Arkansas Report Card vs Ole Miss


Arkansas defeated Ole Miss 30-0, improving their record to 6-5 on the season and earning their first bowl bid in three seasons.

Offense B+

The 30-0 score might be a little misleading to fans that didn’t see the game. The offense was once again impressive by owning the time of possession by 8 minutes. However, the Hogs were actually slightly out-gained in the contest 316-311.

Arkansas managed 159 yards on the ground, but did this on 50 attempts for an average of 3.2 yards per carry. The passing game was very efficient with 152 yards on just 8 completions. Brandon Allen was 5 of 10 for 87 yards and a touchdown before leaving midway through the 2nd quarter with an injury. Younger brother Austin Allen came in and managed the remaining 30+ minutes, going 3 of 5 for 65 yards.

Nov 22, 2014; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterbacks Austin Allen (8) and Brandon Allen after the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas defeated Mississippi 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest plus for the Arkansas offense was securing the ball for the second straight week. The Hogs did lose one fumble, but owned the turnover margin 6-1 in the game. More impressively, the domination came against an Ole Miss team that had forced 27 turnovers this season, and held a plus 13 turnover margin heading in.

Defense A+

The Arkansas defense is deserving of the highest rating you can give someone after back-to-back shutouts of SEC West opponents. They are the only non-ranked team to ever have back-to-back shutouts against ranked opponents.

The Hogs gave up 316 yards, but forced 6 turnovers. Rohan Gaines highlighted their performance with a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. This was only one of three interceptions and 3 forced fumbles by Arkansas in the game.

Martrell Spaight once again led the way with 11 tackles, 1.5 for a loss, and a forced fumble. Sophomore linebacker Brooks Ellis also added 6 tackles, 1 for a loss and an interception. Once again, Trey Flowers was a force in the backfield with 6 tackles, 1.5 for a loss, 1 sack, a fumble recovery, and 3 quarterback hurries.

Defensive coordinator Robb Smith has turned around a defense that was one of the worst in the SEC last season. They’ve moved into 16th in the nation in scoring defense, only allowing 20.2 points per game.

 Special Teams A-

Ole Miss came into this game thinking they had a significant edge at Special Teams. However, the Rebels were held to -8 yards on punt returns, while Arkansas punter Sam Irwin-Hill placed 3 punts inside the Ole Miss 20. Irwin-Hill punted 6 times for a 40.5 average.

Kicker Adam McFain connected on 3 of his 4 field goal attempts with his only miss coming from 37 yards to end the first half. McFain and Henson also forced two touchbacks on seven kicks, and the Arkansas kick coverage held the explosive Ole Miss return game to only 83 yards on 4 attempts.

Coaching A+

Nov 22, 2014; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bret Bielema celebrates with cornerback Carroll Washington (21) after the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas defeated Mississippi 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Bret Bielema and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney controlled the game and the time of possession by gaining the early lead. The Hogs ran the ball somewhat ineffectively at times, but maintained ball control with crucial 3rd down conversions.

Bielema has impressed in his second season as head coach, bringing out the best in his players. He’s made a truly talented team believe they can beat anyone in the country, despite the 17 straight SEC losses heading into the LSU and Ole Miss games. The passion and emotion showed on Senior Day when Bielema was seen crying for his players.

Robb Smith: what else could you say from his performance this season? The defensive coordinator just shutout the No. 8 ranked team in the nation and has moved the Arkansas defense from the bottom half in total defense to the best 25. Give the man a raise!