The Ole Miss defense shined brightest on a night when the Rebels needed it most in a 27-20 win in Oxford.
Ole Miss (5-1, 2-1 SEC) had an offense that never seemed to get into a good rhythm as the Razorbacks (2-4, 0-3 SEC) held the Rebels passing attack to a paltry 153 yards. With a 17-13 Ole Miss lead headed into the fourth quarter, Arkansas drove down the field in a 72-yard touchdown drive to take the lead momentarily. But the Rebels responded with a drive of its own with Ulysses Bentley scoring from seven yards out.
The Rebels defense forced a three and out capped by a huge sack from Ashanti Cistrunk and the offense added another field goal to stretch the lead to 27-20. Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson threw an interception to Ole Miss CB John Saunders Jr. to end any chances of a last minute comeback in the Vaught. The 36 yards rushing by the Razorbacks was the lowest total for an SEC opponent against Ole Miss in nearly 10 years.
Cistrunk also had an interception early in the game to give Ole Miss all the momentum in the first half. The 17-7 halftime lead seemed to be fairly safe, but Arkansas’ defense held the Rebels to zero points in the third quarter.
Bentley led Ole Miss in rushing with 94 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown. Quinshon Judkins added a score as well with 83 yards of total offense. QB Jaxson Dart went 16 of 25 passing for 153 yards and a touchdown with Jordan Watkins leading receivers with 86 yards on seven catches.
The Rebels now have a bye week to get healthy, and it looks like it is very needed. WR Tre Harris has reportedly been nursing an injury since the Tulane game, and head coach Lane Kiffin made remarks that Judkins and Dart also had been banged up the first half of the season.
Ole Miss will kickoff against Auburn on the Plains on Oct. 21 giving the squad close to two weeks of rest as the Rebels look to the second half of the season.