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October 27, 2012

Game Day: Rebels @ Hogs

Game Day 2012

John L. Smith

3-4 | 135-89

Arkansas Razorbacks


Ole Miss Rebels

3-4 (2-2 SEC)

4-3 (1-2 SEC)


Little Rock, Ark.|54,120 | October, 27, 2012

Radio: ARSN |11:21 a.m.| TV:SEC Network

Hugh Freeze is in his first season at Ole Miss after going 10-2 with

Arkansas State last year during his only year there. Ole Miss beat the

Razorbacks 17-3 the last time the two teams met in Little Rock in 1992.

Hugh Freeze

4-3| 34-10

49-24, W

34-31, L

52-0, L

35-26, L

58-10, L

27-7, W

49-7, W

Oct 27

Nov 3

@ Nov 10

@ Nov 17

Nov 23


rkansas (3-4, 2-2 SEC) and Ole Miss (4-3, 1-2 SEC) are both coming off a bye week as they head into Saturday's game in Little Rock, and this one should be critical for two teams hoping to get closer to bowl eligibility.

Arkansas will not have to deal with Texas A&M do-it-all quarterbackJohnny Manzielthis time, but Ole Miss is considered to be very similar offensively. Manziel set an all-time SEC record against the Hogs with 557 total yards in a single game. Ole Miss junior college transfer quarterbackBo Wallaceis good in his own right, but he's not Manziel. He may not break off a lot of 60-yard runs, but he is more than capable of picking up 10 or 15 yards if needed.

Freshman back Jonathan Williams had a breakout game against Kentucky last time out

"The last two weeks he's played well with the exception of really one throw. Hopefully if he can continue that, that comfort level will increase," Rebel head coach
Hugh Freezesaid.

Wallace has completed 107 of 168 pass attempts (63.7 percent) for 1,371 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions this season while sporting a 140.4 passer rating. It is his first season in the SEC after competing in junior college last season.

"He's very elusive," Arkansas defensive endTrey Flowerssaid. "They've got the read-zone and stuff like that. He can run and obviously he can pass. We've got to make sure we stay disciplined with him, and when we do get a good shot at him, let him feel it."

The talk all week has been about playing disciplined football. For the offense, that means continuing to put up yards like they have all season withTyler Wilsonat quarterback but not making critical errors inside the red zone or giving up costly turnovers. For the defense, with a fast-tempo, spread option type of team, it means playing with their eyes and executing their individual responsibility no matter what on every down.

The Hogs blitzed more than they have all season in the last two games, wins over both Auburn and Kentucky. They did not blitz A&M that much the week before because they were concerned with all the Aggies did as far as the option and having a mobile quarterback. With Ole Miss having a similar approach offensively, it could hurt the Hogs' defensive efforts since the blitz has been a huge key when they have had success this season.

More Ole Miss Playmakers

While he has 28 carries for 60 yards (including sacks) and three touchdowns in his last two games, Wallace would rather get the ball into the hands of his playmakers, like receiverDonte Moncrief, who has caught 31 passes for 480 yards (15.5 yards per catch) with five touchdowns.

"They move him around," Razorback defensive coordinatorPaul Haynessaid. "It's kind of hard to try match him up, especially with how fast they go. You'll be running guys around like crazy, so whichever side he is we have to have some awareness of where he is at all times."

The Rebels also have one of the best rushing attacks in the conference to bring balance to a passing game that combines to be the fourth-best total offense in the SEC. Led by juniorJeff Scott's 562 yards this season, Ole miss averages 211.1 rushing yards per game. Scott is averaging 6.1 yards per pop and is fourth in the conference in rushing.

Wommack comes back

Arkansas offensive coordinatorPaul Petrinoand Ole Miss defensive coordinatorDave Wommackhave a history, having both coached at Southern Miss in 2000. Petrino coached receivers, and Wommack was the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. The next year Wommack left to take the defensive coordinator position at Arkansas, a job he held for four years before being fired.

"He's a good guy," Petrino said last week. "I think he's a good coach. I was there one year with him. I respect him. Think he's a real good coach. He's got a real nice wife and two good kids. My wife and his wife still talk all the time. He's a good man, but I want to beat him - that's for sure."

Ole Miss is in the middle of the pack in total defense, coming in at No. 7 in the league with 356.0 yards given up per game.

"They're going to bring it around, they're going to come after you. Again, I don't know, we'll have to wait and see how much they give us of that," Razorback interim head coachJohn L. Smithsaid. "I think that bodes well for us. We like our match-ups from our wideouts on different guys. So we'll just have to wait and see, but yes, we've seen a lot of that and of course we prepare every week we go blitz protections and as many as we can. I think our quarterback is very capable of protecting himself."

Return to War Memorial

This will be the last time the seniors will get to play in Little Rock, and the team will be seeking some redemption after losing there for the first time in their playing careers during the second game of the season, 34-31 in overtime to Louisiana-Monroe. Arkansas was up 28-7 just after quarterbackTyler Wilsonwas lost for the game with a concussion.

"We're a bunch better, to be honest with you," Smith said. "We just feel more comfortable. I think we have gotten a lot better offensively. I think we've gotten more physical over there. I think we're getting our running game established much better than it had been in the past. And on the defensive side, it seems like we're much more sound in what we do and making people have to work for things, not giving up big plays, making as many mental mistakes."

Wilson said Little Rock has been good to him...though he may not remember that it was not that good to him last game...or it could be that the overall body of work in Little Rock the past five years has seen an 8-1 record. He also won three times there in high school.

"It's a place I've had probably more success than any other place I've ever played. In terms of I won three state championships there, we had good games there in the past. So I don't look too much to the last time we were down there," Wilson said.

Mr. Little Rock

What did happen however was another great game for senior receiver Cobi Hamilton, the only player in the SEC averaging more than 100 receiving yards per game this season. During his career, Hamilton has had great games in six of seven in War Memorial Stadium.

"He works hard, and I'm happy for him because he always shows out in Little Rock," UA receiverJavontee Herndonsaid. "When he plays good in Little Rock, it makes the team play better. When Cobi has a good game, hopefully we'll have a good game."
In seven career games in Little Rock, Hamilton has caught 28 passes for 643 yards with eight touchdowns. He averages four catches for 91.9 yards (22.9 yards per catch) with 1.1 touchdowns per in Little Rock outing dating to his true freshman season.

Healthier Hogs

The Hogs have lost several players for the season this year, including fullbacksKody WalkerandKiero Smalland linebackersTenarius WrightandAlonzo Highsmith, but the players who had a chance to get back with the team are all back.

That includes tight endChris Gragg(bruised knee and leg), who practiced three weeks ago on a limited basis and has slowly come back to form. Gragg has missed the last three-and-a-half games but is still second on the team in receiving with 19 catches for 234 yards (12.3 yards per catch) with two touchdowns.

"I'm good. I'm glad to be back out there, ready to go get a win against Ole Miss," Gragg said. "It's mostly dealing with soreness. Once I'm out there playing and everything, I don't think about it, I don't feel it. Coaches said I've been looking pretty fast on film, so I'm ready to go."

TailbackRonnie Wingo Jr.is getting better after suffering a shoulder injury, but Petrino stopped short of saying he would be ready to go Saturday. Defensive tackleDeQuinta Jones(legs) was at practice all week and went through drills. He is expected to play Saturday, according to defensive coordinatorPaul Hayneson Wednesday, but UA interim head coachJohn L. Smithleft it up in the air on Thursday.

"His legs are getting better. He kind of wears down. I think the other thing we're approaching D.D. with is trying to get down in weight," Smiths said. "Carrying as much as he's carrying, if he can get below 300 I think that'll help him. But if you're carrying too much, as the season goes on and on, it just tears him down. So we had a little meeting about trying to lose some weight and get some weight off of him. I don't know how much he'll play this week."

CornerbackTevin Mitchel(Gallbladder surgery) was back for the Kentucky game but did not play as much as he normally would. He is back to full strength, and that should allow the Hogs more flexibility in the secondary, most notably in getting backup cornerbackKaelon Kelleybrewsome action at the hybrid linebacker/safety spot know as the STAR.


Danny West

Trey Biddy
Arkansas, 35-31

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