Northwestern St 7

(4-5, 1-4 away)

Ole Miss 27

(3-7, 3-3 home)

2:00 PM ET, November 4, 2006

Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS

1 2 3 4 T
NWST 7 0 0 07
MISS 7 10 10 027

Top Performers

Passing: B. Schaeffer (MISS) - 175 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: B. Green-Ellis (MISS) - 14 CAR, 116 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: M. Wallace (MISS) - 6 REC, 80 YDS, 1 TD

Mississippi 27, Northwestern State 7

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- With archrivals LSU and Mississippi State on the horizon, there was every reason to think Mississippi might be looking ahead Saturday against Division I-AA Northwestern State.

Ed Orgeron's Rebels, with their best offensive performance this season, made sure that didn't happen with a methodical 27-7 win over the Demons (4-5). The Rebels (3-7) snapped a three-game losing streak with the win.

"Coach was worried all week if we would be able to get up for a game like this," Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Willis said. "But we did."

The Rebels had 401 yards of total offense, the highest output in Orgeron's two seasons as head coach. The combination of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Bruce Hall accounted for 201 yards and two touchdowns.

Green-Ellis, who has been slowed with a sore shoulder, finished with 116 yards on 14 carries. He did not carry the ball in the fourth period, giving way to the emerging Hall.

"It was a good one-two punch and it gives BenJarvus some rest," said Orgeron, who played at Northwestern State. "We are pleased with the way Bruce is coming along."

Hall, who finished with 85 yards on 12 carries, was more concerned about the snapping of the losing streak than his personal statistics.

"It's definitely going to help our confidence going into the LSU and Mississippi State games," Hall said. "We needed this one."

Brent Schaeffer was efficient at quarterback, hitting 13 of 23 passes for 175 yards, including a 35-yard scoring pass to Michael Wallace for the game's final touchdown late in the third period.

The Ole Miss defense, with Willis making a game-high 11 tackles, tightened its grip as the game wore on. Northwestern State had only four first downs and 72 yards of offense in the second half.

The Rebels never trailed, although Northwestern State matched an opening touchdown drive to tie the game at 7-7 early in the first quarter.

Green-Ellis scored on a 6-yard run to give Ole Miss a 7-0 lead with 11:41 left in the first period. Northwestern State, 0-14 against the Southeastern Conference, countered with their best series of the day, moving 85 yards in five plays. Roch Charpentier threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dudley Guice to finish the series.

Ole Miss dominated the rest of the way. The Rebels took a 17-7 halftime lead on a career-best 52-yard field goal from Joshua Shene and a 22-yard scoring run by Hall in the second quarter.

Schaeffer was 3-for-3 for 43 yards on the second quarter touchdown drive that sealed it, including a fourth-down conversion on a 6-yard pass to Wallace.

"The score before halftime hurt us," Demons coach Scott Stoker said. "We had the missed tackle that could have saved that. We would have gone in down 10-7, and we get the ball back to start the second half."

Instead, the Rebels scored on consecutive drives to open the second half.

Shene had a 23-yard field goal, followed by the 35-yard touchdown pass from Schaeffer to Wallace.

The Ole Miss defense controlled Northwestern State the rest of the way, allowing a season-low seven points. Schaeffer, who gave way to Seth Adams in the final period, led an efficient offense that had only one turnover.

"We didn't make mistakes," Schaeffer said. "That was big and we got the win. It feels good to get a victory. We needed it."