FRIDAY FLASHBACK: Ole Miss vs. Arkansas 2003
FRIDAY FLASHBACK rewinds to some of the memorable Ole Miss games from the past. This week features the 2003 Arkansas game, which saw Ole Miss upset the 21st-ranked Razorbacks.
Rebels Top No. 21 Arkansas, 19-7 (Oct. 25, 2003)
By RALPH D. RUSSO
OXFORD, Miss. - Mississippi shut down a short-handed Arkansas offense and Jonathan Nichols kicked four field goals as the Rebels defeated the 21st-ranked Razorbacks 19-7 Saturday night to move into first place in the SEC West.
The Rebels (6-2, 4-0) are off to their best start in the SEC in 33 years and are a half-game ahead of Auburn and LSU. They have their defense to thank for their fourth straight victory.
Ole Miss held Arkansas (4-3, 1-3) scoreless in the second half. The Razorbacks, who were playing without injured leading rusher Cedric Cobbs, didn't get their initial first down of the second half until there was less than four minutes to go.
Arkansas has lost three straight.
The Rebels forced two turnovers late to wipe out any chance of an Arkansas rally.
The first came midway through the fourth quarter when safety Kelvin Robinson poked the ball away from Matt Jones as the quarterback was scrambling toward a first down in his own territory.
Eric Oliver recovered at the Arkansas 25. That set up Nichols' final field goal, a 25-yarder with 4:59 left to make it 19-7.
Nichols is 22-for-23 on field goal attempts this season.
Ole Miss came in averaging nearly 500 yards a game, but the Razorbacks kept Eli Manning and the Rebels off balance with their blitzes and multiple fronts.
Manning was 17-for-32 for 145 yards with an interception. He threw a 1-yard touchdown to Rick Razzano on the Rebels' first possession and Nichols provided the rest of their points.
It was more than enough because Ole Miss stuffed injury-depleted Arkansas running game.
The Razorbacks played without their top two tailbacks - Cobbs (hamstring) and De'Arrius Howard (ankle). Then in the second quarter Holmes injured his knee covering a kickoff and was lost for the game.
The SEC's top rushing team managed only 82 yards on the ground. Jones was 12-for-29 for 140 yards with an interception.
The Razorbacks' only score came on a 12-yard drive after forcing a turnover deep in Ole Miss territory.
Blitzing cornerback Marvin Jackson blindsided Manning, knocked the ball loose and Jimarr Gallon recovered the fumble at the Rebels 12. Mark Pierce converted the opportunity with a 1-yard TD plunge that tied it at 7.
The Rebels grabbed a 10-7 lead on a 20-yard field goal by Nichols with 42 seconds left in the first half.
Arkansas' penalties bailed out Nichols, who missed from 26 yards out, but was given a second chance when the Razorbacks were flagged for too man men on the field penalty.
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