The Rebels played a pretty fair defensive game in the big picture of things, but it doesn’t matter if you can’t score.
This one was just four points off Tommy Tubervillle’s “Nothing stinks like a wet hog” game in 1998.
The Rebels held Arkansas to 316 total yards but Ole Miss turned the ball over six times, four of them by Wallace. Wallace had thrown only one interception in SEC play but threw two today, both of them in the Arkansas end zone when Ole Miss had a chance to get back in the game. The second one was returned 100 yards for a touchdown.
Here’s what Dave Wommack had to say about his defense:
Hugh Freeze, as you see in the video, didn’t feel like his team was really invested through the week. That showed up early.
This game will be remembered for Bo Wallace’s mistakes as it should. You throw a pick six in the opponent’s end zone, and that’s a 14-point swing.
But Ole Miss again didn’t have much of a run game to help him, finishing with 63 yards on 33 carries, an average gain of 1.9 yards.
It looked like Freeze was trying to get Mark Dodson more involved. Dodson had some earlier opportunities, but neither he nor anyone else could get anything going.
Arkansas didn’t demolish Ole Miss with its ground game. The Rebels held the Hogs to 159 yards and 3.2 per carry, but the Hogs were very efficient throwing to their tight ends, which is the other thing they do.
Arkansas was just 8-for-17 passing, but averaged 19.0 yards per completion. One of those was Brandon Allen’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Keon Hatcher for the game’s first points. Hatcher beat Mike Hilton on the play, a misalignment that Wommack talks about in the video.
More tomorrow in Day After Observations.
If you’re trying to find a positive consider this. The second quarter was a scoreless tie.
It will take a lot better offensive display to have a chance to erase a 17-point deficit. You can say, though, that when Bo Wallace isn’t turning it over he’s moving the offense.
His backups did not. Ryan Buchanan was put into a tough situation when Wallace left with what appears to be an ankle injury.
Buchanan faced lots of pressure on his pass attempts and right now doesn’t look to be as skilled at getting out the way as Wallace, who has also faced a lot of pressure.
Wallace has turned the ball over three times. Only his first fumble led directly to Arkansas points, but his end zone interception, when he had driven the Rebels from the shadow of theirs, took away a chance for Ole Miss to put up seven.
Wallace turnovers will get their share of coverage as well they should. Special teams and field position are dictating this score right now, however.
Ole Miss has played too much of this game too deep in its own territory, and most of that has been self-inflicted damage on special teams with Kailo Moore fielding a kick and running out of bounds at the 2, Markell Pack fumbling a punt that was recovred by C.J. Hampton but left the Rebels back at their goalline.
Arkansas has a total yardage edge of 222-134. The Hogs are not doing this with a pounding run game. They were able to get the corner twice on their three-play drive to open the scoring, and Brandon Allen has hit come big passes to his tight ends. It’s Hog football. It’s what they do, and Ole Miss, while slowing down some things in the second quarter, hasn’t stopped it enough.