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Ole Miss vs Arkansas

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— Ole Miss became the first team to lead No. 2 Alabama at any point in a game this season. The Rebels scored the first points allowed by the Crimson Tide in the first quarter on a 35-yard field goal, and they had a chance to steal the game until the drive stalled in the final minute on their 43-yard line. They continue to take one step forward (winning at Florida) while taking two steps back (losing to South Carolina and Alabama), but a win against Arkansas would be a major leap forward for a bowl bid with three home games left in the last four.

— Arkansas let the opportunity of having a two-game road SEC winning streak slip through its grasp as Kentucky rallied from a 20-7 deficit in the last five minutes for a 21-20 win. Casey **** and the Arkansas passing game struggled against the stout Wildcat defense but once again, the Arkansas running game continues to improve thanks to the emergence of Michael Smith. A home win is a must to stay alive for a bowl bid.

Ole Miss: Star defensive end Greg Hardy came back a bit too soon from a broken foot, and now he's having problems with it. In a protective boot throughout the week, he'll try to give it a go, but he's questionable, at best. Meanwhile, key offensive lineman Darryl Harris is also questionable after suffering an elbow injury.

Arkansas: Junior RB Michael Smith had another standout game as he tallied 192 rushing yards, 253 all-purpose yards, and two touchdowns before leaving the game with a concussion. While he's considered questionable, by all indications, he's expected to give it a go. ****'s inconsistent play could lead head coach Bobby Petrino to insert freshman Tyler Wilson into the attack for a few series. The offense is looking for more out of the passing game.

Ole Miss has to ... get up early and make Arkansas abandon the running game. The Rebel defensive front has been great against the run, but it's at its best when it gets to pin its ears back to get to the quarterback. Arkansas has thrown well at times, but this isn't an explosive offense able to mount big comebacks. The Ole Miss attack isn't made to mount big comebacks, either, so it's vital to get as many early scores as possible.

Arkansas has to ... maintain an offensive balance. Arkansas was finally able to achieve it against Auburn, but got away from it against Kentucky as **** had less than 100 yards passing. When Smith was forced out of the game, Kentucky no longer respected the run and was able to claw its way back into the game. Defensively, the secondary has been a strength, so the more Ole Miss has to throw the ball, the better.

Keep an eye on ... Ole Miss RB Dexter McCluster. After early-season success running out of the Wild Rebel formation, he has been plagued by turnovers and has seen his role diminished. Nutt says he has no plans on changing any of McCluster's assignments, but that has to show on the field.

The number to know: 11 and 12. Ole Miss and Arkansas are ranked 11 and 12 in red-zone defense in the SEC, respectively.

And the winner is ... Ole Miss 20, Arkansas 17

—College Football News



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