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Arkansas vs Ole Miss: Final Grades

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A thriller down the stretch and Arkansas came up with a big stop on defense, here are the Final Grades.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Razorbacks get a much needed SEC win against Ole Miss. Austin Allen proves once again that he is the real deal and we were able to see some flashes of what Devywah Whaley can do given a few more carries.

The much criticized defense turned in a better performance against Ole Miss, placing more pressure on the QB, and getting the right personnel on the field in the 2nd half. Much of the game was played with only a single linebacker and a Dime look in the secondary, which was beneficial in most situations. In other personnel packages Chad Kelly was able to take off and scramble to pick up yards downfield. In the end the players on defense for Arkansas made more plays and made up for the last two games in consistency.

Quarterback

Passing Accuracy: A

Awareness: A+

Decision Making: B

Clutch: A+

Overall: A

Allen completed 19/32 for 229 yards in the face of pressure again and again as has been the usual look. He made every throw imaginable, the 12 yard out across the far sideline over and over. He complete this throw twice to Hatcher on the go ahead drive late in the 4th quarter. His accuracy on the skinny post early in the game to Reed was perfect. The gameplan included more throws on early downs and some read plays that Allen took advantage of soft coverage in the Ole Miss secondary.

Running Back

Ball Security: A

Run Success Rate: B

YDS After Contact: B

Passing Game: C+

Overall: B

The coaching staff kept the news that Kody Walker would not play and would be done for the season under wraps. His loss is significant but will only increase the carries for Whaley who had several impressive runs against Ole Miss.

The Arkansas offense must have found some tendencies in the Ole Miss front that led to a game plan that used a large number of weakside runs both in power G and the traditional Power O looks. They used more 21 personnel than normal in the first two quarters with Hayden Johnson leading on several big gains.

Raleigh Williams consistently chewed up yards and has incredible burst through the hole. Not necessarily a burner down field but can get the 5-8 yards every time if there is a crease.

Tight Ends

Run/Pass Blocking: C+

Routes: B

Catch Rate: B

Jeremy Sprinkle may not have had an impressive stat line, but his presence as a decoy over the middle opened up multiple deeper routes. Dan Enos threw a myriad of wrinkles at the Ole Miss secondary out of the same basic concept. Sprinkle on the y cross, and unlimited combination routes by the outside WR’s stacked. Ole Miss was committing a nickel corner to cover Sprinkle at times which left openings down the field.

In run/pass blocking there were a few misses, but an overall solid game from the bulldozing TE Jack Kraus, hybrid Cantrell and even Anthony Antwine.

Wide Receiver

Catch Rate: C+

Run After Catch: A

Blocking: B

Routes: A

Overall: B

A great day for the WR’s Hatcher, and Cornelius. Their combo routes were almost unstoppable in the first half. Dominique Reed dropping three targets lowers the catch rate, but not much to complain about here.

The ability of the top four to run on jet sweeps, line up in the back field etc, has given this offense another dynamic that only increases the degree of difficulty in devising a gameplan.

Offensive Line

Run Blocking: B

Pass Pro: C

Short Yardage: C

Overall: C

Better, improved, more consistent. The same problems are still evident with Froholdt and Raulerson struggling in pass protection. They were able to create some big holes when needed, and open just enough time for Allen to make critical 3rd down and 4th down completions on the go ahead drive.

Defensive Line

Pass Rush: B

Gap integrity: B

Contain: C

Overall: C

The dline play was consistent in this one, putting pressure on Chad Kelly and keeping him in contain for the majority of the game, minus 2 long runs. When not able to get to the QB Taiwan Johnson, and D Wise tipped at least three attempts resulting in incompletions.

The big sack on the final drive by Jeremiah Ledbetter erased some of those struggles, but if not for the forced fumble on fourth down we may have had a much different opinion.

Linebacker

Run Fit: C

Play Diagnosis: B

Coverage: C

Overall: C

Down to only Brooks Ellis and Dwayne Eugene for the most part these two played well enough to win. Ellis was caught out of position early against Evan Ingram, but Robb Smith adjusted and allowed Ellis to rush the passer down the stretch in the 3x2 sets that Ole Miss ran. This matched up Pulley, Tolliver or Ramirez on the slot WR’s and Ingram.

Solid game, even better use of what they have at the position. Man they need some more linebackers....

Defensive Back

Run Fit: B

Open Field Tackling: B

Break on the ball: B

Pattern Matching: B

Overall: B

The secondary put together a better performance than previous weeks against a talented Ole Miss wide receiver group. Santos Ramirez struggled early but made key plays to jar the bar loose including the hit on Chad Kelly on fourth down.

Ryan Pulley also had some struggles early getting lined up against the hurry up, but it seemed in the second half that the coverage calls were simplified as they went to the dime look.

Overall this group was much improved even after Coley was removed from the game and deserve a ton of credit for sealing the win.

Woo Pig, bring on Auburn.