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No. 12 Ole Miss Faces No. 22 Arkansas After A Bye Week

Photo courtesy of Danny Dickey
Photo courtesy of Danny Dickey

After a bye week last weekend No. 12 Ole Miss prepares to step back into conference action this weekend by facing Arkansas on the road in Fayetteville. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Last time the Rebels took the field, Ole Miss defeated Memphis by the score of 48-28.

Senior quarterback Chad Kelly and the offense have outscored opponents 55-6 in the first quarter and 131-40 in the first half of games this year. In the last three games, the Rebels offense has topped 500 total yards. Against the Memphis Tigers, Ole Miss put up a season-high 624 yards.

Arkansas has had the upper hand against Ole Miss the past two seasons. Everyone will remember the 4th and 25 heartbreaking loss last season. Two years ago the Razorbacks blanked the Rebels by the score of 30-0.

“(They were) two totally different games really. The first one was in November in Fayetteville, the weather was awful, and we were disappointed after a Laquon Treadwell injury that kind of knocked us out of things. I didn’t do a good job getting our team ready to play,” Freeze said. “Offensively, we were atrocious that night up there. Last year was a shootout, we couldn’t stop them and they couldn’t stop us. I thought we won the game a couple times, obviously, but they made a miraculous play on the fourth down. We stopped them on the two-point play and then we had a penalty and they converted. That game could have been won or lost a lot of different times, but we certainly struggled to stop them. A lot of it has to do with the tight ends that they had last year, they have some good ones this year also. The way they use them, you have to add to the box to try to stop their run and then their quarterback that played extremely well, when you do that and using their tight ends and wide outs to win some one-on-ones and we struggled stopping that last year.”

Lets take a closer look at the Razorbacks.

Arkansas owns a 4-2 record in 2016, its two losses coming in SEC play to Texas A&M (24-45) and Alabama (30-49). The Razorbacks won games over Louisiana Tech (21-20), then-No. 15 TCU (41-38, 2OT), Texas State (42-3) and Alcorn State (52-10). Bret Bielema’s squad has an offensive attack that averages 272.0 passing ypg and 176.3 rushing ypg.

Austin Allen has been efficient and effective as a first-year starting quarterback, replacing his brother, Brandon, who graduated following the 2015 season. Allen ranks second in the SEC in pass efficiency (158.1), behind Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly, as well as fourth in completion percentage (63.6). In the backfield, Rawleigh Williams has 605 rushing yards to rank third in the conference.

Coach Hugh Freeze on the Hogs quarterback Allen’s performance. Is it like his brothers?

“I feel like I am watching the same guy. I think they are extremely accurate, extremely tough, have a great understanding of defenses. The ball, goes to the right spot, it’s accurate. Just a really good player.”

Ole Miss and Arkansas are no strangers to one another being division foes as they have faced 62 times prior. Arkansas joined the SEC back in 1992 and holds a 14-10 advantage in the all time series. Up in Fayetteville the Rebels have not had the best of luck with only winning two games up there.

Ole Miss can watch all the action on ESPN or listen to the call on the Ole Miss Radio Network.

Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

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Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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