Reserve quarterback Tim Ellis threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to fullback James Storey with less than four minutes to play today and Hoppy Langley kicked a 27-yard field goal seconds later to give Mississippi a 20-13 upset of third-ranked Notre Dame.
Storey made a one handed catch of the pass at the five and raced untouched into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown in the first meeting between the two schools.
The field goal was set up when defensive back Brian Moreland recovered an Irish fumble at the 14.
Ellis, relegated to the third team after a medicore season last year, came off the bench with four minutes left and drove the unranked Rebels 80 yards in five plays, three of them passes for 75 yards.
The key was a 47-yard pass to end L. Q. Smith, who wormed his way to the sideline, waited for his blocking to develop and sprinted to the Notre Dame 23. The scoring pass to Storey came two plays later.
Ole Miss, which held a 10-7 halftime lead, blew two scoring chances in the third quarter and fell behind when Notre Dame's Dave Reeve kicked two field goals, a 44-yarder and a 28-yarder with 4:53 left in the game to put the Irish ahead, 13-10.
After Notre Dame scored a second-period touchdown, Mississippi went 74 yards in six plays with left handed quarterback Bobby Garner throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Storey with 32 seconds left in the half. The touchdown was set up on a 47-yard pass from Garner to sophomore flanker Roy Coleman that moved the ball to the Notre Dame 22. Garner then found flanker Les Kimbrough open at the 10 to set up the touchdown.
The Rebels scored first, going 76 yards to set up a 29-yard Langley field goal with 5:54 to go in the first quarter. Garner raced for 18 yards on a keeper and hit Robert Fabris for 24 yards to highlight the drive.
Notre Dame's lone first-half score came on a two-yard run by fullback Jerome Heavens with 2:44 left in the half. The drive covered 26 yards in eight plays after defensive end Ross Browner intercepted a Garner pass on the left sideline.
Ellis credited "a lousy throw but a great catch" by Storey for the winning touchdown.
"I threw behind him and James turned around and got a big hand on it," Ellis said.
Notre Dame coach Dan Devine said the 10-yard pass was tipped and that a Irish defender was in position to intercept. "It's a game of inches . . . that ball was darn near a touchdown the other way," he said.
Rebel coach Ken Cooper said he took Garner out of the game in the fourth quarter because Ellis was fresh and "we needed to throw."
Asked if the victory over third-ranked Notre Dame was the biggest of his career, Cooper smiled and said: "It was the biggest of this week."
Devine said he was sure his team was not over-confident coming into the game and did not play poorly. "Obviously we weren't as physically strong as I thought we would be, or maybe they played better defensively," he said. "I'm not sure which it was."