BLOG — A week off has worked wonders in getting Ole Miss healthy, something the Rebels hope will pay off when they return to action today against Arkansas (11:21 a.m., SEC Network).
Freshman DL Robert Nkemdiche, LB Serderius Bryant and CB Mike Hilton are all back in the starting lineup as Ole Miss (5-3, 2-3 SEC) looks to become bowl eligible for the second straight year under coach Hugh Freeze.
Ole Miss deferred after winning the coin toss. Arkansas will open on offense.
Arkansas drives into Ole Miss territory, but QB Brandon Allen is stopped for a 2-yard loss on a designed run by Robert Nkemdiche on 3rd down at the Rebels’ 34. Zach Hocker connects on a 51-yd field goal to give Arkansas the early lead. Arkansas 3, Ole Miss 0. 12:14 left in the quarter.
Jaylen Walton returns the ensuing kickoff to the Arkansas 48. Ole Miss moves inside the red zone, but QB Bo Wallace is sacked on third down to stall the drive. Andrew Ritter hits a 42-yard field goal to draw the Rebels even. It’s Ole Miss 3, Arkansas 3 with 8:24 left in the quarter.
A three-and-out gives Ole Miss the ball back at its 18. I’Tavius Mathers picks up a first down on 3rd-and-1, and completion to Donte Moncrief has Ole Miss at Arkansas’ 38. Another completion to Vince Sanders gets the Rebels down to the Hogs’ 1 before Barry Brunetti fights his way into the end zone for the game’s first touchdown. With 1:28 left in the opening quarter, it’s Ole Miss 10, Arkansas 3. 12 plays, 82 yards on that drive.
End of 1Q: Ole Miss 10, Arkansas 3.
Four plays net 12 yards for Arkansas before Razorbacks have to punt. Ole Miss will start its next drive at its own 5.
Mathers breaks off back-to-back long gainers to get the Rebels out to its 31, and then Wallace hits a wide-open Walton on a wheel route to move the ball down to the Arkansas 14. But three plays inside the 5 don’t get much, and Ole Miss has to settle for a 19-yd field goal from Ritter. It’s Ole Miss 13, Arkansas 3 with 10:18 left until halftime.
Another three-and-out results in another punt for Arkansas, and Ole Miss gets possession at its own 28. If Arkansas can’t run, it just can’t do a whole lot. Ole Miss has held the Razorbacks to 15 rushing yards nearly midway through the second quarter.
The Rebels move into Arkansas territory, but Wallace gets sacked back to the Ole Miss 49 on third down. Arkansas will take over at its 20. Just less than 6 minutes left in the first half.
Arkansas has the most success on the ground it’s had all day, moving inside the red zone. The Hogs take advantage with a play-action pass as Brandon Allen finds a wide-open Hunter Henry for a 17-yard TD pass to draw Arkansas to within three with less than 3 minutes left in the second quarter. It’s now Ole Miss 13, Arkansas 10.
Ole Miss answers with an eight-play, 75-yard drive capped by Wallace’s 14-yard TD pass to Laquon Treadwell, who had gotten separation in the back corner of the end zone. Less than a minute left ’til the half, it’s now Ole Miss 20, Arkansas 10.
And Arkansas takes a knee to run out the rest of the clock, and Ole Miss takes the 10-point lead into the half. Ole Miss is outgaining Arkansas 290-155 in total yards. The Razorbacks found a little life to its running game on its touchdown drive to end the half with 81 yards on the ground.
Ole Miss’ start to the second half is off to an inauspicious start after Wallace is intercepted by Alan Turner at Ole Miss’ 46. It’s only Wallace’s fourth pick this season.
Allen throws an off-balance pass that seemingly was in the air forever, but it found Javontee Herndon down to the Ole Miss 1. Kiero Small punches it in on the next play, and Arkansas has trimmed Ole Miss’ lead to 20-17 with 11:29 left in the third quarter. 6 plays, 46 yards on that drive after the INT.
The Rebels don’t do anything on their next drive and were fortunate to keep possession after Wallace fumbled on third down while scrambling. Burton recovered, but Tyler Campbell’s punt was returned 31 yards by Herndon out to Arkansas’ 47. The Hogs have all the momentum right now.
Arkansas gets down to Ole Miss’ 39, but the Rebels sniff out a halfback pass from Williams, who’s dropped for a loss of nine. Arkansas eventually punts, and the Rebels will take over at their own 6.
Je-Mes Logan uses a double move to get past his defender, and Wallace hits him in stride for a 75-yd TD to swing the momentum in this one. It’s now Ole Miss 27, Arkansas 17 with 4:11 left in the third quarter.
Ole Miss forces a three and out. The Rebels will get the ball back at their own 36.
Donte Moncrief hauls in a pass from Wallace, makes one defender miss and outraces another 52 yards to the end zone. Ole Miss has its biggest lead at 34-17. The momentum has swung immensely in the last few minutes.
Allen throws into triple coverage on Arkansas’ next possession and is intercepted in the end zone by CB Senquez Golson, who then fumbled. But Cody Prewitt recovered it for a touchback. Ole Miss getting it back early in the fourth quarter.
Ole Miss moves out to the Arkansas 47 before punting. Arkansas will take over at its own 13 with 9:16 remaining in the game.
Arkansas gets a late TD pass, but Ole Miss holds on for a 34-24 win. The Rebels improve to 6-3 overall (3-3 SEC) and become bowl eligible for the second straight year.
(November 9, 2013)