Ole Miss dominates Penn State in Peach Bowl to earn historic win total

Ole Miss dominates Penn State in Peach Bowl to earn historic win total

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Ole Miss entered the with one of the better offenses in the nation. 

But the Rebels were expected to have a significant challenge Saturday when they matched up with the stout Penn State Nittany Lion defense.

did not have much difficulty once the ball kicked off. The Rebels put up 540 yards of offense against a defense that only allowed an average of 223 yards per game entering Saturday.

Quarterback Jaxson Dart threw three touchdowns as Mississippi bullied Penn State in a 38-25 victory in Atlanta. The win also gave Ole Miss its first-ever 11-win season.

Mississippi Rebels runs during the Peach Bowl

Mississippi Rebels running back Quinshon Judkins (4) runs against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta Dec. 30, 2023. (Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports)

Fourth-year coach Lane Kiffin has quickly turned the program around. The Rebels won 10 games during Kiffin’s second year.

“I really do believe we’re just getting started,” Kiffin said. “I think that we’re doing something. We’re on our way to something really special.”

coach James Franklin cited the variety of challenges the Nittany Lions faced leading up to the Peach Bowl. 

“Too many moving parts, staff and players, to have the type of success that we wanted to have today,” said Franklin, referring to the combination of players opting out to prepare for and recent changes to his offensive and defensive coordinators.

Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss players celebrates after a bowl game win

Head coach Lane Kiffin of the Mississippi Rebels celebrates with the team after beating the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Dec. 30, 2023, in Atlanta.  (Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

Ole Miss tight end Caden Prieskorn accounted for three touchdowns, two receiving and one rushing.

The dominant performance by Prieskorn, who has announced he will return in 2024 for his final year of eligibility, was a surprise. Prieskorn had 20 catches, including two for touchdowns, for 313 yards in the regular season.

Ole Miss player celebrates Peach Bowl victory

Ole Miss wide receiver Tre Harris after the Peach Bowl against Penn State Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, in Atlanta. Mississippi won 38-25.  (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Ole Miss chanted “S-E-C! S-E-C!” as it celebrated the Southeastern Conference’s win over a Big Ten opponent.

The Rebels led 20-17 at halftime and pulled away when running back Quinshon Judkins provided balance to the offense in the second half. Judkins had 34 carries for 106 yards and added a 14-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, when Ole Miss extended its lead to 31-17.

Ole Miss is scheduled to open the 2024 season at home against Furman. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions kick off next season at West Virginia Aug. 31.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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