Ole Miss linebacker Chance Campbell discusses the Rebs’ win over Arkansas
OXFORD, Miss. — In a game in which the two offenses seemed to move the ball down the field with little resistance, the final play at Vaught-Hemingway was the biggest effort turned in by a defense.
Arkansas had scored a touchdown on the final play of the game and elected to go for the win rather than kick an extra point to force overtime. It was at that moment the Ole Miss defense regrouped and forced an incompletion on the attempt and escaped with a 52-51 win over the Hogs.
“Obviously when you need to have a stop, we got them,” linebacker Chance Campbell said.
“That’s always a huge takeaway when winning games is at a premium. That’s always something you can hang your hat on. We made some good adjustments in the run game, sometimes we faltered a little bit. Some of the adjustments we made I think we like and we’ll take a look back at those. I think we made some plays on the ball which is something that we’ve been trying to do. I think there is something you can always takeaway. Good or bad, a game is never as bad as you think it is and it’s never as good as you think it is.”
Ole Miss linebacker Chance Campbell
It was not as good of a defensive performance as Ole Miss would have liked, as the Rebels gave up 676 total yards, 350 of those yards coming on the ground. The Landsharks also gave up 39 first downs and Arkansas was 8-for-8 when it got into the red zone.
Campbell tallied nine tackles, three of the solo stops, and he recorded two huge plays in the game. The Maryland transfer not only forced the only fumble of the game, he fell on the loose ball to stop a Razorbacks’ drive that reached the Ole Miss 27.
Chance Campbell stats vs Arkansas:
— Fifth Quarter Ole Miss (@FQOleMiss) October 11, 2021
Later, he recorded the only Rebel sack of the game, dumping Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson for a seven-yard loss back to the Hogs’ 39. Jefferson then threw an incompletion and Arkansas was forced to punt.
Chance Campbell with the defensive play of the game so far pic.twitter.com/RsL8hAd9nm
— TJ (@TJOxley1) October 9, 2021
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin continued his tendency to forgo punts and trying to convert fourth downs as he has all season. Saturday, the Rebels converted 4-of-5 fourth downs.
Campbell is enthusiastic about the Rebels’ affinity for taking risks, even though a negative outcome could put the Ole Miss defense in a tough situation trying to defend a short field.
“I love it (when Ole Miss goes for it on fourth down),” Campbell said.
“I think it’s really cool that coach has confidence in both our offense and our defense. He’s taken a lot of criticism and I think it’s funny because head coaches take criticism and take the hype but when we make those everyone thinks it’s the greatest thing in the world. Then when some of those don’t happen everyone wants to jump on him. I love it. I love his attack mentality. I know what it does to a defense when you convert, its demoralizing. The fact that our offense goes out to do that, I love it. I’m happy that we still did it.”
It was a win last week, but Campbell knows the defense must improve as it heads into the teeth of the conference schedule.
“We have to do a better job of tackling; it starts with me,” Campbell said.” We do it, just not consistently. We have to get body on body, wrap up and just get more guys to the ball.”
The next opportunity for the defense to show improvement comes Saturday when Ole Miss visits Tennessee in Knoxville.
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
(Feature image credit: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)