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Arkansas 29-Ole Miss 24: Game Recap

Well, Ole Miss played arguably its best game of the season, but was unable to overcome a 22-point second half from Arkansas. The 29-24 loss dropped Ole Miss to 2-5 (0-4) on the season. This will be short because really I want to hear your sober (at least moreso than the gameday thread) thoughts on the game.

One thing I like to do when gauging a team's offensive output is to subtract penalty yardage from total yardage. While I could go as far as to subtract all the yards that are wasted on a drive where we end up in a 3rd and 20, I simply deduct the penalty yardage from the total to get a slightly more truthful view of how the offense performed. Arkansas racked up 438 yards of offense but were penalized twice for four yards. Ole Miss tallied 370 total yards of offense, but had a whopping 12 penalties for 85 yards.

So, when you do a little mathematizing, you our total comes out to about 285 yards whereas Arkansas still has over 430 yards. While it's not a scientific, or even reasonable, analysis, I think it shows that we played a closer game than we should have.

There were several 2nd and 3rd down situations where we went from 3-5 yards to go, to 8-10 yards to go. We shot ourselves in the foot on drive after drive and seemingly stopped ourselves more than Arkansas stopped us. That is what was so goddamn frustrating about this game. Penalties after timeouts, lining up with too many men on the field, jumping the snap count (when you were in the huddle, no less) along with some occasionally absurd playcalling allowed Arkansas' offense to dominate the second half.

There were obviously some bright spots. Bolden looked like he was running with authority, Nick Brassell is blossoming into what we expected and Donte Moncrief looks the part of a Gunter Brewer-raised stud. Randall Mackey was definitely impressive and threw the ball well aside from that last heave-ho.

There are plenty of things questions I have, even after a game that revived some of my hope in our team. While Mackey was impressive and Bolden had the occasional good carry, I'm still left wondering what this team could be like without the erratic nature of Houston Nutt's coaching. David Lee looked like a genius in the first half. Misdirections and sweeps and getting our players in space was great. BUT THEN, I see us put in Jeff Scott with the ball inside our own one yard line. I wonder, why not actually use Enrique when it makes sense? Instead, we ran a slow developing run off-tackle that was stuffed. I loved the first down call to throw it deep, but why come back to something that wasn't working? I realize hindsight is 20/20, but for geometry's sake, what the hell were they thinking?

I realize this is more of me venting than anything else, so let me know you saw that you liked, hated, or simply drove you insane.