OXFORD, Miss. — Jaylen Walton ran for a key fourth-quarter touchdown, and No. 10 Ole Miss used a dominant defensive performance to beat Memphis 24-3 on Saturday night.
The Rebels (4-0) are undefeated through four games for the first time since 1970, overcoming a mistake-riddled performance by the offense and special teams.
It was an ugly night for Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace, who threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. The senior was 22-of-37 passing for 248 yards and two touchdowns — both to Laquon Treadwell.
Ole Miss led just 7-3 after three quarters. Andrew Fletcher made a 19-yard field goal — after missing his first two attempts earlier in the game — to increase the Rebels’ lead early in the fourth.
Walton’s 23-yard run with 9:34 remaining pushed the advantage to 17-3. Memphis (2-2) managed just 104 total yards.
Kentucky 17, Vanderbilt 7: In Lexington, Ky., Patrick Towles threw a 20-yard touchdown pass and scored on a 1-yard run, and Kentucky made three fourth-quarter interceptions to hold off Vanderbilt to end a 17-game Southeastern Conference losing streak.
Though the Wildcats (3-1, 1-1) sent 56,940 away happy with their first conference win since November 2011 against Tennessee, there was no wild on-field celebration by Kentucky players after escaping the Commodores (1-4, 0-3). Coach Mark Stoops congratulated several players and shook hands with Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason before departing to cheers.
All of the game’s scoring came in the first half with Towles doing the work with his arm and feet. He connected with Ryan Timmons to cap a 99-yard, 13-play opening drive, then followed Austin MacGinnis’ 44-yard field goal with a 1-yard sneak just before halftime.
Kentucky’s defense, particularly defensive back Marcus McWilson, A.J. Stamps and Ashely Lowery, kept the Commodores from scoring again with timely pickoffs. The Wildcats held the Commodores to just 57 second-half yards and 139 total, the fewest total yards Kentucky has given up to an SEC opponent since Vanderbilt had 91 in 1996.
Towles completed 23 of 30 passes for 201 of Kentucky’s 384 yards but lost a fourth-quarter fumble and had a second-quarter interception returned 13 yards by Darrius Sims for Vanderbilt’s only points. He was also sacked four times.
Despite Kentucky’s inconsistent performance, the victory still was an encouraging step forward for a program seeking respectability after consecutive 2-10 seasons.
That disappointing yet thrilling loss stirred its fan base enough to gobble