LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Here's one last look at Arkansas' 30-27 loss to the Ole Miss Rebels Saturday afternoon...
The Good News
Arkansas' running game had been improving over the last two contests against Auburn and Kentucky, and it really took off against the Rebels on Saturday. Senior Dennis Johnson, who posted 160 yards on the ground against Ole Miss last season, recorded 161 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's game. Fans of either team had no choice but to tip their cap to Johnson on the Hogs' final scoring drive of the day. Johnson put the team on his back and did more than his part to give the Razorbacks a win.
A lot of credit should be given to the Razorback front seven for their performance in the second half. Ole Miss went to half with 77 yards on the ground and that's exactly what the Rebels finished the game with. Arkansas had three defensive tackles finish with three stops apiece, while the starting defensive ends chipped in a total of nine tackles on the day.
Cobi Hamilton showed once again on Saturday that he's probably the SEC's best wide receiver in 2012. Half of Tyler Wilson's 24 completions went to Hamilton for 146 yards on the day. The senior receiver now needs just 100 yards to reach the 1,000 mark this season. With his average of 112 yards per game and at least four games remaining, Hamilton is likely to completely shatter Jarius Wright's school record of 1,117 yards in the 2011 season.
The Bad News
As good as the Hogs were against the run, they were just as bad against Mississippi's passing attack. Arkansas gave up 278 yards on the day and at times the secondary looked just as lost in coverage as it did in the first and second games of the season.
Regardless of his stats on the day, Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson simply didn't have it all together on Saturday. The senior finished 24 of 43 for 297 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he also threw two picks and could have thrown as many as five had Ole Miss capitalized on all of his miscues. Wilson also looked past several wide-open targets and even missed a couple that could have gone for big gains.
Arkansas has four games left this season and it will have to win three of them to earn a bowl bid. The bad news here is that the Hogs' final four opponents currently have a combined record of 28-5 (Tulsa is 7-1, South Carolina is 7-2, Mississippi State is 7-1 and LSU is 7-1). The Razorbacks would have had a hard time reaching six wins even with a win over Ole Miss Saturday afternoon, but it definitely got more difficult with the loss.
Inside the Numbers
0 - rushing yards for Ole Miss in the second half
1:01 - time it took Ole Miss to regain the lead on a 10-play drive before halftime
2.1 - Ole Miss' average on the ground
3 - Razorback receivers caught passes
3-5 - Arkansas' record through eight games of what was supposed to be a 'top-ten' season
4 - different Ole Miss receivers who had at least five receptions
5 - total field goals on the day
7 - third down conversions by the Ole Miss offense
Ole Miss safety Charles Sawyer forced two Arkansas turnovers in the first half
Tight end Alex Voelzke's TD reception in the first half was his first career catch.
The first five drives of the second half ended with a punt
Arkansas recorded its first sack of the day with just over 10:30 to play in the game
Hamilton averaged 98.6 yards per game in Little Rock during his career as a Razorback
Wilson is now second on Arkansas' all-time completions list with 492
It was the first SEC road victory for Ole Miss since the Rebels won at Vanderbilt on October 3, 2009
Charles Sawyer's punt block was Ole Miss' first since the 2007 season
Notable Recruits in the House
Here are some of the prospects who were confirmed to be in attendance on Saturday. Around 40-50 showed up. These are some of the notable ones:
Hunter Henry, 2013 TE, Pulaski Academy - Committed to Arkansas Marcus Robinson, 2013 LB, Memphis (Tenn.) East - Committed to Arkansas Austin Allen, 2013 QB, Fayetteville - Committed to Arkansas Bijhon Jackson, 2014 DT, El Dorado - Has Arkansas offer Will Gragg, 2015 TE, Pine Bluff - Has Arkansas offer Jalen Curtis, 2014 RB/WR, Russellville - One of the state's top juniors Chuks Ota, 2014 DL, Jonesboro - Very solid junior prospect Ty Storey, 2015 QB, Charleston - Big-time sophomore Parker Linton, 2014 OL, Lonoke - Morgan's little brother Akee Johnson, 2013 RB, Little Rock McClellan - Solid prospect Hayden Carlton, 2013, Lamar (Ark.) Ryan Griswold, 2014, Pearland (Texas) Jaquan Cole, 2013 RB, Duncanville (Texas) Juan Day, 2014 RB, N. Little Rock - The next big in-state RB?