OXFORD, Miss. – Idaho briefly made things interesting against Mississippi on Saturday night.
But a lack of depth, a few missed tackles and a handful of mistakes doomed the Vandals in a 59-14 loss to the Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Taylor Davis completed 12 of 30 passes for 166 yards and one touchdown while Dezmon Epps added five catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. But it wasn’t nearly enough for Idaho (1-7), which gave up 572 total yards.
“I thought our guys fought pretty hard for the most part,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. “But we’ve still got a long way to go.”
Mississippi’s Bo Wallace threw for 186 yards and two touchdowns and I’Tavius Mathers rushed for 138 yards and another touchdown. The 59 points were the most for the Rebels since 2008.
Idaho lost its third straight game.
“We’ve just got to do a better job,” Petrino said. “We started two freshmen at corner tonight. They’re just going to keep fighting and keep growing, and I thought they both competed hard. They both got beat at times, but they competed as hard as they could. We just have to keep getting better.”
Idaho came into the game as a 41-point underdog. Even worse, the Vandals started Davis, their third string quarterback, on Saturday because of injuries to Chad Chalich and Joshua McCain.
But they stayed competitive in the first half and put together a 75-yard drive – capped by a 2-yard TD run by Davis – to pull within 17-7 early in the second quarter.