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Saturday October 5, 2002Ole Miss Surprises Gridiron Gators

Gainesville, FL

Carolos Perez caught two TD passes.

The Ole Miss football team capitalized on Florida's turnovers to defeat the No. 6 Gators 17-14 Saturday afternoon in Oxford, Miss. Rebels safety Matt Grier had two interceptions, including a return for a touchdown in the third quarter for the go-ahead score.

Rex Grossman was 19-of-41, throwing for 205 yards, two touchdowns and had four interceptions.

The Gator defense held Eli Manning to 154 yards (18-for-33) and for the first time in his career he didn't throw a touchdown pass as a starter.

Carlos Perez led the Gator offense with five receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns.

The Gators got into the endzone first after a 16 yard touchdown pass from Grossman to Carlos Perez. Matt Leach kicked the extra point to make the score 7-0.

The Florida defense had their first goal-line stand of the season during the second quarter. In the next drive the Rebels defense pressured Grossman into an intentional grounding call in the endzone for a safety to give Ole Miss its first two points.

The Florida offense then marched 98-yards down the field as Grossman connected with Perez for the second time for an 18 yard touchdown. Leach again kicked the extra point and the Gators were winning 14-2 at the half.

The Rebels defense held the Gators scoreless in the second half. On the first possession Grier intercepted Grossman, setting up a four-yard touchdown run by Ole Miss running back Vashon Pearson. Manning completed a two-point conversion pass to Jason Armstead to make the score 14-10, 2:19 into the second half.

Ole Miss went ahead of the Gators with 7:34 left in the third quarter, as Grier intercepted a pass from Grossman for the second time and ran 24 yards into the endzone to put the Rebels up 17-14.

Ole Miss improves to 4-1 and 2-0 in the SEC, while the Gators are 4-2 and 2-1 in the SEC. Florida will host LSU next Saturday, October 12 in the Swamp at 7:45 p.m. on ESPN.

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