FRIDAY FLASHBACK: Ole Miss - Arkansas 1999

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Deuce McAllister
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Deuce McAllister
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 8, 2013

FRIDAY FLASHBACK rewinds to some of the memorable Ole Miss games from this week's all-time series. This week features the Rebels' dominating 38-16 victory over Arkansas in 1999, led by a big performance from superstar Deuce McAllister.

Rebels Roast Hogs

By Robert Falkoff, The Clarion-Ledger

November 7, 1999 

OXFORD, Miss. - They are third in the Southeastern Conference West race and 23rd in the nation, but the hard-charging Ole Miss Rebels may be playing the best football among the SEC West teams.

The Rebels put it all together Saturday against the Arkansas Razorbacks and came away with a 38-16 victory that figures to boost their bowl and poll stock.

With Deuce McAllister rolling up 317 all-purpose yards and the Rebel defense rising to the challenge against Clint Stoerner and his rangy receivers, the 7-2 Rebels were in control from start to finish.

"That was as good a team victory as I've ever been around," Ole Miss coach David Cutcliffe said. "We were ready to play."

The Rebels talked early in the week about the importance of getting off to a good start. They had no idea how good it would be.

Arkansas won the toss, elected to kick off and watched with shock as McAllister went 100 yards to give Ole Miss the lead 18 seconds into the game.

Just like that, Ole Miss had more points against Arkansas than it managed for 60 minutes last year in Fayetteville.

"Deuce set the tone," Cutcliffe said.

When Arkansas came into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in 1997, it was stunned by John Avery's 97-yard kickoff return. McAllister's return had a similar effect.

"I ran a kickoff back for a touchdown in high school," McAllister said. "A lot of people have said, `He's going to break one.' Each week I've felt more and more comfortable back there."

As the dazed Razorbacks tried to recover, the Rebels hit them with another big play.

Starting free safety Syniker Taylor snuck into the offensive huddle on Ole Miss' second series and ran past Arkansas cornerback Orlando Green for a 78-yard yard touchdown pass from Romaro Miller.

Taylor was open on the post because the Rebels were able to freeze free safety Kenoy Kennedy, who sat on Cory Peterson's route and left the deep middle of the field open.

"I hope I can play defense and help the offense a little for the rest of my college career," Taylor said. "It was great night for me. Last year, I was injured and watching the Arkansas game on television. This is special."

Cutcliffe used both Taylor and Ken Lucas as two-way players. Ken Lucas had his best game at cornerback at cornerback while aggressively pressing Arkansas star receiver Anthony Lucas.

The question coming in was whether a suspect Ole Miss secondary could keep up with the Hogs' receivers. With his team in a catch up mode, Stoerner completed just 15 of 34 passes and threw three interceptions.

"We were shell-shocked when they took the opening kickoff back," Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said. "There we couldn't get offensively. You can't play behind the eight-ball in somebody else's backyard."

With McAllister rumbling for touchdown runs of 40 yards and 1 yard in the first half, the Rebels built a 31-3 lead.

"Deuce McAllister was the man out there tonight," Nutt said. "To me, he was the difference."

Arkansas, 5-3 overall, 2-3 in the SEC, was eliminated from the SEC West race. Ole Miss, 4-2 in the SEC, still has an outside shot at a trip to the SEC Championship game.

"After the Alabama game, Coach Cutcliffe told us that people remember what you do in November," Miller said. "That's our motto."

The Rebels, who have an open date to prepare for Georgia, dominated the kicking game even after McAllister's return. Anthony Magee's blocked punt led to a field goal just before the half.

"They were definitely ready to roll tonight," Nutt said. "I think it was the snowball effect. Ole Miss executed on both sides of the ball. They are much improved this year."

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