Jordan Ta'amu threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to D.K. Metcalf with 5 seconds remaining, pushing Ole Miss past Kentucky for a wild 37-34 victory on Saturday.
Moments after officials determined that Ta'amu was down before fumbling the ball away to Kentucky, Metcalf pulled down the quarterback’s throw in the left corner of the end zone and kept his feet inbounds to spark a huge celebration for the Rebels. Ta'amu threw for career highs of 382 yards and four TDs, including two to Metcalf, who had 83 yards on five catches.
Ole Miss (4-5, 2-4 SEC) bounced back from a 38-37 loss to Arkansas last week and maintained its hopes of becoming bowl eligible. The Rebels outgained Kentucky 473-455.
That Ole Miss TD followed Benny Snell’s 1-yard go-ahead score with 2:14 remaining that came after a sluggish second half by the Wildcats (6-3, 3-3 Southeastern Conference). Snell rushed for 176 yards and three TDs on 28 carries, but Kentucky couldn’t hold on.
The SEC’s top-ranked passing offense achieved what it wanted against the conference’s worst pass defense, as Ta'amu had time to throw to receivers who regularly seemed to be open.
The Rebels struggled defending Kentucky’s run game but made several key defensive stops that allowed them to rally. And even when trailing one last time, Ta'amu found his receivers again.
Seemingly in control with a 27-17 lead after C.J. Conrad’s 46-yard TD catch and run, the Wildcats’ offense stalled to create an opening for Ole Miss. Challenged to keep up with the Rebels’ high-powered passing game, defenders struggled all day covering Rebel receivers and allowed Ta'amu to pick them apart.