REWIND: Arkansas 38, Ole Miss 24

Thumbs up
– QB Jeremiah Masoli showed poise and leadership. The receivers made good plays, many times against good coverage. Punter Tyler Campbell averaged 51.8 yards on six kicks.
Thumbs down
– Arkansas had 11 tackles for loss to five for Ole Miss. The Razorbacks seemed to be in the backfield on every key play in the first half.
While Ole Miss had shown improvement in run defense, it was unable to tackle and gave up 197 yards to a team that was averaging 113.7, last in the SEC.
The Rebels netted only three points on two trips inside the Arkansas 5 and special teams blunders led to terrible field position.
Keys to victory
– Evaluating the keys to victory in Saturday’s preview:
Bring the heat: The Rebels got some pressure on Arkansas quarterbacks Ryan Mallett and Tyler Wilson in the second half but not enough in the first half. As a result, the Razorbacks built a 21-0 lead.
Move the chains: Again, success came in the second half. The Rebels finished with 512 yards, easily outdistancing Arkansas’ 464, but you have to move the chains throughout and not just in frantic comeback mode.
Avoid big plays: True to their 2010 form, the Rebels gave up big plays that made the difference – a 71-yard touchdown run by Arkansas tailback Knile Davis and a 97-yard punt return by Joe Adams. Equally damaging was the Rebels’ inability to convert on some big plays created by their defense.
– Jeremiah Masoli: The senior quarterback rushed for 98 yards and passed for 327 and three touchdowns.
Bottom line
– Seven games into this season the Rebels can’t find the even keel necessary to win in the SEC. They have run out to big leads and fought to hold them, they’ve fallen behind and fought to come back. The result is mediocrity, and the chances to rise above are becoming fewer.

Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal

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