Ole Miss suffered its third loss in a suddenly-falling-apart season Saturday night, losing 53-52 in overtime to Arkansas in one of the wildest finishes ever seen in Oxford.

The loss negated a fantastic offensive day by QB Chad Kelly and all his weapons. They were special, from start to finish. But the highly touted Landshark defense was scorched by Arkansas, and there’s plenty of explaining to do after the Rebels lost their direct route to an SEC title. Now, the Rebs will need some help if they want to make that first-ever trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game.

A few things from Saturday:


  • When you’re hot, you’re hot: The Ole Miss secondary had no answer for Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen. He threw for 442 yards and it seemed like much more. He was 33-for-45 on the day and threw for six touchdowns and no interceptions. At the beginning of the game, he simply could not miss. He was so on target, Arkansas may have let him fly the plane home.
  • Touchback heaven: Nathan Noble kicked off seven times in the game, five resulted in touchbacks. Including last week at Auburn, in his last 12 kicks, 1o have not been returned.
  • Four corners defense: Arkansas coach Bret Bielema channeled his inner Dean Smith Saturday. The Razorback defense kept substituting late to negate the Ole Miss offense’s tempo. It slowed down the Rebels offense at times.
  • Who needs a 2-minute drill?: Aided by a pass interference penalty, the Rebels ended the first half with a five-play, 55-yard drive that led to a Gary Wunderlich field goal that tied the game at 17. Laquon Treadwell took a pass over the middle and sprinted 30 yards downfield and got out of bounds with a second left on the clock to set up the kick. The drive only took 43 seconds. Ole Miss needed to score quick when it had the chaIn the first half Arkansas had the ball for 21:25.
  • Where from here?: The heartbreaking loss, along with Alabama’s dismantling of LSU leaves the Tiger-Ole Miss game without luster. It will be interesting to see how the Rebels handle this one. At least there is a week off to lick the wounds.


  • Offense: (A-minus) – The Rebels moved the ball, both on the ground and in the air. The only negative was Chad Kelly was under too much pressure most of the night. But the junior handled it well, and Ole Miss was able to produce positive plays.
  • Defense: (C-minus) –  It was a weird night for the Landsharks. Alex Collins ran for over 100 yards and Allen threw for nearly 450, but Ole Miss was still in a position to win. Including the losses to Memphis and Florida, it was the Rebels’ poorest performance. They couldn’t stop Arkansas when they had to, even on the final two-point conversion that gave the Razorbacks the win. 
  • Special teams: (A) –  Gary Wunderlich was perfect again. The punting game was solid and the return game was good. It just was not enough. 
  • Overall: (B-minus) – Sure, another fluke play this college football season – the crazy lateral that led to a first down on fourth-and 25 – cost the Rebels the game and a possible shot at the SEC title, but the team simply did not play well enough to win. 


It seems the game plan was to simply keep up with Arkansas. The came was literally a boxing match with each team taking turns landing punches. The biggest questionable decision  was the fourth-down call by Hugh Freeze late in the game when the Rebels went for it instead of punting and pinning the Hogs deep. Arkansas took over in good field position and tied the game quickly to send it into overtime.


  • Chad Kelly: Not only did the Ole Miss quarterback throw for 368 yards and three touchdowns, he kept plays alive with his feet, leading the team with 110 yards rushing.
  • Jaylen Walton: Walton was the only rushing threat besides Kelly. The senior ran for 76 yards and bulled his way into the end zone for a touchdown. 
  • Laquon Treadwell: The Illinois native set a school record with the most 100-yard receiving games in a season with six. It was his fifth-straight game with a touchdown. He caught seven passes for 132 yards.


  • Safety Tony Connor saw his first action since tearing his meniscus against Alabama in September.
  • Offensive lineman Christian Morris announced his career is over. He was injured on a field goal on the final play of the first half of the Texas A&M game. He walked off the field but collapsed on the way to the locker room with a neck injury. Morris has been diagnosed with narrowing of the spinal canal and advised to give up the game.