Saturday, January 28, 2023

Turnovers Plague Ole Miss in Loss at Arkansas

Channing Ward had three tackles and one sack against Arkansas. Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics
Channing Ward had three tackles and one sack against Arkansas.
Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics
A strong opening quarter by Arkansas and six turnovers were too much to overcome for the No. 8 Ole Miss football team, and the Rebels lost 30-0 on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Paced by a strong rushing attack and favorable field position throughout much of the first half, the Razorbacks (6-5, 2-5 Southeastern Conference) jumped out to a 17-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. Entering Saturday’s game, Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3 SEC) had outscored its opponents 83-10 in the opening quarter, the fifth-best mark in the country.
“It was a tough one,” Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. “They put it to us pretty good. I was concerned all week, for whatever reason, that we weren’t locked in totally. I think that showed in the beginning of the game.”
Ole Miss was plagued by turnovers throughout the game, throwing four interceptions and also fumbling the ball twice. The Ole Miss defense forced a fumble, extending its streak of games with at least one turnover caused to 34 games, which is the longest such streak in the country.
“You can’t turn it over the number of times that we did and expect to win,” Freeze said. “I just kept hoping we could get something good going and cut that thing to a score or two and I think our defense would have played well enough to give us a chance but we never did.”
Saturday’s game between Ole Miss and Arkansas had large postseason implications on the line. With Arkansas’ win, every team in the SEC Western Division is now bowl eligible for the first time in conference history.
Despite the loss, several Rebels put their names in the school record book. Sophomore Evan Engram had five catches for 65 yards, taking over the single-season school record for receiving yards by a tight end with 475 yards. With 218 yards of total offense in the game, senior quarterback Bo Wallace surpassed Eli Manning as the all-time school record holder with 10,090 career total offensive yards. Wallace also moved past Johnny Manziel into ninth place all-time in SEC history. Finally, junior running back Jaylen Walton returned two kicks for 40 yards and surpassed Mike Wallace for the all-time Ole Miss record with 1,429 career kickoff return yards.
After going into the halftime break trailing 17-0, Ole Miss allowed 10 more points in the third quarter to enter the final frame trailing 27-0. Arkansas would tack on an 18-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to give the game its final score of 30-0.
Ole Miss closes out the regular season on Nov. 30 with the annual Egg Bowl against in-state rival No. 4 Mississippi State. The game, which will be played at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, will begin at 2:30 p.m. CT and will be televised by CBS.
–Ole Miss Sports Information