July 18, 2018

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — Ole Miss

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks 34-30 thrilling win over #12 ranked Ole Miss Saturday in Fayetteville.

Santos Ramirez (Photo by Bruce Newman Oxford Eagle)The Good

  • Well let’s start with the crowd, who put on one of the loudest performances we can remember in a while. During the last two Ole Miss drives, the 73,786 put the gauntlet down and said collectively…”Not tonight Chad.” Members of the press felt the press box shaking, and the sound meter registered over 116 decibels several times. Incredible.
  • Those fourth quarter stops were finished by big plays from safety Santos Ramirez. On the next to last Ole Miss drive, Ramirez separated Van Jefferson and the ball on third down to force a punt, and then followed that up by forcing a Chad Kelly fumble that went out of bounds on Ole Miss’ final offensive play. Ramirez put a hat on the ball forcing the fumble, and giving the Hogs a shot to run out the clock with 1:40 remaining. Huge plays from the sophomore from Shreveport.
  • Hats off to Rawleigh Williams and Devwah Whaley for their gutty performances Saturday night. Williams rushed for 180 yards on 27 carries, while Whaley added 65 on 11 carries. The 180 yards by Williams was the most surrendered by a Hugh Freeze coached Ole Miss team, and was the most by a Razorback since Alex Collins in the 2016 Liberty Bowl.
  • In a game that the Hogs needed badly, OC Dan Enos kept dialing up some beauties all night long. None better than the Hogs second touchdown, a double post by Jeremy Sprinkle and Drew Morgan. Sprinkle went in motion and drew the safety, while Morgan came in behind him and caught the easy touchdown. The Hogs eclipsed 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing (229) for the first time since doing so against Auburn last year.

The Bad

  • We were saddened to learn post game of the season-ending surgery for senior running back Kody Walker. Walker had surgery on his foot in the spring, and it just never healed properly, prompting the staff to shut him down after the Alabama game. Walker, a rare sixth-year senior missed 22 games over the course of the last several years to injuries, and finishes with 754 RuYds and 14TDs for his career.
  • Anytime you get referee Marc Curles and his crew, you know it’s going to be a game filled with follies and ridiculous calls. Saturday was no exception. None more egregious than De’Andre Coley’s third quarter targeting ejection on Henre’ Toliver’s interception of Chad Kelly. Replays clearly showed Coley leading with his shoulder as he hit the receiver, however the call was not reversed on replay. Coley will have to sit the first half of the Auburn game as a result.

The Ugly

  • It was painful watching the Arkansas Defense try to get lined up and set, especially in the first half, when Ole Miss went with a really fast tempo. The Rebels really used that to their advantage right before the half as they marched 90 yards on 5 plays in 48 seconds to tie the game at 20-20. The Hogs were a bit better in the second half, but expect to see that and more from Auburn next week.

Of course, we can’t possibly mention everything that was “Good, Bad and Ugly.” What did we leave out?

  • Hawgfan100

    Speaking of ridiculous calls, how about that ‘personal foul; face mask against Austin which occurred shortly after the bogus targeting call against De’ Andre?

    I’m still amazed AA didn’t wind up with a serious injury to his neck.

  • Roaddhog

    Good: Our Hogs running backs may have made the biggest difference over previous performances, but AA and our receivers continued to make clutch plays all night. Joe Tess commented that Arkansas might have the best 4th down success rate in the NCAA. (The downside of that is needing to go for it on 4th down to stay in the game.)

    Bad: Too many mistakes: A fumbled C/QB exchange in the red zone on 1st and 10 cost us 25 yards. We were lucky to recover the ball at all.

    Dumb: Is there any penalty dumber than lining up in the neutral zone? One that cost our defense an interception in good field position. On one of their late TD drives we had two 15 yarders. (It may have been that 5-play, 75-yard, 45-second drive.)

    Lucky: We were lucky to win that one, considering how many self-inflicted wounds we received. Overall the Hogs showed improvement and it appears they are starting to gel as a team, both on the O-line and the D-backfield. If so, every game on the rest of their schedule is winnable. The Hogs’s brutal early schedule, playing against the best in the country, has given this team the confidence to compete against anyone. Fortunately we’ve already played what I thought were the three toughest games on our schedule, one win and two “quality losses” (oxymoron?). Go Hogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeff E

    Arkansas is starting to get a legit home field advantage at certain times, if they could ever bring that consistently, might be a tough place to play.

    Auburn is rested and no doubt wants revenge. It will be a huge challenge in that loud place next week for them. The gamblers are all taking Auburn in huge numbers..

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  • hognaustin

    Good: a win against Ole Miss is always a good thing. Can’t stand them.
    Bad: while the defense played better, we seem to be still under achieving from pre-season expectations. Hoping for continual improvement especially against Auburn.
    Ugly: O-Line, while playing better, still gave up 3 sacks and some hurries. We may not face as good of defenses in the future as we have faced the last 3 weeks but we do need to shore up protection otherwise AA will continue to get beat up. We’ve now given up more sacks in half a season this year than we did all year last year. Not good. Hopefully, there will be more improvement.

    • Roadhog

      I share your distaste for the rubbles. I’m not sure why; it’s visceral;

  • TNarch

    The bad, freeze frame the hit on Austin Allen and see where the umpire is looking for the full take and down and then ask yourself why he didn’t throw a flag.

    • squealer

      Also when Keon caught a pass in the 4th Q, his head twisted when the OM player grabbed the facemask. Ref about 10 feet away didn’t see it.

  • GolfHog

    The Good: Defensive effort and focus.
    Running against the worst run-D in the SEC.
    This should guarantee the 8 win season. Maybe more?
    The Bad: Defensive alignments still have large holes.
    The O-line still has to face Auburn. Florida, and LSU.
    We’ve seen Bert get a signature, “turn the corner win” before.
    The Ugly: Hatcher had to get hurt to get Morgan on the field. Greenlaw had to get hurt to get some linebacker depth on the field. Just like QB this ironman deal appears to be a thing. The personality cult may not equal Saban’s process but, it’s some form of coaching.
    Great Win!! WPS