Shea Patterson threw for 351 yards and four touchdowns and Mississippi beat Vanderbilt 57-35 on Saturday.
Ole Miss (3-3, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) snapped its three-game losing streak while Vanderbilt (3-4, 0-4) has now lost four straight.
Vanderbilt led 14-7 in the second quarter after Ralph Webb ran for two touchdowns, but Ole Miss responded with 28 straight points in less than seven minutes. The offensive avalanche was helped by two Vanderbilt turnovers that gave the Rebels excellent field position.
“It’s good to be back – put up those numbers, have fun and get us a win,” Ole Miss receiver A.J. Brown said.
Ole Miss kept the momentum early in the third quarter, earning a safety after forcing Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur to fumble into the end zone. Less than a minute later, Patterson hit Brown for a 29-yard touchdown pass and a 44-21 lead and the game was no longer in doubt.
Brown caught eight passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns. DaMarkus Lodge also caught two touchdown passes.
“Enjoyed watching our offense get its tempo going and balance going,” Ole Miss interim coach Matt Luke said. “Obviously, there are some things we can get cleaned up but I’m really excited for our players and our fans.”
Shurmur threw for 174 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the Commodores. Webb ran for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
“We need to mentally find ourselves, find our identity, rebuild our confidence and get fresh,” Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said. “I’ve seen a lot of football – good stretches and bad stretches – we’ve got to look inside and fix what ails us. We need to get better and we can do that.”
It’s a much-needed win for the Rebels, who were embarrassed while giving up a combined 110 points in back-to-back losses to Alabama and Auburn. The Ole Miss passing game was very good on Saturday, but the real surprise was a solid running game, led by 113 yards on the ground from Jordan Wilkins. The defense – led by a huge game from defensive end Marquis Haynes – put a ton of pressure on Shurmur.
Ole Miss hosts LSU next Saturday.