Rebels Drop Slugfest With No. 9 Arkansas
Oct. 22, 2011
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Junior Randall Mackey threw two touchdowns and rushed for another, but Ole Miss could not hold on to an early 17-0 lead as the Rebels fell to No. 9 Arkansas 29-24 on Saturday.
Tyler Wilson threw for 232 yards and rushed for two touchdowns. Dennis Johnson rushed for 160 yards on 15 carries, including a 52-yard touchdown. Joe Adams caught four passes for 124 yards.
Eric Bennett's late interception sealed the victory.
Ole Miss (2-5, 0-4) took a 17-0 lead with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter after Mackey's 3-yard touchdown run, but the Razorbacks responded with 29 unanswered points to take the lead.
The Razorbacks' league-leading passing offense was never at its best, but Wilson was effective when it mattered. He completed 13 of 28 passes and didn't throw an interception. Arkansas had 310 total yards in the second half.
Nutt emerged with a different game plan against the Razorbacks than previous games, using a heavy dose of freshman receiver Nickolas Brassell and a suddenly stingy defense.
Ole Miss took a 3-0 lead on Bryson Rose's 43-yard field goal late in the first quarter and then stretched it to 10-0 on Mackey's 31-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief on the first play of the second quarter.
The Rebels stretched their lead on Mackey's 3-yard touchdown run to go up 17-0 before the Razorbacks finally showed some life with Johnson's 52-yard touchdown run that pulled the halftime score to 17-7.
Arkansas kept the momentum in the second half. The Razorbacks scored on two field goals by Zach Hocker, Wilson's two short TDs and a safety by linebacker Jerry Franklin to go up 29-17 early in the fourth quarter.
The Ole Miss offense, which was so impressive in the first half, struggled after halftime until a late surge.
Mackey found Moncrief in the corner of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown - his second of the game - and the Rebels pulled within 29-24. The onside kick was recovered by Ole Miss tight end Jamal Mosley with 1:21 remaining and the Rebels briefly had life.
But Bennett intercepted an Mackey pass on the second play of the drive and the Razorbacks were able to run out the clock.
Mackey completed 18 of 30 passes for 219 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in this third career start. Brandon Bolden rushed for 68 yards on 14 carries, but was hobbled after a second-quarter ankle injury and never looked the same.
Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt fell to 2-2 against the program he coached for 10 seasons before coming to Oxford.
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