First half scoring burst powers SEC’s Rebels past Ragin’ Cajuns, 50-22
OXFORD, Miss. – Jordan Ta’amu threw for 418 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for a pair of scores as Ole Miss scored the first 28 points of the game and never looked back in defeating the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, 50-22, on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
A.J. Brown caught 14 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns as Ole Miss (5-5) improved to 5-0 against Louisiana (4-5) while accumulating 641 yards of total offense and built a 35-10 lead at halftime.
Ta’amu, who finished 28-for-36 through the air while scoring on an 8-yard TD run in the first quarter, directed a five-play, 75-yard drive as he tossed a 37-yard scoring pass to DaMarkus Lodge before tossing TD passes of 31 and 27 yards to Brown that would give the Rebels a 28-0 lead in the second quarter.
Louisiana got on the board in the second quarter when Raymond Calais scored on a 31-yard TD before Stevie Artigue booted a 43-yard field goal with 3:01 remaining in the first half.
Jordan Davis, who replaced an injured Levi Lewis in the third quarter, scored on TD runs of 10 and 31 yards as Louisiana gained 427 yards of total offense. Lewis completed a season-best 14 of 26 passes for 166 yards for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Davis and Ryheem Malone each rushing for 52 yards to pace the ground game.
Corey Turner posted a career-high 13 tackles for Louisiana with Justin Middleton recording a season-high nine stops with a tackle for loss.
Louisiana will return home next Saturday to face New Mexico State in the annual Homecoming game at Cajun Field. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. and will be available on ESPN3.
• Captains for Louisiana were WR Ja’Marcus Bradley (Ackerman, Miss.), DE Trev Miller (Noxapater, Miss.), WR Keenan Barnes (Madison, Miss.) and NT Taboris Lee (Ackerman, Miss.).
• Louisiana played without DE Joe Dillon, RB Trey Ragas, DB Damar’ren Mitchell, LG Robert Hunt due to earlier violation of team rules.
• Levi Lewis set season-highs in pass completions (14), pass attempts (26) and yards (166) in his second career start.
• Chaiziere Malbrue recorded his first career interception when he picked off Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu in the fourth quarter.
• Louisiana did not commit a turnover for the second consecutive game while finishing +1 in the turnover battle.
• The 31-yard touchdown run in the second quarter by Raymond Calais was his first rushing TD of the season and his first since a 7-yard TD run against McNeese State on Sept. 10, 2016.
• Ja’Marcus Bradley posted his second career 100-yard receiving game with 105 yards on seven receptions. His 119 all-purpose yards were a career-best (previous was 113 yards, last vs. Arkansas State on Nov. 26, 2016).
• Jordan Davis’ 10-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter was his first TD since the Tulsa game on Sept. 9.
• Redshirt freshman quarterback Jake Arceneaux made his debut for the Ragin’ Cajuns in the fourth quarter.
• Davis added a 31-yard TD run to record his second career multi-TD game.
• LB Justin Middleton recorded a season-high seven tackles with a tackle for loss.
• Earnest Patterson’s 37-yard kick return in the second quarter was a season-high. His 104 all-purpose yards marked a season-best.
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