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Rebels’ QB Chad Kelly reflects on last year’s Arkansas game

Rebels’ QB Chad Kelly reflects on last year’s Arkansas game

OXFORD, Miss.Chad Kelly remembers the agony he felt after Ole Miss lost in overtime last season to Arkansas, especially since the Rebels were close to reaching their goal of making it to Atlanta for the SEC title game. At this week’s press conference, Kelly recalled the loss “hurting more than a regular loss or even getting blown out.”


Arkansas QB Brandon Allen led the Razorbacks to a 53-52 win over the Rebels last season. (Photo credit: Bentley Breland, The Rebel Walk)

Last season, the Ole Miss quarterback was on the sideline hoping for a defensive stop as the Razorbacks were facing a 4th and 25 from the 40-yard line.

Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen completed a pass to Hunter Henry to the 26-yard line. And, as most Rebels’ have nightmares about, Henry, while being wrestled to the ground, slung the football 20-plus yards backwards to running back Alex Collins, who caught it on a bounce before shimming past would-be tacklers for a first down to the 11-yard line.

From there, Allen found tight end Drew Morgan for a nine-yard touchdown that pulled the Razorbacks to within one at 52-51. Arkansas elected to go for the two-point conversion and the win.

As Allen stepped back looking for a receiver, he was sacked by the Rebels—but the sack was negated when the officials called Ole Miss for a face mask penalty—resulting in the ball being moved to the one-and-a half yard line.

Allen went with the quarterback sneak up the middle to convert on the attempt that gave the Razorbacks the 53-52 win.

For five or 10 seconds, we thought we had the game won. That’s what makes this game so great. It’s a game of inches and you just never know. You’ve got to play it to the last second.

Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly

In addition to Kelly’s stellar performance through the air in that game, completing 24-of-34 for 368 yards and three TDs, he ran for 110 yards and three TDs on 11 carries against Arkansas’ defense.

Allen was responsible for all six of the Razorbacks’ touchdowns, while completing 33-of-45 passes for 442 yards. In this year’s matchup, the Rebels will see Brandon Allen’s younger brother, Austin Allen, under center leading No. 22 Arkansas (4-2, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) on offense.

Austin Allen currently ranks second in the SEC in passing yards (1,632) and has completed 63.6 percent of his passes. Kelly is third in the conference (1,596).

Chad Kelly is just as impressed with Austin Allen as he was with the Razorback quarterback’s older brother.

I think they’re about the same player. They make good decisions. They’re athletic, they make plays, and they can throw it. We’ve got to make sure we’re ready to come out from the start as Alabama did in getting an early lead on them.

Chad Kelly on Austin and Brandon Allen

Kelly: ‘It’s never over til the last second’

Chad Kelly completed 24 of 34 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns, including 110 rushing yards and three TD’s on 11 carries, against Arkansas. (Photo credit: Bentley Breland, The Rebel Walk)

Kelly passed for 368 yards and rushed for 110 against Arkansas. (Photo credit: Bentley Breland, The Rebel Walk)

During No. 12 Ole Miss’ bye week, Kelly said he watched tons of football, focusing much of his attention on the Texas A&M vs. Tennessee matchup, which Kelly felt had a similar ending to what the Rebels (3-2, 1-1) experienced last season against the Razorbacks.

The Aggies and Vols exchanged field goals in the first overtime. Then in the second overtime, A&M quarterback Trevor Knight bullied his way into the end zone for a one-yard TD that put Texas A&M up, 45-38. Tennessee had a chance to tie the game, but Armani Watts picked off Joshua Dobbs’ pass to seal the victory.

“He’s, what, two yards from the end zone, and it’s about to be a 14-point game with a minute and 50 to go,” Kelly said as he revisited what happened when Texas A&M’s freshman running back Trayveon Williams made a 71-yard run—only to see the ball knocked out of his hand and out of the back of the end zone just before he crossed the goal line.

“Just like that, it can change your whole perspective on the game, and then you’re going into double overtime,” Kelly explained.

That’s truly what makes football so great. It’s never over til the last second. We’ve been in games just like that. We’ve just got to finish, and I’m sure those teams preach about finishing, too.

Chad Kelly

About The Author

Courtney Smith

Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men's basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.

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