Rapid Reaction: Late comeback fuels Arkansas to a 34-30 win over Ole Miss
It lived up to the hype. After last year’s shootout, all eyes were on Fayetteville to see what type of drama would come in the rematch between the Rebels and Razorbacks.
This year’s matchup wasn’t as much of a high-scoring affair as 2015, but the Razorbacks ultimately pulled out another dramatic victory when they upset Ole Miss, 34-30, to earn their first SEC win of the season.
What it means: The Hogs have some life, after all. Arkansas was outclassed when it met Texas A&M and Alabama in its first two SEC games, though on Saturday night, the Razorbacks proved they are a dangerous opponent for any SEC contender. Ole Miss, meanwhile, has some work to do. Heading into the weekend, the Rebels’ faithful was talking about running the table to keep the pressure on the Crimson Tide. However, now it looks like the SEC West is Alabama’s division to lose.
What I liked: Arkansas proved it can utilize its talent to compete against SEC competition. Even though the Hogs were on the ropes late in the game, they battled back to pull out a signature win against an SEC West rival. The Rebels were on the verge of picking up a big win on the road, but they couldn’t hang on to beat an Arkansas team facing a must-win situation. It was yet another entertaining matchup between an Arkansas (429 yards) and Ole Miss (403 yards) offense who both put on a show.
What I didn’t like: Each team helped the opposing offense with turnovers, though both teams battled in a game both teams needed for different reasons. Overall, it was a hard-fought game by each team.
Who’s the man: So much of the hype surrounded the two quarterbacks prior to the game, and both showcased why in this SEC showdown. Although Chad Kelly proved he may be the best signal-caller in the conference, it was Allen who helped lead the Razorbacks to a massive win behind 229 yards and 3 TDs against a defense that had only allowed 2 passing TDs all season previously. Kudos to the Hogs’ offensive line, too, as it helped the unit establish a running game early. Rawleigh Williams III finished the game with 27 carries for a career-best 180 yards.
Key plays: Late in the fourth quarter, Jared Cornelius ran for a 6-yard touchdown which, after a successful extra-point try by Adam McFain, gave the Hogs a 34-30 lead with 2:20 remaining in regulation. On the ensuing Ole Miss possession and facing a 4th-and-16, Santos Ramirez popped Chad Kelly short of the line to gain to give the Hogs the ball back with 1:40 to play.
What’s next: Arkansas will continue SEC play on the road when it visits West rival Auburn at 6 p.m. ET next Saturday. Ole Miss will also continue its SEC slate away from home when it heads to Death Valley to face LSU at 8 p.m. CT next Saturday.