Jared Cornelius ran for a go-ahead Arkansas touchdown with less than three minutes remaining as the Razorbacks (5-2, 1-2 SEC) picked up a seesaw 34-30 win over Ole Miss (3-3, 1-2 SEC). Arkansas used a balanced attack with 229 passing yards and 200 rushing yards led by Rawleigh Williams’ 180 yard effort.
The Razorbacks defense pressured and harassed Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly all night as the Rebels quarterback was held under 50 percent in completions on the night (18/39, 253, 1 td, 1 int). Kelly was not helped by his receivers as they dropped several very catchable throws. For his part, Kelly did lead Hugh Freeze’s squad in rushing with 89 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns. His fourth quarter rushing touchdown gave Ole Miss their first lead of the evening.
Austin Allen continues to show poise above that of a first year starter and hit for a trio of touchdowns, but did throw a fourth quarter interception which set up Ole Miss inside their half of the field leading to the aforementioned Kelly touchdown run.
Ole Miss next travels to Baton Rouge to face a potentially season defining game. A Rebels win gets them back on a potential track for a New Years’ Day bowl date but a loss gives them a losing record so far. Arkansas also faces a road game next week at Auburn, but with a potential win there and a bye week to follow, is set up for a potentially very good season outcome.
Three Things We Learned:
1) Fayetteville Continues to be a House of Horrors for Ole Miss
There’s something about Fayetteville and Reynolds-Razorback Stadium, but Ole Miss has had a hard time winning regardless of records, being favored or any other factors. Dating back to 2002, the Rebels only win in Fayetteville was Houston Nutt’s first return trip to Fayetteville in 2008.
2) An Early Missed Extra Point Loomed Large
Gary Wunderlich missed the extra point after Ole Miss’ opening touchdown. As the game was coming to a close, that missed point forced Arkansas to need a touchdown to take the lead rather than a field goal giving the Razorbacks a game-winning margin. Likewise, the point could have offered a Ole Miss a chance at a game-tying field goal on their last drive, but that drive would come to an end on downs before the Rebels could get out of their own half of the field.
3) Rawleigh Williams Got the Arkansas Running Game on Track
Entering the game, Arkansas ranked ninth in the SEC in rushing yards per game, far from what is expected of a Bret Bielema-led team. Williams had been averaging more than 100 yards per game entering tonight, but was held by Texas A&M and Alabama to 79 and 46 yards per game respectively. Tonight, Williams did not reach the endzone on the ground (technically), but picked up 180 yards on 27 carries and had a touchdown reception on a forward pitch.