Rapid Reaction: Arkansas defense hangs on in win over Ole Miss
Arkansas needed almost 3 years to record 2 SEC wins before this season. Sam Pittman needed 3 weeks.
A pair of goal-line stands and 7 turnovers, including 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns, spurred the Razorbacks to a 33-21 win at home over Ole Miss as the Hogs’ defense slowed one of the nation’s highest-flying offenses.
The Rebel offense entered the week averaging the second most yards per game (573.0) but were held in check to just 145 first-half yards and 0 first-half points. Matt Corral, a week after torching Alabama for 365 yards, tossed 6 interceptions, including one in the second quarter that Arkansas’ Jalen Catalon returned 35 yards for a touchdown.
The Razorbacks wrapped up the win thanks to Grant Morgan’s 23-yard pick-six with 3:07 left, ending the final Ole Miss threat.
The Razorbacks sprung to a 20-0 lead by the half, highlighted by a crucial stop at their own 1-yard line in the first quarter. Mississippi’s Corral fumbled on 4th down.
Corral and Ole Miss zoomed right down the field to start the second half, but again were stuffed at the 1-yard line, again failing to dent the scoreboard.
After outgaining Ole Miss’ offense by nearly 100 yards in the first half, the Razorback offense came to a grinding halt for the third quarter. Their first 3 series of the half resulted in a punt, fumble and interception, with the two turnovers coming in a bizarre string of events in which both teams combined for 4 turnovers in 14 plays.
Ole Miss finally found the end zone by way of an 8-yard Elijah Moore touchdown with just under 5 minutes left in the third and scored early in the fourth to make it a 1-score game, before Arkansas finally found some success on the offensive side of the ball.
A 13-play, 75-yard drive, capped off by a spectacular Treylon Burks snare in the end zone, put the Hogs back up by two scores and ended the mounting momentum of Ole Miss.
TREYLON BURKS WHAT A CATCH
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 17, 2020
Burks finished with a team high 11 receptions for 137 yards, nearly half of Arkansas’ passing attack.
Arkansas seemingly had the game under wraps when a fake punt by Ole Miss extended the Rebels’ drive and led to a touchdown. The Hogs failed to run too much time off the clock on the ensuing drive, handing the ball back to Ole Miss with plenty of time for a chance to win, but the Arkansas defense held on for the victory.
Considering a blown call against Auburn last week cost Arkansas a would-be win, Pittman and the Razorbacks have something cooking in Fayetteville.