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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 27, 12:21 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: War Memorial Stadium (53,955) -- Little Rock, Arkansas. Television: SEC Network. Home Record: Ole Miss 3-2, Arkansas 2-2. Away Record: Ole Miss 1-1, Arkansas 1-2. Neutral Record: Ole Miss 0-0, Arkansas 0-0. Conference Record: Ole Miss 1-2, Arkansas 2-2. Series Record: Arkansas leads, 31-26-1.
GAME NOTES: The Arkansas Razorbacks try to make it three in a row as they take on the Ole Miss Rebels at War Memorial Stadium for a Southeastern Conference duel this weekend.
The Rebels ended a two-game losing streak with a 41-20 win over Auburn before heading into their bye week. The win was the first in SEC action for Ole Miss, which suffered setbacks to Alabama and Texas A&M in its first two games of league play. Coach Hugh Freeze is doing a terrific job in his first year at the helm of the program as the team has already surpassed last year's total number of points, touchdowns, and wins just seven games into the season.
Coach John L. Smith has his team playing at a very high level heading into this one. The Razorbacks outscored Auburn and Kentucky, 73-14, during their current two-game winning streak. Arkansas's recent success followed a 1-4 start which featured a drop from the national rankings due to losses to ULM, Alabama, Rutgers, and Texas A&M. Arkansas is 2-0 after the bye week in each of the last two seasons.
Ole Miss is an above average team offensively with 440.7 yards and 32.7 points per game. It has produced over 450 yards in each of its last two outings.
Sophomore Bo Wallace threw four interceptions in two games heading into the Rebels' game against Auburn. With speculation about his job security circulating, Wallace delivered a solid performance with 226 yards and a touchdown on 17-of-22 passing with a touchdown and no interceptions. He also rushed for two more scores and caught another to become the first player in school history with a passing, rushing, and receiving touchdown in a single game.
Wallace has a good chemistry with his number one WR Donte Moncrief. The sophomore wideout had just 27 yards on four catches his last time out, but he has tallied an impressive 31 catches for 480 yards and five TDs. Ja-Mes Logan is second on the team in receptions (19) after making three for 51 yards against Auburn.
Since missing the opener against Central Arkansas, Jeff Scott (92 carries, 562 yards) has emerged as the Rebels' primary weapon on offense. He piled up 207 all-purpose yards (137 rushing and career-high 70 receiving) and caught his first career TD reception in the rout of Auburn. Randall Mackey (49 carries, 233 yards, three TDs) also sees plenty of opportunities and completed a 25- yard TD pass to Wallace last week.
The Ole Miss defense has decent averages considering the offensive strength of its opponents so far this season (Texas, Alabama, Texas A&M), allowing 26.6 ppg and only 356 ypg. The Rebels managed to hold Auburn to only 213 yards of total offense their last time out.
Cody Prewitt and Denzel Nkemdiche are tied for the team-lead with 44 total tackles each. Ole Miss has recorded 19 total sacks and eight interceptions.
The Rebels' defensive unit will be tested by Arkansas's SEC leading passing attack, which averages 311.4 yards per game. The Razorbacks producing only 27 ppg, but they have faced the top tier defenses of Alabama and Rutgers already.
The Razorbacks are going to be a tough opponent the rest of the way if Tyler Wilson continues to pick apart defenses from the pocket. In the team's last two games, the senior signal caller completed 45-of-60 attempts for 602 yards and five TDs with no interceptions. Wilson threw two picks in consecutive games before finding his rhythm against Auburn.
The team's top WR Cobi Hamilton is having a sensational senior campaign. Hamilton is ranked 11th in the FBS and first in the SEC with 754 yards and four TDs on 46 receptions. He had a remarkable performance against Rutgers' stingy defense with 303 yards, three TD catches, and 10 receptions. Hamilton is averaging nine catches per game over his last four outings.
Knile Davis and Dennis Johnson share the rushing responsibilities for Arkansas. Davis comes in with a team-high 337 yards and two touchdowns on 98 touches, while Johnson is close behind with 328 yards and a team-high five touchdowns on only 56 attempts.
The Razorbacks' defense was dreadful in the early part of the season, but they are coming off a pair of promising performances during the winning streak. The unit collected eight sacks and forced five turnovers against Auburn. The following week it held Kentucky to 170 yards of total offense, the lowest by any opponent this season.
Alonzo Highsmith has a team-leading 54 tackles. Ross Rasner is a jack of all trades as he comes in with 51 total stops, a pair of interceptions, two forced fumbles, three pass breakups, and a solo sack.
Although their slow start cost them any hope of playing in an elite bowl game, the Razorbacks are starting to show why they were ranked in the top 25 to start the season. Wallace will have to be mistake-free once again if he hopes to out-duel Wilson.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas 31, Ole Miss 28
10/24 10:32:31 ET
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