Arkansas Storms Back To Beat No. 12 Ole Miss
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A 6-yard end around touchdown by wide receiver Jared Cornelius late in the fourth quarter helped No. 22 Arkansas defeat No. 12 Ole Miss, 34-30, in front of a raucous crowd Saturday night in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Cornelius, who was coming off three-straight 100-yard receiving games, came up big with his legs against the Rebels as Arkansas defeated Ole Miss for the third year in a row and earned its first SEC victory of the season. Cornelius finished the game with three catches for 40 yards and one touchdown.
The win for the Razorbacks is their 11th in their last 14 games dating back to last season and is their first victory over a ranked SEC opponent while also being ranked since 2011 (South Carolina).
Austin Allen, once again, proved why he is one of the best quarterbacks in the nation as he dialed up another multi-touchdown performance completing 19 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns. Allen connected with eight different receivers in the game, four with three catches or more.
With his three score performance on Saturday, Allen is currently the only quarterback in the FBS to have multiple touchdown passes in seven straight games and leads the SEC with 18 passing touchdowns. He’s also tied for first in the SEC with Joshua Dobbs (Tennessee) with eight passing touchdowns in SEC games this season.
It was a balanced attack from the opening kick as Drew Morgan, Dominique Reed and Rawleigh Williams each hauled in scoring grabs, but much of the offensive firepower was set up by a strong running game from Williams and freshman Devwah Whaley.
Williams finished with a career-high 180 yards on the ground on 27 carries. Whaley, although with only 65 yards on 11 carries, had four carries that went for first downs and averaged just under 6.0 yards per carry. Williams is the first Arkansas player to rush for 150 yards or more in a game since Alex Collins in last year’s Liberty Bowl against Kansas State.
As a whole, the offense totaled 429 yards in the game, its sixth straight 400+ yard game with 200 of those yards coming on the ground and 229 through the air.
How It Went Down
Arkansas was able to take a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter after using a good mixture of the run and passing game before finishing it with a 53-yard strike from Allen to Reed. It was the Hogs’ longest passing touchdown of the season and first score of the year for Reed.
Austin Allen to Dominique Reed Touchdown
Allen was on fire to start the game completing six of his first seven passes, including the opening score to Reed. In just the first quarter, the Razorbacks were in a third down situation only once and Allen was able to connect with five different receivers.
Ole Miss nearly tied the game on the ensuing possession, but missed the extra point, keeping Arkansas in front. The offense went right back to work as soon as it got the ball back and got a little help from a Williams 53-yard gain to get into the red zone. Allen was able to connect with Morgan two plays later from 13 yards out and extend the lead to 14-6.
Austin Allen to Drew Morgan Touchdown
Kicker Adam McFain helped keep the Hogs in front throughout the second quarter drilling field goals of 43 and 36 yards, his second and third field goals on the year. Even with the Rebels getting into the end zone twice in the second quarter, McFain’s kicks helped keep the score tied at 20 at halftime.
Arkansas’ specialists had one of their best games of the season Saturday against Ole Miss. Along with McFain’s perfect field goals, punter Toby Baker boomed five punts in the game, two going for 50+ yards and three going inside the 20-yard line, helping to flip the field time after time throughout the game.
So far this year, Baker has 13 punts of 50 yards or more and has placed at least one punt inside the 20 yard line in all six games that he has punted in.
Coming out of halftime, much of the third quarter was a defensive stalemate. Both offenses totaled under 100 yards in the third frame alone, but the Hogs were able to put together a strong 10-play touchdown drive coming off a big three-and-out for the defense and take a seven point lead.
Williams barreled in from two yards out for the score on a forward pass from Allen for his seventh touchdown of the season and first receiving touchdown of his career.
Touchdown Run by Rawleigh Williams III
Ole Miss did take a three point lead midway through the fourth quarter after quarterback Chad Kelly scrambled into the end zone from 17 yards out. It was Kelly’s second rushing touchdown of the night, but was the last time the Rebels found the end zone in the game.
With seven minutes to play, Arkansas’ offense drove the field 56 yards in 10 plays, capping it with the Cornelius go-ahead score. Twice Allen found Keon Hatcher to extend the drive on third and fourth down and both times Hatcher came up with the grab. Hatcher finished the game with three catches for 34 yards.
– Arkansas has four wins over ranked teams in its last six opportunities, including two of four times this season.
– Head coach Bret Bielema has won three straight games against Ole Miss and is now 3-1 in his career against the Rebels.
– With 200 yards rushing and 229 yards passing, Arkansas eclipsed 200 yards rushing and passing in the same game for the first time since doing so against Auburn last season.
– Quarterback Austin Allen has thrown for 200 or more yards in six straight games, becoming the first Arkansas quarterback to throw for 200 or more yards in six of the first seven games of a season since Tyler Wilson in 2011.
– Allen became the first Arkansas quarterback ever and just the fourth SEC quarterback since 2000 to throw multiple touchdown passes in each of the first seven games in a season. He joins Kenny Hill (Texas A&M, 2014), Andre Woodson (Kentucky, 2007) and Rex Grossman (Florida, 2001).
– Allen became the first Arkansas quarterback since 1992 to throw 17 touchdown passes through the first seven games of a season, passing Tyler Wilson (2012) and Clint Stoerner (1998), who each threw 16 touchdown passes.
– Austin Allen has completed 22 of 40 passes (55.0 percent) for 202 yards and 14 TD in the red zone this season.
– Running back Rawleigh Williams III became the first Arkansas player to rush for 150 or more yards since Alex Collins in the 2016 Liberty Bowl.
– Deatrich Wise now has at least 0.5 tackles for loss in six of seven games this season and 10 of his last 12 games, dating back to last season. He has 11.5 tackles for loss during that 12-game stretch.
– Henre Toliver intercepted his second pass of the season, the fifth of his career, becoming Arkansas’ active leader in career interceptions.
Arkansas goes on the road next week as it faces No. 23 Auburn in Auburn, Ala. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. on ESPN.
For more information on Razorback Football, follow @RazorbackFB on Twitter.