The Ole Miss coach built a huge 34-6 halftime lead behind pass plays involving junior stars Laquon Treadwell (71 receiving yards, three TDs) and Laremy Tunsil -- that's right, left tackle Laremy Tunsil -- both of whom probably made their final starts in Ole Miss uniforms.
Plus, Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly completed one of the best statistical seasons ever by an SEC quarterback in style. With 375 total yards against the Cowboys, Kelly finished the season with 4,542 yards, third in SEC history behind only two seasons from Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel.
Let's recap the Rebels' huge victory:
What the win means for Ole Miss: The Rebels (10-3) made up for last season's humiliating bowl performance against TCU. In their return to the New Year's Six spotlight, the Rebels thoroughly dominated a new Big 12 opponent. Ole Miss' "Landshark" defense held in check one of the nation's top passing offenses, limiting the Cowboys to 303 yards through the air -- 54 below their season average of 357.3 passing yards per game. The Cowboys failed to score a touchdown until late in the third quarter, when the game was well out of hand. Ole Miss hadn't played in the Sugar Bowl in 46 years, and its return to the French Quarter was a resounding success.
What the loss means for Oklahoma State: The Cowboys' (10-3) late-season implosion is now complete. The loss to Ole Miss made it three straight defeats for Mike Gundy's club -- a group that was unbeaten at 10-0 and sat at No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings in Week 12. This was also the worst bowl loss in school history, replacing a 26-point defeat against Ohio State in the 2004 Alamo Bowl (33-7).
How the game was won: The game got off to a surprisingly slow start, as Gary Wunderlich's 34-yard field goal with 2:15 left in the first quarter helped Ole Miss tie the score at 3-3. But check out the result of the Rebels' remaining drives before halftime: touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, field goal, touchdown. They rolled up 323 yards in those five straight scoring drives. Nobody in the building thought the Cowboys stood a chance of rallying after intermission.
Top play: As much fun as Treadwell's 45-yard pass to Jordan Wilkins was, there is only one correct choice here. With time running out in the second quarter, Ole Miss pulled out another trick play near the Oklahoma State goal line. Kelly rolled right and threw back to a wide-open Tunsil for a 2-yard touchdown pass as time expired, pushing the Rebels' halftime lead to 34-6.