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Ole Miss vs. Arkansas: Box score rundown

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Rebels 37, Hogs 38

Arkansas v Mississippi Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

While some may consider it more constructive to move on to the next game after last Saturday’s embarrassment, we’re not doing that quite yet. Part of that’s because there’s not all that much to look forward to anyway, but the other half is that this game is too absurd to ignore, serving as the most recent reminder of how weird this sub-rivalry can get.

Coughing up a 31-7 lead in just over a half feels close to unthinkable, but it’s becoming a bit easier to grasp as the game evolves. Jordan Ta’amu got the Rebels to this apex just 18 minutes into the game by leveraging pace, and it’s this same element that turned the tables so rapidly.

The times they reached the end zone in roughly a minute or less, they seemed unstoppable, posting video game numbers. But when things went south in any way, Arkansas took advantage and chipped away at the lead. Let’s try to make sense of this mess.

  • A successful play occurs when you gain: 50 percent of necessary yardage on first down, 70 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third and fourth down.
  • Explosive/big plays are defined here as runs of 12+ yards or passes of 16+ yards.
  • A scoring opportunity is a first down inside the opponent’s 40-yard line.
  • Passing downs are defined as second down with at least eight yards to go or third/fourth with at least five to go. All other situations are standard downs.

Five Factors

Ole Miss Arkansas
Ole Miss Arkansas
Efficiency (Success Rate) 53% 51%
Big Plays 13 10
Average Starting Field Position Own 27 Own 32
Finishing Drives (Points per Scoring Opportunity) 5.3 3.9
Turnovers 3 2
The Five Factors were developed by Bill Connelly.

Given how efficient Ole Miss was for most of the day, you’d think they must have either lacked big plays or had trouble finishing drives to still end up losing. They actually excelled at both, and the only real edge the Hogs had was the turnover margin and resulting field position. That’s an understatement, though.

Immediately following each of the Rebels’ turnovers, Arkansas scored a touchdown. The scoop-and-score following Ta’amu’s fumble in the fourth comes to mind, but they also returned his pick in the second for 54 yards to set up a short field at the Rebels’ 21. Without just one of those plays, the story of this game may be about Ole Miss hanging on after a brilliant start. Instead, it’s something entirely different.

The Big Picture

Team Drives Plays Yards Scoring Opportunities Yards per Play
Team Drives Plays Yards Scoring Opportunities Yards per Play
Ole Miss 13 59 566 7 9.6
Arkansas 12 83 449 8 5.4

These were extremely on-brand performances for both offenses in terms of pace. Phil Longo’s group didn’t have a touchdown drive longer than a minute and eleven seconds, while the Razorbacks doubled the Rebels in time of possession.

Only two FBS teams (Temple and Arizona) bested Ole Miss’ yards per play mark of 9.6 in Week 9, making their defeat all the more insane. Following their last touchdown, Ole Miss gained 6.7 yards per play, which is still more than Arkansas’ average on the day. Football is weird.

The Rebels were moving the ball just fine until the fourth quarter, which is when they started struggling to finish critical drives, settling for field goals at the Hogs’ three and 19-yard line. They were enjoying steady gains on the ground through three quarters, putting up 9.3 yards per carry and a running success rate of 62 percent. They managed just 1.4 yards per carry and zero successful runs in the final period.

Efficiency by Play Type

Team Passing Rushing Standard Downs Passing Downs
Team Passing Rushing Standard Downs Passing Downs
Ole Miss 58% 46% 52% 54%
Arkansas 44% 55% 51% 50%

Breaking down big plays further separates these two offenses stylistically. Out of the Rebels’ 566 total yards, 420 came from big plays. Arkansas did gain chunks on occasion, but as shown by their 5.4 yards per play, their recipe to success was more of painfully steady ball movement.

Explosive Plays

Team Running Passing Resulting Yards Yards per Successful Play Yards per Explosive Play
Team Running Passing Resulting Yards Yards per Successful Play Yards per Explosive Play
Ole Miss 4 9 420 17.9 32.3
Arkansas 5 5 222 10.4 22.2

Ta’amu was overall very efficient, especially deserving credit for consistently getting out of obvious passing situations. He did himself a favor by minimizing how often he got into late-down holes, and came up clutch more often than not here with a passing downs success rate of 55 percent through the air.

Ole Miss Passing

Name Down Completions Attempts Yards Yds/Attempt Completion % TD Int
Name Down Completions Attempts Yards Yds/Attempt Completion % TD Int
Ta'amu Total 20 31 360 11.6 65% 0 1
Standard 13 20 223 11.2 65% 0 1
Passing 7 11 137 12.5 64% 0 0

It’s generally a good idea to target A.J. Brown more than two times.

Ole Miss Receiving

Name Targets Catches Yards Catch Rate Success Rate Yards per Catch Yards per Target
Name Targets Catches Yards Catch Rate Success Rate Yards per Catch Yards per Target
Metcalf 7 4 107 57% 57% 26.8 15.3
Jefferson 5 4 55 80% 80% 13.8 11.0
Knox 5 3 24 60% 60% 8.0 4.8
Lodge 5 2 55 40% 40% 27.5 11.0
Brown 2 2 48 100% 100% 24.0 24.0
Cooley 2 2 49 100% 100% 24.5 24.5
Pack 1 1 7 100% 0% 7.0 7.0
Pennamon 1 1 -1 100% 0% -1.0 -1.0
Wilkins 1 1 24 100% 100% 24.0 24.0

As leaky as the defense was Saturday, they did one thing right by forcing redshirt freshman Cole Kelley to pass more than he probably wanted to, and he was predictably bad. It’s too bad the run defense hasn’t gotten any better.

Arkansas Passing

Name Down Completions Attempts Yards Yds/Attempt Completion % TD Int
Name Down Completions Attempts Yards Yds/Attempt Completion % TD Int
Kelley Total 19 34 167 4.9 56% 3 1
Standard 10 18 80 4.4 56% 1 0
Passing 9 16 87 5.4 56% 2 1

Arkansas Receiving

Name Targets Catches Yards Catch Rate Success Rate Yards per Catch Yards per Target
Name Targets Catches Yards Catch Rate Success Rate Yards per Catch Yards per Target
Nance 6 4 34 67% 50% 8.5 5.7
Cantrell 4 3 15 75% 75% 5.0 3.8
O'Grady 4 2 16 50% 50% 8.0 4.0
Stewart 4 4 49 100% 75% 12.3 12.3
Jones 3 0 0 0% 0% 0.0 0.0
Whaley 3 2 28 67% 67% 14.0 9.3
Cross 1 1 -2 100% 0% -2.0 -2.0
Johnson 1 1 14 100% 100% 14.0 14.0
Patton 1 0 0 0% 0% 0.0 0.0
Pettway 1 1 4 100% 0% 4.0 4.0
Williams 1 1 31 100% 100% 31.0 31.0
  • Opportunity Rate is the percentage of carries that gain 5+ yards.
  • Stuff Rate is the percentage of runs that are stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage.
  • Highlight Yards per Opportunity measures how much you’re able to do after getting to the second level of the defense.
  • QB runs don’t include sacks.

Ole Miss Running

Name Runs Yards Yards per Carry Opportunity Rate Stuff Rate Highlight Yards per Opportunity
Name Runs Yards Yards per Carry Opportunity Rate Stuff Rate Highlight Yards per Opportunity
Total 28 206 7.4 36% 21% 11.9
Wilkins 16 118 7.4 38% 19% 10.4
Ta'amu 8 84 10.5 50% 25% 14.0
Swinney 3 6 2.0 0% 0% 0.0

Ta’amu was a legitimate running threat against Arkansas, reaching the second level on half of his carries and taking off for a 49-yard score in the first quarter. Following Jordan Wilkins’ 64-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game, he gained just 3.6 yards per carry. That big gain still happened, though, and he’s now averaging 6.7 yards per carry over the last five games.

Arkansas Running

Name Runs Yards Yards per Carry Opportunity Rate Stuff Rate Highlight Yards per Opportunity
Name Runs Yards Yards per Carry Opportunity Rate Stuff Rate Highlight Yards per Opportunity
Total 49 282 5.8 49% 14% 4.1
Williams 13 56 4.3 38% 8% 1.3
Whaley 12 52 4.3 50% 17% 1.4
Hammonds 11 84 7.6 55% 18% 7.0
Kelley 9 44 4.9 56% 11% 1.7
Nance 2 45 22.5 100% 0% 16.3
Jones 1 -1 -1.0 0% 100% 0.0
Stewart 1 2 2.0 0% 0% 0.0

Havoc plays are tackles for loss + passes defensed + forced fumbles.

Ole Miss Defense

Name Tackles TFL Sacks PD FF Havoc
Name Tackles TFL Sacks PD FF Havoc
DeMarquis Gates 15 3 0 0 0 3
Myles Hartsfield 10 0 0 0 0 0
A.J. Moore 8 0 0 0 0 0
Zedrick Woods 7 0 0 0 0 0
Donta Evans 6 0 0 0 0 0
Josiah Coatney 6 1 0 0 0 1
Breeland Speaks 5 2 2 0 0 2
C.J. Hampton 4 0 0 0 0 0
Herbert Moore 4 1 1 0 0 1
Marquis Haynes 4 1 1 0 1 2
Benito Jones 3 1 0 0 0 1
Armani Linton 2 0 0 0 0 0
Austrian Robinson 2 0 0 0 0 0
C.J. Moore 2 0 0 0 0 0
Cam Ordway 2 0 0 0 0 0
D.D. Bowie 2 0 0 0 0 0
Jarrion Street 2 0 0 0 0 0
Jaylon Jones 2 0 0 0 0 0
Jalen Julius 1 0 0 0 0 0
Javien Hamilton 1 0 0 1 0 1
Jordan Wilkins 1 0 0 0 0 0
Markel Winters 1 1 0 0 0 1
Mohamed Sanogo 1 0 0 0 0 0
Montrell Custis 1 0 0 0 0 0
Tayler Polk 1 0 0 0 0 0

Arkansas Defense

Name Tackles TFL Sacks PD FF Havoc
Name Tackles TFL Sacks PD FF Havoc
Santos Ramirez 10 0 0 1 1 2
Randy Ramsey 9 1.5 0 1 0 2.5
Dre Greenlaw 5 0 0 0 0 0
T.J. Smith 5 0 0 0 0 0
Dwayne Eugene Jr. 4 0 0 0 0 0
Henre Toliver 4 0 0 1 0 1
Josh Liddell 4 0 0 2 0 2
Bijhon Jackson 3 1 1 0 0 1
Grant Morgan 3 0 0 0 0 0
Austin Capps 2 0 0 0 0 0
Briston Guidry 2 0 0 0 0 0
DeJon Harris 2 0 0 0 0 0
Deon Edwards 2 0 0 0 0 0
Kamren Curl 2 0 0 1 0 1
Kevin Richardson II 2 0 0 0 0 0
Ryder Lucas 2 0 0 0 0 0
Hjalte Froholdt 1 0 0 0 0 0
Jake Hall 1 0 0 0 0 0
Jonathan Marshall 1 0 0 0 0 0
Karl Roesler 1 0 0 0 0 0
McTelvin Agim 1 0.5 0 0 0 0.5