofford of the Football Championship Subdivision level.
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It was an efficient, mistake-free performance from Kelly, who threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in the Florida State loss. He completed 20 of 27 passes against Wofford.
“We were anxious to get that first win,” Kelly said.
The only bad news for the Rebels was when Metcalf, a 6-foot-4 freshman who has quickly earned a role as one of the team’s top receivers, broke his left foot in the second quarter. He also caught a touchdown pass in the Florida State game.
Freeze said he wasn’t sure how much time Metcalf would miss, but it’s possible the injury could end his season.
Ole Miss has already struggled with injuries this season. Starting cornerback Kendarius Webster and running back Eric Swinney both tore knee ligaments in the Florida State game and are done for the season.
Ole Miss announced a crowd of 64,232, which is a stadium record. The Rebels spent about $60 million on offseason renovations to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which included roughly 5,000 new seats after bowling in the north side of the stadium.
Wofford (1-1) moved the ball effectively at times, but couldn’t find the end zone until the fourth quarter, when quarterback Brad Butler ran for a 17-yard touchdown.
Wofford coach Mike Ayres, who is in his 29th season leading the program, had a unique way of describing his team’s growth so far this season: “We’re close. We’re like that fat guy that’s got one leg over the fence and he’s close. He’s working to get that second leg over. It’s tough, but it’s not quite there. That’s where we are. We didn’t have a great day.”
Wofford: The Terriers’ triple-option offense was decent, but finding the end zone was difficult against an SEC defense. Wofford has a 1-19 record against Football Bowl Subdivision teams.
Ole Miss: The Rebels got what they needed – a relatively uneventful, lopsided win. Now they can turn their attention to a marquee SEC game against Alabama in Oxford next weekend.
Wofford: The Terriers return home to face Johnson C. Smith.
Ole Miss: The Rebels host Alabama after beating the Tide in each of the past two seasons.
Follow David Brandt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP . AP College Football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org