In a Nutshell: Ole Miss defense stiffens but offensive woes plague Rebs in loss to Hogs
Christmas is still a couple of months away, but Ole Miss was in the giving mood Saturday as the Rebels gift-wrapped a 33-21 victory to Arkansas Saturday. Ole Miss made sure the Razorbacks’ stockings were full of treats with plenty of turnovers, mistakes and mental errors.
Here is The Rebel Walk’s analysis of Ole Miss’ loss to the Hogs:
THE POSITIVE: The Landsharks. After being maligned for its play the first three weeks of the season, the Ole Miss defense looked good against Arkansas. The defense did give up 394 yards, but it stepped up when it needed and did not surrender all the Razorbacks’ points. It is definitely a step in the right direction going forward.
THE NEGATIVE: The missed opportunities. Two Arkansas goal-line stands, six interceptions and a lost fumble. Those cannot happen if a team wants to win an SEC game.
THE KEY PLAY: With 3:07 left to play, Matt Corral was intercepted by Grant Morgan who returned it 23 yards for the coffin-sealing touchdown. It was Corral’s sixth interception of the game. Coming into the contest, he had thrown only one.
THE KEY UNIT: The secondary. Okay, Arkansas did throw for 244 yards and a touchdown, but that cannot be on the shoulders of the defensive backs. For most of the day, Razorbacks’ quarterback Feleipe Franks had all afternoon to throw in the pocket. Ole Miss did sack him 2.5 times, but for the most part, Franks’ uniform stayed clean.
THE MOMENTUM SHIFTER: The fourth-quarter fake punt. Linebacker MoMo Sanogo took a snap as the Rebels prepared to kick the ball to the Razorbacks. Instead of giving up possession, Sanogo rumbled 47 yards deep into Arkansas territory. A short Jerrion Ealy touchdown run a few plays later put the Rebs into striking distance of the lead.
WHAT THIS MEANS GOING FORWARD: Ole Miss hosts Auburn for Homecoming next week. Although this loss hurts and drops the Rebels to 1-3, they know the defense may have found its game. If the offense can get back on track, Ole Miss will give the reeling Tigers all they can handle after Auburn lost to South Carolina today.