LITTLE ROCK -- Two plays, four recruits and seven quotes or notes from Arkansas’ 30-27 loss to Ole Miss on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
Ross Rasner (35) had one of Arkansas' two takeaways Saturday.
Wallace’s feet do the trick
LITTLE ROCK – Ole Miss had to drive 75 yards in just over two minutes to snap Arkansas’ two-game winning streak.
Bo apparently knows how to do mount a last-second road win in the SEC, a rare feat for Ole Miss.
Rebels sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace completed four of five passes on the drive. Then – with feet that don’t move very fast, but are fast enough – he all but won the game on the ground, running 13 yards to the Arkansas 14-yard line.
That set up the game-winning field goal as time expired.
Wallace ended up Ole Miss’ second-leading rusher Saturday, gaining 38 yards on 11 carries. The 13-yard gain was his longest run of the game, and the biggest play.
“Their quarterback, he’s more of a runner than he seems,” said Arkansas senior safety Ross Rasner, who was tied for the team-high in tackles with 10, including one sack of Wallace in the fourth quarter. “He was riding the running back and taking it up the middle and I think that’s how they got in field-goal range the last play.
“We’re kind of sitting back playing the pass and the quarterback runs for probably 10 yards and gets them in great field0goal range. We’ve got to stop those plays to win the game, and we didn’t.”
Gragg goes 42 yards to score
Chris Gragg hadn’t played in a game since Sept. 22, but it didn’t take him long to make an impact against Ole Miss.
Facing second-and-two from the Ole Miss 42, Arkansas lined up in the I-formation. Dennis Johnson has just rushed for five yards on third-and-five, and eight yards on first-and-10.
Would they run it again?
Tyler Wilson faked the handoff and hit Gragg deep over the middle. He caught the ball at about the six and ran in untouched to put Arkansas ahead 10-0.
“Chris, you always know he finds a way to put us in positive matchups against other people,” Wilson said. “A lot of linebackers have to cover him down the field, and it’s tough. You saw on the touchdown right there. We checked. We knew they were coming to pressure, so I slid the line to it. Made a play-action fake and he’s got 1-on-1 vs. the linebacker and we take advantage of it.”
Unfortunately for the Hogs, Gragg wasn’t able to do much else. Another leg injury in the second quarter sidelined him for the rest of the game. He finished with three catches for 55 yards.
Four recruits of note
Among 40 or 50 recruits at the game were at least three players committed to Arkansas for 2013.
Memphis East outside linebacker Marcus Robinson, who was decked out in all-red, was one of those commits, but he wasn’t able to bring one of his teammates, three-star offensive tackle Christian Morris.
Morris, who's committed to UCLA, suffered what’s believed to be a neck or back injury in his team’s game Friday night and had to be hospitalized.
Fayetteville four-star quarterback Austin Allen made the drive to watch his future team and his father, defensive backs coach Bobby Allen, and older brother, backup quarterback Brandon Allen. And Pulaski Academy four-star tight end Hunter Henry, who’s also committed to Arkansas, was present, too.
Tyler Wilson on Charles Sawyer’s interception
“They originally showed a two-high shell. It’s one of those, I make the fake, give a head fake and come back up. I’m trying to locate the safety on the other side of the field. Unfortunately, I didn’t see him. He goes to single-high coverage and threw it right to him. That’s just coverage recognition in a play-action fake that you’ve just got to eliminate. You’ve got to be spot-on, and unfortunately they got us there.”
Red zone perfection
Arkansas and Ole Miss were a combined 9 of 9 in red zone opportunities Saturday.
No big surprise for the Rebels, considering they were 21 of 23 in the red zone going into the game.
And no surprise for Arkansas, or at least lately.
The Razorbacks ranked next-to-last in the SEC in the red zone (20 of 28) before Saturday when the Hogs scored on all four trips inside Ole Miss' 20-yard line. But in their past three games, the Hogs have now scored on 12 of 13 red-zone opportunities.
The Razorbacks got two takeaways Saturday – Jared Green’s fumble recovery in the first quarter and Ross Rasner’s second-quarter interception. It was the second time this season the Hogs have had more than one takeaway in a game. They forced five turnovers vs. Auburn on Oct. 6.
Big day for Wallace
Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace’s 29 completions were a season-high, as were his 37 attempts. He also had his second-highest yardage total through the air, throwing for 278 yards.
Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze on facing Wilson
“We just had a mixture. Come after him some, but we’re playing all those freshmen, and when you do come after him, you’re going to have some 1-on-1 matchups. Against guys like Cobi Hamilton, you try not to do that a lot. We got some pressure with our front four. Just really do what we do, but we did play more dime stuff, and they hurt us. They popped two runs on us that last drive, which was good by their coaches. We knew that would be a weakness, and they did that to their credit.”
Cobi Hamilton on Wilson playing through pain
“Tyler, he’s the leader. He’s going to take shots. I think everybody in the whole country knows his will to win, his will to play ball. He’s not going to come out the game. He’s not going to pull himself from the game, that’s for sure.”
John L. Smith on the offense
“We struggled the second half. In particular we came out and they did a good job making some adjustments and we struggled. We struggled with running the ball and we struggled on throwing it. Good thing is they popped back and with couple minutes to go we take it on down. And Dennis did a great job of hanging in there and continuing to battle and running as hard as he could. And we had a few openings and we got a chance to get it down. We got it in the end zone, and that’s all you can ask.”