The Ole Miss rushing attack was out in full force on a cold night in Fayetteville, but early success from the Razorbacks proved too big of a hill to climb as Arkansas came away with the 42-27 win on Saturday night.
Despite Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3 SEC) receiving two huge 200-yard nights on the ground from Quinshon Judkins and Zach Evans, a high-scoring Razorback offense and three defensive takeaways helped Arkansas (6-5, 3-4 SEC) pull away early and hold on late as the Rebel ground attack heated up.
Both Judkins (214 yards, one touchdown) and Evans (207 yards, one touchdown) carried the load for the Rebel offense, marking the first time in school history that two Rebel rushers eclipsed 200 yards in the same game. Saturday’s offensive performance ranks third all-time in program history in terms of team rushing yards (463), while the team’s total yardage of 703 on the night ranks fifth all-time.
The Razorbacks took full advantage of a Jaxson Dart fumble on the Rebels’ opening drive, riding the momentum shift behind the arm of KJ Jefferson as Arkansas connected on a pair of early touchdown passes to jump ahead 14-0.
Jonathan Cruz got the Rebels on the board after converting on a 45-yard field goal try, but the Razorback offense got right back to work, with Jefferson throwing for his third touchdown pass of the half. Another Cruz field goal from 32 yards out saw Ole Miss trail 21-6 with 4:38remaining in the half.
The turnovers, paired with the running of Arkansas’ Raheim Sanders, helped the Razorbacks take a 35-6 lead into the locker room at the break. Of Sanders’ 232 yards rushing, 153 yards and two touchdowns came in the first half alone.
Sanders opened the second half much like the first, with the sophomore ripping off a 68-yard touchdown scamper to bump the Razorback lead up to 36 points.
The Rebel offense found some traction in the fourth quarter, though, behind their backfield of Judkins and Evans as both running backs found their way into the endzone to cut down the Arkansas lead. Judkins also made history on the day as the game came to a close, eclipsing the Ole Miss single-season rushing record of 1,312 yards set by Kayo Dottley in 1949.
Judkins’ 214-yard performance stands as his second 200-yard game of the season and his eighth game over 100 yards on the year. The performance ranks as the 10th most rushing yards in a single game in program history.
An additional Malik Heath receiving touchdown with 2:55 to play brought the score to its final tally of 42-27 in Arkansas’ favor.
The Rebels will now face a short week in preparation for the team’s regular season finale on Thanksgiving Day, when it hosts in-state rival Mississippi State (7-4, 3-4 SEC) for the annual Battle for the Golden Egg. Kickoff against the Bulldogs is set for 6 p.m. CT Thursday on ESPN
.Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports