Ole Miss Escapes With Homecoming Win Over UNLV

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) _ Even on an injured ankle Deuce McAllister can still leap over a pile of tacklers in a single bound. McAllister, who was not expected to play, entered the game in overtime and scored the winning touchdown on a 1-yard leap as Mississippi beat UNLV 43-40 Saturday. McAllister gained first downs on two third-down plays to keep the overtime drive alive for Ole Miss (5-2). It was Mississippi's 22nd consecutive victory against a non-conference opponent. ``Deuce was not completely ready to play, but he knew he could help us in overtime,'' Ole Miss coach David Cutcliffe said. ``Nobody can jump over the top on a short yardage play like Deuce, and nobody can make big plays like he can.'' McAllister had just five yards rushing, but every inch was big. After falling behind 40-37 in overtime, Ole Miss called upon McAllister to get two third-and-one plays to keep the drive alive. UNLV (4-4) never led in regulation, but scored 30 points in the second half to force overtime. A 14-play, 99-yard drive that started with 5:02 remaining ended with Jeremi Rudolph's 17-yard TD run to make it 37-35. Kevin Brown scored the two-point conversion to send the game to overtime. ``My hat goes off to them,'' McAllister said. ``They're one of the best teams we've played this year.'' Mississippi led 23-7 at halftime. Quarterback Romaro Miller was 18-of-29 for 288 yards and three touchdown passes, including a 65-yarder to Grant Heard in the third quarter to put Ole Miss up 30-15. Ole Miss finished the game with 452 total yards of offense. But UNLV's running game, ranked 13th in the nation, got the Running Rebels back in it. James Wofford had 10 carries for 139 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to make it 30-22. With McAllister on the sidelines, Joe Gunn had 23 carries for 84 yards and one touchdown. Gunn moved past Charlie Flowers to become the fifth-leading rusher for Ole Miss in the school's history with 1,795 yards. UNLV had 25 first downs and 471 total yards, including 378 rushing. The overtime win was the first for Ole Miss since it beat Auburn 24-17 in 1999.