clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arkansas Razorbacks 53, Ole Miss Rebels 52: Brandon Allen Paints His Sistine Chapel

New, 62 comments

5-4, 3-2

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Try to put that into words, I dare you. I'll make an attempt.

I don't think I've felt this way as a Razorback fan since Michael Qualls slammed home victory over Kentucky a couple of years ago.

That game was, to put it mildly, an all-timer. Any of us fortunate enough to have witnessed it, whether in person, on TV, on the radio, only through social media, smoke signals, or whatever, will never forget it.

The last thing the box score says is just "Brandon Allen rush attempt good." Like it was just another thing. It does no justice to capture the gravity of the play. It was the last stroke of an absolute masterpiece.

Few players in Arkansas history have taken the vile that's been shoved on Brandon Allen. If he didn't do enough to shed that choker image in the four overtimes against Auburn, you'd have to be a true quack to still think those things. Maybe they were true for a long time, but that's over now. Brandon Allen is now in the Hogs history books, literally. He broke Arkansas' single-game passing touchdown record with 6, one better than Tyler Wilson's previous record set against Texas A&M in 2011. His 442 yards were the second-most in Arkansas history, behind only Wilson's performance in that A&M classic.

He made every play against Ole Miss. He threw short passes. He threw long passes. He led receivers open on multiple occasions. He kept drives alive. He ran for 22 yards to keep a drive going in the 4th quarter. He even completed a big pass just before the end of regulation that gave Arkansas an improbably shot at victory in regulation.

It was as good a performance as we've ever seen from an Arkansas quarterback.

But it still almost wasn't enough.

Arkansas only kept Ole Miss from scoring three times during the game, and two of those times came in the first quarter. The Razorbacks couldn't stop Ole Miss. Whenever they'd be in position to make a tackle for loss, the Rebels found a way to get out of it, or the Hogs simply failed to complete tackles to the ground. Arkansas' pass defense was talked about all week, and not in a good way. They lived up to the hype.

The Hogs even needed what should go down as one of the most remarkable plays in team history not to lose on 4th down in overtime. SB Nation is calling it the backwards hail mary. Just watch. It was 4th and 25 after some screw-ups.

So many things had to go right on that play. Hunter Henry has to make a long catch, and be tackled, and make a desperate heave that happens to land right in front of Alex Collins, and the ball has to take a perfect bounce right into Collins' arms, and the entire team has to have the presence of mind to block a path for Collins to make the 1st down, and Dominique Reed has to recover Collins' fumble at the end of the play.

And it all happened. Every bit of it.

Alex Collins was great, having another 100-yard game. Kody Walker made his presence felt with 49 yards on 15 carries, including trucking a poor Ole Miss defender as he scored a touchdown.

Arkansas' wide receivers were fantastic. Drew Morgan had nine catches for 122 yards and three touchdowns. Dominique Reed had seven catches for 105 yards and two scores. When was the last time two Arkansas receivers had 100-yard games? We'll have to look into that.

Henry had six catches. Jared Cornelius and Jeremy Sprinkle both had four.

Oh, and how could we forget the decision that won the game for Arkansas? After scoring in overtime, instead of attempting an extra point to tie the game and send it to a second overtime, Bielema elected to try a two-point conversion. The first play failed, but the Hogs got yet another chance to win the game thanks to a face mask penalty against Allen.

Now with the ball on the 1.5-yard line, Arkansas ran a simple quarterback run, which Allen converted. He stayed on the ground for a while to the concern of everyone who wasn't already delirious with victory joy, but he got up and did the postgame interview on CBS to show he's alright. Let's watch the winning play over and over:

And now, thanks to likely ending Ole Miss' SEC West title chances, Arkansas gets three cracks at bowl eligibility, but after this game, you've got to think they're eyeing a bit more than a .500 record.

We knew November would be a huge month, and it's started off more amazingly than any of us could have guessed.