REWIND: Ole Miss 30, Arkansas 27

By NEMS Daily Journala

The Rebels weren’t consistent offensively but were timely. Down 10-0, they drove 58 yards to score and cashed in on a blocked punt for another touchdown.
After Arkansas rallied to tie in the final minutes, they put together a 61-yard drive for an easy field goal.
With three freshmen playing extensively, the secondary recorded 10 pass break-ups against one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC.
Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace and kicker Bryson Rose showed poise in key situations.
Rose was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts hitting from 27 and 53 yards before hitting the game-winner from 31.

Thumbs Down
Arkansas had far too much success in the run game, making it look easy at times. Razorbacks running back Dennis Johnson had 161 yards, the game-tying touchdown from 5 yards out, and averaged 6.0 yards per carry.
Ball-protection issues reappeared for Bo Wallace.

Keys For Victory
Evaluating the keys for victory in Saturday’s GameDay section:
1. Stick to receivers: Not a bad job here. Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas’ leading receiver, had 12 catches. The Razorbacks knew they were getting a weapon back with tight end Chris Gragg, but Gragg – who had a 42-yard TD catch in the first quarter – was injured again and did not play the second half.
The rest of Arkansas’ receivers were mostly non-productive, but the Razorbacks more than made up for that with Johnson in the run game.
2. Success in the ground game: Ole Miss rushed for just 77 yards, just 2.1 yards per carry, its least productive game of the season.
The Rebels offset that with big plays in a possession passing game where the longest completion gained only 23 yards.
3. Force turnovers: Tied in the turnover margin category, Ole Miss had one more big play, Charles Sawyer’s blocked punt, which led to a touchdown.
Two interceptions against Tyler Wilson were nice, but the Rebels need to protect the ball better.

Bryson Rose. There was no doubt on the 31-yard field goal, his first game-winner.

Bottom Line
The Rebels were an easy preseason pick for last in the West. Sometimes, expectations change during the season, and that’s what’s happening now as Ole Miss climbs to within a game of bowl eligibility. It was a step forward to win on the road when it didn’t play its best game.

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