ATLANTA -- One team played as if it had something to prove. The other played as if it had something better to do.
It was over when: When Bad Bo showed up, there wasn’t much Ole Miss could do about it. Bo Wallace, who became known for his streaky play during his three seasons as Ole Miss’ starting quarterback, finished his career on a sour note. The senior was sacked three times and threw three interceptions in the first half alone, one of which resulted in a touchdown. TCU jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead and never looked back.
Game ball goes to: If you’re looking for an early 2015 Heisman Trophy favorite, look no further than Trevone Boykin. TCU’s star quarterback was in peak form against Ole Miss, throwing for three touchdowns and 188 yards against a defense that ranked 12th in the country entering the day. From this pass to this fake toss, Boykin showed there wasn’t much he couldn’t do. The junior ranked fourth in the Heisman balloting this season. But if he continues his upward trajectory into his senior season, it’s difficult to imagine he won’t be in New York next year.
How the game was won: Wallace couldn’t keep the football. The Rebels' defense was out of sorts. And just before the mercy of halftime, Ole Miss lost arguably its best player, offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil, to a fractured fibula. For TCU, the game was won by halftime. Thanks to a stingy defense and an explosive offense, the Horned Frogs turned around the Big 12’s bowl season blues in a major way.
Stat of the game: The turnovers were enough of a statement, but TCU’s defense was much more than a happy beneficiary of Wallace’s many errors in judgment. No, the Horned Frogs were sound throughout, stuffing Ole Miss at the point of attack. Though five first-half sacks spoke volumes about the pressure TCU generated, it was its total defense that was most impressive, limiting the Rebs to 59 total yards of offense in the first half and 129 in the entire game.
Best play: How in the world? ... Yeah, Kolby Listenbee did catch that pass. Somehow, TCU's junior wideout went up for the jump ball from Boykin and snatched it away from both Ole Miss defensive backs, Mike Hilton and Trae Elston. Listenbee hauled in the pass and fell on his back, staying inbounds for the spectacular 35-yard touchdown reception.