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.
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.
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.