Arkansas (3-6) at Ole Miss (5-3)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 9, 12:21 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (60,580) -- Oxford, Mississippi.
Television: SEC Network, MSG, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Arkansas 3-3, Ole Miss
3-1. Away Record: Arkansas 0-3, Ole Miss 2-2. Neutral Record: Arkansas 0-0,
Ole Miss 0-0. Conference Record: Arkansas 0-5, Ole Miss 2-3. Series Record:
Arkansas leads, 32-26-1.
GAME NOTES: The Ole Miss Rebels will attempt to extend their winning streak to
three games on Saturday afternoon, as they welcome the Arkansas Razorbacks to
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for an SEC showdown.
The Brett Bielema era of Arkansas football got off to a strong start with wins
in each of its first three games, but since then things have spiraled out of
control with five straight losses, culminating in a 35-17 home defeat at the
hands of Auburn last Saturday. The Razorbacks have played a brutal schedule,
as each of their last five games have been against ranked teams.
Ole Miss also started the campaign hot with three wins out of the gate,
allowing it to climb into the Top-25, but it promptly fell from the ranks with
three straight losses. The Rebels have gotten back on track in recent weeks,
however, with home wins over LSU on Oct. 19 (27-24) and Idaho on Oct. 26
This matchup marks the 60th all-time meeting between the two programs, with
Arkansas holding a 32-26-1 lead. The Rebels were victorious last October in
Little Rock, 30-27.
Arkansas' failures this season are mostly due to its inability to generate
consistent offense, as it ranks last in the SEC in scoring with just 20.0 ppg.
Against elite defenses in recent weeks, the unit has struggled mightily,
putting up only 8.5 points in the last four games.
Starting with the positive, the Razorbacks have established an impressive
rushing attack behind a pair of young running backs. Freshman Alex Collins is
fourth in the SEC in rushing with 889 yards, while sophomore Jonathan Williams
isn't far behind with 716 yards. Both players have scored four touchdowns.
The quarterback play, on the other hand, has simply not been up to snuff.
Brandon Allen has nine passing touchdowns to his credit, but he is completing
only 45 percent of his throws for 1,067 yards with seven interceptions.
Javontee Herndon leads the team in receptions (24), yards (377) and touchdowns
(four), while Hunter Henry (18 receptions, 328 yards, TD) has been a big-play
threat on occasion.
With such a lackluster scoring attack, the UA defense doesn't have much of a
chance to be successful. The unit allows 31.1 ppg, although its average
yardage allowance (385.8 ypg) ranks eighth in the league.
The strength of the defense resides up front, where Trey Flowers (9.5 TFL, 4.0
sacks, two FF) and Chris Smith (9.0 TFL, 7.0 sacks) have shined. Braylon
Mitchell has a team-high 63 tackles.
Ole Miss puts forth one of the more impressive offensive attacks in the SEC
this season, averaging 32.5 ppg and 462.3 ypg, and it is fresh off its best
performance of the season in a 59-point, 572-yard outburst against Idaho.
Bo Wallace completes better than 62 percent of his passes for 1,976 yards, and
he has accounted for 14 touchdowns (three rushing) while tossing only three
interceptions. Barry Brunetti has offensive packages designed specifically for
him, particularly around the goal line, and he's cashed in with five receiving
and three rushing touchdowns.
Despite missing two games with a thigh injury, Jeff Scott (434 yards, two TDs)
is still the team's leading rusher. Scott is listed as questionable for this
contest, meaning I'Tavius Mathers (326 yards, two TDs) and Jaylen Walton (321
yards, five TDs) could continue to see extended action.
Laquon Treadwell is a trusted receiving option when it comes to moving the
chains (41 catches, 385 yards, two TDs). Wallace has displayed strong
chemistry down the field with Donte Moncrief, who has hauled in 34 balls for
498 yards and four scores.
For the most part, the Rebels defense has been able to support their
productive offense, allowing 25.6 ppg while ranking sixth in the SEC in total
defense (379.4 ypg).
The unit could be shorthanded for this matchup, however, as LB Denzel
Nkemdiche, DE Robert Nkemdiche and CB Mike Holton are all listed as
questionable. Serderius missed two games earlier in the season, but still
leads the team with 57 tackles and 6.0 TFL. Cody Prewitt in active in the
takeaway battle with four interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Arkansas must be relieved to finally escape the treacherous stretch of facing
ranked opponents, but taking on the Rebels in Oxford is no walk in the park.
The Razorbacks may be able to put up a few more points than they have grown
accustomed to in recent weeks, but it won't be enough to topple an Ole Miss
squad that is generating momentum at exactly the right time.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ole Miss 38, Arkansas 24
11/06 10:45:44 ET