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Arkansas Defense Eats Ole Miss for Supper

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Razorbacks take it over the Rebels, 33-21

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

You just enjoyed one of the great defensive performances in Razorback history. Behind the defense’s six interceptions, two pick-sixes, and two goal-line stands, the Razorbacks got enough on offense to do the dang thing. Arkansas (2-2*) won an SEC home game for the first time in four years, beating Ole Miss 33-21.

The incredible defensive performance began early in the day. After a three-and-out from the Hogs’ offense, the Rebels appeared to be driving for an opening touchdown. After securing an earlier fourth down conversion, Ole Miss tried it one more time at the goal-line. A bumbled snap (you remember those from last year) from Matt Corral, a Jalen Catalon recovery, and there’s your first stop from the defense.

The Razorbacks appeared to have another three-and-out, when Ole Miss ran into the punter to give the Hogs new life. From there, a big screen play to Treylon Burks for 55 yards got the Hogs closer to a lead. Trelon Smith had a big pair of runs early in the drive, but Rakeem Boyd was the one who found the endzone.

The teams traded punts, then walk-on redshirt freshman Hudson Clark got his first pick and gave the Razorbacks the ball at mid-field, early in the second quarter. The Hogs were only able to get three points from it, and you knew they would need more.

On the next play from scrimmage, Jalen Catalon got that ball again, taking it all the way to the house, and giving the Hogs a big 17-0 lead.

The Rebels responded by going on a seven play drive for 44 yards. On 4th-and-8 from the Hogs 31, Corral couldn’t get the ball to Dontario Drummond, and the Hogs got their second big fourth down stop.

After the stop, both teams traded three-and-outs again. How many people were predicting two three-and-outs for the whole game, much less consecutively?

Tyson Morris kept a drive alive when he held on to the catch on a 3rd-and-12, and A.J. Reed got his second field goal of the day. Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss’s strategy was to never kick a field goal, but six points was six points.

At halftime with a 20-0 lead, you felt good but knew Arkansas was gonna need more points. Ole Miss was shut out of a first half for the first time since their first game of 2019 against Memphis. It wasn’t going to last.

That feeling really creeped up when Ole Miss took the kick-off and drove 74 yards to inside the one-yard line. Once again, the Hogs defense bowed up, and stopped Snoop Connor from going forward and into the endzone.

Arkansas’s offense gave itself a little room from out of the shadow of their own endzone, but a pair of called quarterback runs from Feleipe Franks didn’t do much, and they were forced to punt.

With starting position at midfield and a key fourth down conversion, the Rebels got on the board with an awesome catch from their all-everything receiver, Elijah Moore.

Spidey-senses tingling. It feels like trouble.

It felt worse when, on the very next play, Franks lost the ball as he was getting sacked. Ole Miss had the ball inside the redzone, and...woof.

But Corral gave it right back to Greg Brooks Jr. and the Hogs felt some relief. For six plays, then Franks, who’d been so conscious of hanging on the ball this season, threw it behind the receiver who tipped it up and into the hands of Jon Haynes, who had been practicing tip drills very well, clearly.

Looking bad again, but Corral was there to give the ball back to Hudson Clark (#2) six plays later.

Four turnovers in 14 plays. The game just turned into “ARKANSAS-OLE MISS.”

Early in the fourth quarter, deciding not to put the ball in the air more than necessary, Ole Miss got a good drive going, behind Jerrion Ealy’s running. A wide open pass to Jonathan Mingo, and the game was down to one possession, 20-14.

The next drive will be known in the history books as The Treylon Burks Drive. After two good runs from Burks got the offense going, the Hogs moved the ball inside the Rebels’ redzone.

Then the play of Burks’s career.

The Hogs had a little more breathing room, with the score 26-14. An attempt at two points was made.

The Razorbacks defense looked like it held the Rebels to a three-and-out, but as they looked like they had never seen a fake punt, Ole Miss had new life, after linebacker Momo Sanogo ran the ball deep into Razorback territory. Jerrion Ealy capped off the drive and once again, it was down to one score.

Rakeem Boyd’s dropped screen on the Hogs’ next possession gave the Rebels the ball back with about three minutes and plenty of time to break Arkansas’s heart.

Then, Grant Morgan, former walk-on linebacker, playing with one arm, took another Matt Corral interception, and ran in for a score.

Morgan, with 19 tackles, 3 for a loss, and that pick six, played out of his mind on a day when his other linebacker twin, Bumper Pool, couldn’t dress out.

From there, it was just funnin’ around.

The Rebs got the ball back one more time. On 4th-and-a-lot, Matt Corral tried his arm out one last time, and Hudson Clark (#3) made a play.

Two plays later, and the Hogs lined up in the victory formation at the one-yard line. Truly borderline erotic.

On a day when your best linebacker and best cornerback can’t put the pads on. Against one of the nation’s most spectacular offenses. The Hogs showed out.

What a game.