By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
For a half, there appeared to be focus and chemistry on offense. For a half, the defense was physical in getting off blocks.
Brandon Bolden ran with power, and had holes to hit. Donte Moncrief and Nick Brassell showed the skill that makes them special players.
A revamped secondary that had 12 pass break-ups in six games, had nine in one game. Charles Sawyer moved from safety to corner and broke up three passes.
Arkansas shut down the perimeter run game in the second half, and Ole Miss did not adjust. There was too much pressure on quarterback Randall Mackey, and an Ole Miss team that had no penalties against Alabama had 12 a week later.
3 Keys For Victory
1. Cover the middle: The Rebels did a better job here. Pass defense against the top passing team in the SEC was actually very good. Arkansas quarterback Tyler didn’t throw a touchdown pass but did hit some big gains that set up short rushing touchdowns, two of them his own.
2. Show a pulse against the run: The Rebels were actually much better against the run in the first half, but Arkansas running back Dennis Johnson, who began the day averaging 28.2 yards a game, had 160 yards on 15 carries and scored on a 52-yard run.
3. Find Joe Adams: Finding Joe Adams and stopping Joe Adams are different things. Adams didn’t hurt the Rebels on special teams, as he did in Fayetteville last year with a 97-yard punt return TD, but his 67-yard run with a screen pass set up a touchdown, and he finished with four catches for 124 yards.
Donte Moncrief: The freshman wide receiver had five catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns.
For a half, the Rebels were more in control of a football game on both sides than they’ve been at any time this year. However, they could not stop the Arkansas momentum in the second half once the Razorbacks took control.