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BBVA Compass Bowl 2013: Grading the Performances of Ole Miss and Pittsburgh

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BBVA Compass Bowl 2013: Grading the Performances of Ole Miss and Pittsburgh
USA TODAY Sports

The rain fell down on Birmingham's Legion Field as the clock ticked down to zero in the BBVA Compass Bowl. The precipitation could not stop the party that many of those clad in Ole Miss paraphernalia were having after their Rebels beat the Pittsburgh Panthers, 38-17. 

The 55 points scored were a BBVA Compass Bowl record. 

Ole Miss improved to 22-12 all-time in bowl appearances, while Pitt fell to 12-17 in its bowl game history. 

A record-breaking crowd of 59,135 people, many of whom made the trip over to Birmingham from Mississippi, saw Ole Miss jump out to an early 14-0 lead, and the Rebels held the lead for the rest of the game. Pittsburgh came as close as seven points early in the second quarter, but Ole Miss quickly responded. 

Pittsburgh's troubles started before it took the field, as 1,000-yard rusher Ray Graham was ruled out of Saturday's game due to a hamstring injury. Freshman RB Rushel Shell filled in admirably as he rushed 25 times for 79 yards, averaging 3.2 yards per carry. 

Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace was named the Fred Slington Most Valuable Player, and the Rebel offense racked up 387 yards of offense against the Panthers. Pitt came in with a defense that was ranked No. 17 in the nation in total defense. 

Ole Miss improved to 7-6, and Pittsburgh fell to 6-7, as they both closed the book on the 2012 football season.

Before we close the book on the BBVA Compass Bowl, let's grade the performances of the teams in this SEC and Big East battle. 

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