The Norman Transcript

National Sports

January 6, 2013

Pitt can’t keep pace

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Hugh Freeze needed only one year to make a winner out of a Mississippi team that was woeful in 2011.

The coach noted with satisfaction that most experts didn’t predict such dramatic improvement in his first season.

Bo Wallace threw three touchdown passes and Ole Miss beat Pittsburgh 38-17 in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Saturday to complete an impressive turnaround. Ole Miss (7-6) took a five-win improvement over its 2-10 finish in 2011.

“I’ve tried to learn not to make too much out of a single game either way, but no question this advances our journey a bit,” Freeze said. “To be where we’re sitting here year one far surpasses certainly the prognosticators and whatever they had for us. Our guys really chose to buy in and determine we could be who we want to be. We don’t have to have someone else determine that.”

The bowl win was especially satisfying for veteran players who had no postseason last year.

“The best thing is our program is moving in the right direction,” said junior linebacker Mike Marry, who had four of the Rebels’ 11 tackles for losses. “We’re not where we want to be right now but we’re moving there.”

Freeze’s no-huddle, up-tempo offense produced 38 first downs and 387 yards. Pitt was held to 266 yards, its second-lowest total of the season.

“Obviously, it was a tough one for us,” said Pitt coach Paul Chryst, also completing his first season. “Give Ole Miss credit. They beat us in almost every phase. They were clearly the better team.”

Wallace, chosen the game’s MVP, completed 22 of 32 passes for 151 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He judged his performance as only average.

“I played OK. Nothing just crazy,” Wallace said. “I felt really good at the start of the game and then had the two interceptions and just had to bounce back from it.”

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Tour leader Nibali says he’s ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

    CARCASSONNE, France — Barring a disaster for him on French roads from now until Sunday, the man who looks set to win the Tour de France says he understands that cycling is still paying for its longtime doping plague....

    July 22, 2014

  • McIlroy will emerge even stronger than ever

    HOYLAKE, England — The celebration began long before Rory McIlroy had a chance to drink out of the claret jug....

    July 22, 2014

  • Petrino ushers Louisville into ACC

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — Bobby Petrino turned Louisville into a top-10 team nearly a decade ago. Now, more than two years after a scandal derailed his career, Petrino is back with the Cardinals as they enter the Atlantic Coast Conference....

    July 22, 2014

  • Stewart still riding high

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Stewart heads into the busiest week of his year riding high from a win in his return to sprint car racing. Stewart raced in a sprint car last weekend for the first time since he broke his leg in an extracurricular ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Witness: Sterling must sell to pay debts

    LOS ANGELES — The chief financial officer of Donald Sterling’s properties said Monday that the billionaire may be forced to sell a large portion of his real estate empire to cover $500 million in loans if he persists in refusing to sell ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Mikolas pitches Rangers past sloppy Yankees

    NEW YORK — Miles Mikolas earned his first win as a starter, pitching into the eighth inning Monday night and leading the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the sloppy New York Yankees. Trailing by a run with none on and two outs in the ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Angels with latest big move before deadline

    Oakland general manager Billy Beane acted boldly, trading top prospect Addison Russell in a deal that brought starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics....

    July 22, 2014

  • Jeter turns small part of attention to business

    NEW YORK — Pedestrians craned their necks as Derek Jeter stood in front of a food truck parked across the street from Central Park....

    July 22, 2014

  • Ortiz homers twice, Red Sox rout Blue Jays

    TORONTO — David Ortiz hit the 452nd and 453rd home runs of his career, moving past Boston great Carl Yastrzemski into 36th place on the all-time list, and the Red Sox won their fifth straight game Monday night, routing the Toronto Blue ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Dodgers edge out Cardinals

    ST. LOUIS — Adrian Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning off St. Louis Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal and the Los Angeles Dodgers salvaged the series finale with a 4-3 victory Sunday night....

    July 21, 2014