FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— The forecast for Saturday’s game called for some cold temperatures and Sam Pittman said in his Monday press conference “the colder, the better”. Pittman would get his wish. By game time it was at or below freezing and continued to drop as the game progressed. It might have been subfreezing temperatures, but the Hogs came out on fire. And with Hogs this hot, who cares how cold it is?
Arkansas’s defense was the first to take the field. They gave Ole Miss 13-yards before Jaxon Dart would fumble the ball close to mid-field. The Hogs did not immediately capitalize on the turnover, as the offense went on what is starting to seem like a gamely tradition 3 and out on their first drive, but the Hogs would score two touchdowns in the 1st quarter. Both TDs were passes to Matt Landers.
CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF pic.twitter.com/VL6gWs9RaC— Arkansas Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) November 20, 2022
The defense continued to play lights out only allowing two field goals the rest of the half. Arkansas’s offense worked like a machine, only punting once more in the 2nd quarter and scoring two more touchdowns. Near the end of the first half, it felt like Ole miss would have to score to go into the break with any chance of making a comeback. Those hopes would be squashed 4 plays into Ole Miss’ drive. Dart threw an interception straight to Drew Sanders sparking yet another scoring drive by Arkansas with 1:07 on the clock.
The Razorbacks received the second-half kickoff and started at the Ark 25-yard line. It only took 2 plays for the Hogs to score again. After a 7-yard grab by Matt Landers, Rocket Sanders would take it to the house on a 68-yard rush.
And not to be outdone by the offense, the defense only took two plays to get the ball back. Dwight McGlothern stripped Quinshon Judkins the second play of the drive giving Arkansas the ball at the Ole Miss 46-yard line. The Hogs would be stopped after converting just one 1st down and were forced to try a field goal that missed.
After the missed field goal, both offensive and defensive play calling became conservative trying to milk the clock. Ole Miss would go on to score three unanswered touchdowns in the 4th, but the late rally was more of a “saving face” rally rather than an “upset” one.
Hogs take this one in dominant fashion, 42-27.
Arkansas’s defense was the very definition of “bend don’t break”. The defense gave up over 703 yards of offense (the most in an Arkansas win), 240 passing and 463 rushing. They allowed not one, but two 200-yard rushers. It was not just stat padding by Ole Miss at the end of the game either. When Arkansas started to play conservatively in the 4th, Ole Miss only gained 242- yards. That means Ole Miss gain 461-yards only to score 6 points through the first 3 quarters. The defense also recorded 2 sacks, 6 TFls, and forced 2 turnovers.
The 703 yards allowed by Arkansas tonight were the most allowed by the Razorbacks in a game they won.— Matt Jones (@MattJonesADG) November 20, 2022
The previous high was 628 yards by Texas A&M in 2011 when Arkansas won 42-38.
Drew Sanders had a great game as usual with 10 tackles, 4 solo, and one Int. Dwight McGlothern followed close behind with 8 tackles, 6 solo, and a stripped and recovered a fumble.
Arkansas’s gained 503-yards of offense, 168 through the air and 335 yards on the ground. KJ Jefferson had a great game, throwing for 168 yards, 17/22, for 3 touchdowns. He was also completely equitable with the ball. Five receivers caught the ball and had positive yards, with only an 11-yard difference between the lowest and the highest. Landers led receivers with 3 rec for 38 yards and right behind him was Jadon Haselwood with 3 rec for 36 yards.
Arkansas’s rushing game was stellar after a few weeks of poor performances. Rocket Sanders had 24 carries for 232-yards, averaging a whopping 9.7 yards per carry. KJ Jefferson also had 8 carries for 47-yards.
The Hogs were able to reach bowl eligibility with this win and they did it by playing the most complete game they have played all year. Hopefully, they can carry that mentality to Columbia, MO when they face Mizzou on Black Friday. The Hogs will have a fight on their hand as Mizzou is 5-6 and fighting for a bowl game.