Wallace-led Rebels reach bowl eligibility

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com Ole Miss wide receiver Vince Sanders grabs a pass while defended by Arkansas safety Alan Turner during Saturday's game in Oxford.

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Ole Miss wide receiver Vince Sanders grabs a pass while defended by Arkansas safety Alan Turner during Saturday’s game in Oxford.

By David Brandt

AP Sports Writer

OXFORD – Bo Wallace threw for a career-high 407 yards and three touchdowns, Donte Moncrief had 149 yards receiving and a touchdown and Ole Miss beat Arkansas 34-24 on Saturday afternoon.

Ole Miss (6-3, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) is now bowl eligible for the second straight season under coach Hugh Freeze. Arkansas (3-7, 0-6) has lost seven games in a row.

Wallace completed 26 of 33 passes, picking apart the Razorbacks’ defense with short and long throws. Ja-Mes Logan caught five passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.

Arkansas kept the game close into the third quarter, pulling within 20-17 on Kiero Small’s 1-yard touchdown run. But the Rebels broke it open on two long touchdown passes — one for 75 yards to Logan and the next 52 yards to Moncrief — and the Razorbacks were never seriously threatened again.

Jonathan Williams led Arkansas with 67 rushing yards.

Ole Miss continues to take advantage of its current six-game homestand, winning three out of four at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with two more remaining.

Wallace was efficient in the first half, completing 17 of 20 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown. The Rebels had a 13-3 lead by midway through the second quarter before Arkansas responded with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Allen to Hunter Henry to pull within 13-10.

Ole Miss got the ball back with 2:43 remaining in the second quarter, which was more than enough time to drive the field. The Rebels overcame two false starts during their methodical march downfield, and Wallace lofted a perfect 14-yard touchdown pass to Laquon Treadwell over the Arkansas secondary for a 20-10 lead going into halftime.

Wallace made his only bad mistake early in the third quarter when Arkansas defensive back Alan Turner grabbed an easy interception that gave the Razorbacks the ball on the Ole Miss 46. It took Arkansas just six plays to drive for the touchdown, pulling within 20-17 when Small, a 242-pound fullback, moved the pile for the 1-yard score.

But the Rebels’ third quarter malaise ended with Wallace’s long completion to Logan, who caught the ball in stride and strolled into the end zone for a 27-17 lead. On the Rebels’ next drive, Wallace completed a short pass to Moncrief, who skipped past one defender and rumbled 52 yards for the 34-17 advantage.

Wallace threw two interceptions, but they didn’t blemish a career day.

About the only bad news for Ole Miss was the ejection of freshman Robert Nkemdiche, who was tossed after throwing an Arkansas defender to the ground in the fourth quarter. Nkemdiche, a 6-foot-5, 294-pound freshman, was the nation’s consensus No. 1 recruit in the offseason.

Arkansas pulled within 34-24 on Allen’s 20-yard touchdown pass to Julian Horton with 4:57 left, but the Razorbacks didn’t have the offense to keep up with Ole Miss. Allen completed 18 of 32 passes for 193 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.