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The 4-2-5 Report: Ole Miss staves off Arkansas upset attempt

Arkansas v Ole Miss Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

This season, following each game the 4-2-5 report will give an in depth look at the game, laying out the 4 best plays, the 2 players of the game and 5 interesting stats.

I was asked by my LSU fan father-in-law if I was confident that we were going to beat Arkansas and my answer was, “We should, but there’s no way we cover the 11 point spread.” His other son-in-law is an Arkansas fan, so I guess that makes me the Alpha in the family now right?

At no point did the Ole Miss football team give its fans any confidence on Saturday night, well not until the clock hit 0:00. We have seen the movie too many times. Ole Miss has everything in front of them after a big win and here comes Arkansas to wreck the party.

I’m drawn to this popular meme/gif:

That’s right, the Rebels found a way to defeat Arkansas and keep a New Year Six bowl on the table.

4 Plays of the game

John Saunders Jr. game-sealing interception

When Caden Davis put the Rebels up 7 with his 22 yard field goal, the first thought was that there was too much time for Arkansas. Granted, their offense had not done much all game, but its Arkansas-Ole Miss, this is destined for overtime.

The Razorbacks were able to get one first down before John Saunders Jr. read the eyes of KJ Jefferson and ended the game with a clutch interception.

7 yard touchdown rush by Ulysses Bentley IV

Arkansas opened the scoring up in the first quarter only to see Ole Miss score 17 straight and take a ten point lead into the half. The Razorbacks answered with their own run, retaking the lead 20-17. The Rebels immediately took the lead back with this 7 yard run, capping off a 12 play 75 yard drive.

Ashanti Cistrunk and Isaac Ukwu combine for a sack late in the 4th

After Ole Miss retook the lead, the defense would be tasked with at least one more stop to put this one away. On 3rd and 3, Jefferson dropped back to pass, only to be met by a couple of landsharks. The 8 yard loss forced the Razorbacks to punt it back to Ole Miss, where the Rebels would drive and increase their lead to 7.

1 yard touchdown run by Quinshon Judkins on 4th down

Lane Kiffin is a gamblin’ man that lives and dies by the analytics. Even more dastardly was that he lined up in a obvious run situation. Does not matter if the defense knows what is coming when you got Quinshon Judkins running the ball. This score gave the Rebs a 10-3 lead in the first quarter.

2 Players of the Game

Ashanti Cistrunk

Cistrunk was all over the field Saturday, with 9 tackles and an interception. He also combined with Isaac Ukwu for a crucial sack. His interception in the first quarter set the Rebels up with a short field, allowing them to take their first lead of the contest.

Ulysses Bentley IV

Back to back honors for UB4 this week. Last week had plenty of candidates and it felt right to show Bentley some love, but this week, he paced the Rebels run game. He had 13 carries for 94 yards and the go ahead touchdown. He is starting to force himself into more touches due to his explosive shiftiness.

5 Interesting Stats

288 - The Ole Miss defense held Arkansas to 288 total yards on Saturday, their lowest against an SEC opponent since 2019.

4 - The Rebels had a season high 5 sacks against Arkansas and now have had 4 games with at least 4 sacks this season.

5/9 - We have been on Judkins milestone watch all season and he now tied for 5th all time in rushing touchdowns with 22. He is also now 9th all time with 2010 career rushing yards.

153 - Jaxson Dart passed for 153 yards, the lowest total of the season and the lowest since Ole Miss threw for 140 yards against Texas A&M last season.

2 - This is the fourth season for Lane Kiffin and in 2 of those years, Kiffin has the boot sweep (LSU and Arkansas) and the other 2 season Ole Miss was swept by the two programs.