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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Hogs took shots, needed one final bullet

by Wally Hall | October 10, 2021 at 3:56 a.m.

OXFORD, Miss. -- It was absolutely the right call.

The Arkansas Razorbacks scored as time ran out to pull to within 52-51, and the decision had been made to go for two points and the win before the final drive even began.

On the road in a hostile environment and facing a team that racked up 375 yards and 31 points in the final half, overtime is not something a coach wants.

Yes, 20 years ago the University of Arkansas beat Ole Miss here, 58-56 after seven overtimes, but there is nothing magical about the Razorbacks winning here. That game ended after the Rebels tied it at 17-17 with almost five minutes left to play.

Saturday was Ole Miss' homecoming, and the school crowned a queen, but the Razorbacks' KJ Jefferson left no doubt he is a SEC quarterback king, slightly outplaying Rebel quarterback Matt Corral, one of the favorites for the Heisman Trophy.

Corral had 381 yards of total offense, passing for 287 yards and running for 94. The 381 total yards allowed him to run for two touchdowns and pass for two more.

Jefferson accounted for 411 yards, passing for 326 yards and running for 85. He ran for three touchdowns and passed for three, the last one a 9-yarder with no time on the clock.

Jefferson showed nerves of steel when he drove his team to the Ole Miss 9 with one second left, then found Warren Thompson for the touchdown.

That drive went 75 yards in 1:07 and Jefferson completed seven of eight passes in front of 60,256 who were on their feet and as loud as possible.

There would have been no decision about a two-point conversion if not for Jefferson. His pass for two to Trelon Burks was high, and an outrageously entertaining game that could have gone either way was in the record book.

Arkansas trailed 21-14 at the half, and whatever was discussed in each dressing room during intermission did not appear to include defense.

Arkansas scored 37 points and had a total of 400 yards as they finished with a SEC school-record 676 yards.

The Razorbacks suffered numerous missed tackles in the second half, which Pittman thought might have something to do with all the bumps and bruises they have right now.

The Rebels are a good football team, much improved on defense since last year.

They also suffered zero turnovers.

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin is fearless when it comes to going for it on fourth down, and in the third quarter leading 24-21, he went from it on fourth and 1 from his own 34.

Grant Morgan and Taurean Carter stuffed the play, and the Razorbacks tied it at 24-24 moments later on a 31-yard field goal by Cam Little.

The race was on.

Ole Miss would score, usually on a big play, and Arkansas would answer with help from big plays.

The game was tied five times. In the final quarter, both teams scored touchdowns on all but one of their possessions.

It was a highly entertaining game. Exhilarating for Ole Miss. Disappointing for Arkansas.

The Razorbacks are 4-2 with both losses coming the last two weeks on the road. Now they return home to take on Auburn at 11 a.m.

This is not the most talented Razorback team ever, but they play hard even when they are making mistakes.

They are well coached, disciplined and have a chip on their shoulder that will give them a chance in most games.

Saturday they came up short in a showdown that they had a shot to win. A shot they took with no time remaining because the offense didn't panic with 67 seconds to play.

Print Headline: Hogs took shots, needed one final bullet


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