MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Jevan Snead recovered from a poor start to throw two touchdowns and Dexter McCluster scored twice to lead No. 8 Mississippi to a 45-14 win over Memphis on Sunday.
Snead struggled for three quarters before breaking open a close game with scoring passes of 17 and 18 yards to McCluster and Markeith Summers.
Brandon Bolden rushed for 71 yards on nine carries, scored one touchdown and set up another with a 28-yard run.
It was the seventh straight win for the Rebels (1-0), who opened the season ranked higher than they have been since 1970.
Curtis Steele's two rushing touchdowns kept Memphis (0-1) in it, but Fon Ingram's 35-yard interception return for a touchdown for Ole Miss just before halftime kept the Tigers at bay.
Snead, the focus of preseason hype and mentioned as a dark horse candidate for the Heisman Trophy, completed just 8 of 17 passes for 102 yards with two interceptions through three quarters, missing badly at times. The offense struggled because of it and was especially dysfunctional in the first half when the team turned the ball over three times, punted three others and gained 144 yards.
It took a big play by Ingram to wipe away those troubles.
Memphis trailed 10-7 and appeared to have an opportunity to take the lead late in the second quarter when Ingram stepped in front of Arkelon Hall's pass and returned it for the score and a 17-7 halftime lead.
Hall completed 15 of 30 passes with two interceptions for just 110 yards. He had 37 yards in the first half and limited the Tigers' effectiveness with several poor passes well off the mark.
Steele was the lone bright offensive spot for the Tigers. He finished with 90 yards.
For all of Snead's troubles, though, he got better as the game went along. He was 4-of-5 for 73 yards and the two scores in the fourth quarter.
Ole Miss turned to its deep stable of running backs to right the offense early. Bolden finished with 71 yards on nine carries, scoring from 1 yard out to make it 10-7. McCluster finished with 50 yards rushing as both the Wild Rebel quarterback and an I-formation tailback and had 65 yards receiving, too. Enrique Davis finished off the game with a 29-yard scoring run.
Memphis coach Tommy West stocked up on transfers the last two years in an attempt to improve the talent on his roster and it appeared to work for a while, especially on defense.
But three turnovers, two failed fourth-down coversions late and Hall's struggles finished the Tigers.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)