Ole Miss is heading into its 10th straight game, and the Rebels have a big showdown against Arkansas on the horizon.
The Razorbacks haven’t had the year many thought they would, but coach Bret Bielema’s team is still a dangerous unit that can control the clock and shorten the game. No. 18 Ole Miss will need to play with a lead and not look ahead to the bye week, or the Rebels could find themselves in trouble late in the game.
Let’s take a look at the matchup:
Arkansas (4-4, 2-2 SEC) at No. 18 Ole Miss (7-2, 4-1 SEC)
Kickoff time: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
Weather: 56 degrees, Cloudy, 10 percent chance of rain, 10 MPH wind from the northeast
Line: Ole Miss -10.5 points (BOVADA)
Series record: Arkansas leads 32-28-1 (Ole Miss leads 7-4 in Oxford)
By The Numbers
- 3 – Ole Miss is in control of its own destiny with three games left in the regular season. If the Rebels get wins at home over Arkansas and LSU (Nov. 21), as well as a road win in the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State (Nov. 28), the Rebels will reach the SEC Championship game for the first time in program history. That has to be to focus, so there’s no excuse for overlooking anyone this close to the finish line.
- 12 – The Ole Miss defense is tied for first in the SEC with 12 interceptions on the season. The Rebels have caused an interception in the past four games. It could be difficult to get an interception against Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen, who has only thrown five picks this season. However, Allen has thrown an interception in three of four SEC games and all three came against the SEC West.
Storylines To Watch
- Hugh Freeze’s Offense: Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze has only been shutout twice in his entire coaching career, and the second time came last year when Arkansas dominated the Rebels 30-0. Earlier this week, Freeze admitted that game is an added motivation, so it will be interesting to see how quickly the SEC’s leading offense can get it going against the Razorbacks.
- Hunter Henry: One area where Ole Miss’ defense has really been attacked is in the short passing game over the middle of the field with opposing tight ends. Arkansas, of course, has one of the nation’s best in junior Hunter Henry. If the Rebels can take Henry out of the passing game, that will go a long way into stopping the Razorbacks’ play-action passing game.
- Marquis Haynes: Ole Miss defensive end Marquis Haynes has quietly put together a really impressive season. The Rebels’ pass rusher is second in the SEC with 7.5 sacks, including four in the past two games. Haynes will certainly have a tough task in front of him to improve that streak, as Arkansas leads the SEC with only seven sacks allowed all year.
My prediction: No. 18 Ole Miss 31, Arkansas 17