There were promising moments here and there Saturday night for the Idaho football team, which briefly made its game at Ole Miss interesting in the second quarter before bowing out, 59-14. The Vandals fell to 1-7 and lost their 27th consecutive game to traditional BCS schools, a streak that stretches back to 2000.
Down 17-7 midway through the second quarter, Idaho drove to the Rebels' 8-yard line with third-string quarterback Taylor Davis under center and had a 27-yard field goal attempt to draw within a touchdown. But Austin Rehkow's kick bounced off the right upright and Ole Miss rattled off 21 unanswered points to pull away.
Davis was 12-of-30 passing for 166 yards in his first start this season. He completed just 36 percent of his passes two weeks ago after replacing Chad Chalich (shoulder) against Arkansas State.
Ole Miss (5-3) outrushed Idaho 292-87, with I'Tavius Mathers doing most of the damage. He averaged 9.9 yards per carry and finished with 138 yards. For Idaho, Kris Olugbode (10 carries, 33 yards) and James Baker (13 carries, 24 yards) struggled against the Rebels' deep and athletic front seven.
In addition to playing without Chalich and backup QB Josh McCain (shoulder), Idaho was also without defensive end Quinton Bradley and corner Solomon Dixon, both of whom missed the game with undisclosed injuries. True freshman Desmond Banks started in Dixon's place.
The Vandals will return to Moscow for back-to-back home games the next two weeks. They host Texas State (5-3) next week at 2 p.m. in the Kibbie Dome.
Here's the write-up from Oxford from Idaho media relations:
OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss Rebels were too much for a young University of Idaho football team Saturday night as the Vandals fell 59-14 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
“Our guys fought hard most of the game,” coach Paul Petrino said. “We still have a long way to go. We just have to keep getting better.”
Idaho fell behind 17-7 in the first quarter with the Rebels’ first scored aided by a defensive offsides at midfield and their next TD coming after the Vandals came up short on fourth down at their own 40. Ole Miss settled for a 50-yard field goal to end the first quarter.
The Vandals, aided by an inspired defensive effort, came back to score on a run by Davis but just missed making closing it to within a score when Austin Rehkow’s 27-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright and bounced out to leave it at 17-7.
Ole Miss marched 80 yards on its next possession and scored on a one-yard run by Jaylen Walton, who fumbled as he crossed the end line. Trey Williams recovered the ball but it was ruled that Walton broke the plan of the end zone before losing the ball. The successful PAT made it 24-7 – the score that lasted until halftime.
The Rebels scored back to back to go up 38-7 with a 65-yard scoring pass and then on a 12-yard fumble recovery.
The Vandals came back with a 62-yard from Davis to Dezmon Epps for a 38-14 score with just over six minutes left in the third quarter.
The Rebels didn’t slow down and tacked on another 21 points by game’s end. Of their scoring plays, all but the 12-yard fumble recovery and the one-yard run in the second quarter were by 30 or more yards.
Dezmon Epps pulled in five passes for 89 yards to lead the Vandals, while quarterback Taylor Davis finished the night 12-of-30 for 166 yards.