Rebels run away from Georgia Tech with late surge

Published 11:54 pm Saturday, September 16, 2023

OXFORD (AP) — Jaxson Dart ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as No. 17 Ole Miss pulled away in the final 10 minutes to defeat Georgia Tech 48-23 on Saturday night.

Ole Miss (3-0) needed a 45-yard field goal from Caden Davis, a 68-yard touchdown reception by Jordan Watkins from Dart and a 1-yard run by Quinshon Judkins to seal the win after Georgia Tech pulled within 24-17 with 10:31 remaining.

“It’s good to get to 3-0. It wasn’t pretty at times but all you can be after three games is 3-0 and that’s great,” Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said. “Jaxson did some special things running the ball and he made a couple of explosive plays in the passing game, too.”

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Dart finished 10-of-18 passing for 251 yards and added 14 rushes for 136 yards. He scored on runs of 1 and 6 yards as the Rebels had 550 total yards of offense, including 341 in the second half.

“I thought we did a good job of getting back to being balanced and that means running the ball,” Dart said. “I do need to slide more at the end of my runs. My Mom reminds me all the time to slide.”

Georgia Tech (1-2) was led by Haynes King, who was 28-of-41 passing for 310 yards and two touchdowns. Trailing 24-3, King had a 1-yard scoring run and a 15-yard TD pass to Eric Singleton Jr. to pull within 24-17. He added a late touchdown pass of 14 yards to Avery Boyd.

“Disappointing game. Disappointing,” Georgia Tech coach Brent Key repeated. “It’s disappointing any time you don’t come out with the outcome you want.”

The Rebels played without leading receiver Tre Harris, who sustained a knee injury in last week’s win over Tulane. Harris, a Louisiana Tech transfer, had five touchdown receptions in two starts, including a school record four in the opening win over Mercer.

Ulysses Bentley and Matt Jones scored on runs of 21 and 36 yards respectively.

Judkins, who was listed as doubtful, played despite being limited during practice all week with midsection discomfort. He finished with 13 carries for 37 yards rushing, including the fourth-quarter scoring run.

“I commend him for playing,” Kiffin said. “He played physical and was out there helping us win. It’s clear we’ve got significant major impact injuries on offense.”