Defense Dominates, Arkansas Overpowers Ole Miss, 33-21


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — (Mike Irwin) The Razorback defense dismantled the top offense in the SEC forcing seven turnovers in a stunning 33-21 win over Ole Miss. Arkansas cut the Rebels scoring average in half and trimmed 147 yards off their total offense numbers. It was Arkansas first SEC win at home since 2016.

Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks was 21-34 passing for 244 yards and a touchdown. The Hogs added another 150 yards on the ground, easily their best rushing effort of the season.

The home team got the opening kickoff and immediately went three and out trying to move the ball into a stiff wind. Ole Miss took over at its own 40 and in 13 plays drove to Arkansas’ one yard line where Jalen Catalon recovered a Matt Corral fumble.

Arkansas appeared to be headed to another three and out but a running-into-the-kicker penalty kept the Hogs’ second possession of the game alive. Treylon Burks, back in action after missing the Auburn game and most of the Mississippi State game with a knee injury, took a Feleipe Franks pass and raced 56 yards to the Ole Miss 12 yard line. Five plays later Rakeem Boyd, also back from injury, ran the ball in from a yard out and the Razorbacks had an early 7-0 lead.

The Rebels drove the ball just past midfield where the Hogs’ defense stopped them again. Grant Morgan dropped Corral for a loss of four yards on 3rd and 11 and Mac Brown punted to the Arkansas two yard line.

Arkansas drove the ball to its own 40 before being forced to punt but the defense rose up again. Corral was picked off by Hudson Clark and Arkansas was back in business at the Ole Miss 48. The offense got as far as the Rebels four yard line where, on 4th and goal, A.J. Reed came on to connect on a 23 yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.

Arkansas continued to victimize Corral, this time on a 35 yard pick-six as Catelon came up with his second turnover of the game. With 10:40 to go in the 2nd quarter it was 17-0.

Ole Miss managed a 44 yard drive on its next possession but it came to a halt when Corral’s 4th down pass was long giving the ball back to Arkansas on its 35. The Hogs offense sputtered, the visitors quickly had the ball back on their own 25 after a punt but went three and out as Arkansas’ defense continued to dominate.

At that point the home team began to move the ball but a promising drive ended at the Ole Miss 15 on a 32 yard Reed field goal. At the half the Hogs held a surprising 20-0 lead after limiting Ole Miss to a 145 yards total offense.

Ole Miss came out of the dressing room with a repeat of the Rebels first possession of the game. They drove 74 yards before getting stopped on 4th and goal at the Arkansas one yard line.

Arkansas managed a 1st down before being forced to punt. Ole Miss set up on its own 44 for its second possession of the half.

The time the Rebels offense clicked. A 10 play 56 yard drive ended on a pass from Corral to Elijah Moore and the score narrowed to 20-7.

Then disaster appeared to strike as Franks fumbled to ball to Ole Miss at the Arkansas 17. But Greg Brooks Jr. bailed the offense out by immediately picking Corral at the Razorback two and returning it back to the 12 only to watch Franks throw a pick at the Arkansas 40. But it was Arkansas’ defense to the rescue again as Clark came up with his second interception of the game on Corral’s fifth turnover.

Once again Arkansas could not move the ball and again Ole Miss took advantage. Ole Miss moved 66 yards on eight plays with Corral passing 21 yards to Jonathan Mingo for a touchdown. Arkansas’ lead dropped to 20-14.

With the game possibly on the line Arkansas offense finally responded with an 11 play 70 yard drive capped by a seven-yard touchdown pass from Franks to Burks. With 7:36 left Arkansas went up 26-14 after a try for a two-point conversion failed.

Arkansas then forced what looked like a three and out but on 4th down a fake punt by Momo Sanogo took the ball 47 yards to the Arkansas 26. Jerrion Ealy scored two plays later on a one yard run and the Rebels were within five points at 26-21.

Arkansas got a first down but was forced to kick again with 3:50 left and Morgan made the play of the game with a 23 yard pick-six, Arkansas fifth interception of the game, good for the 33-21 win.

(Image Courtesy: University of Arkansas Athletics)

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