With all eyes on tonight’s LSU-Alabama showdown, some had forgotten that control of the SEC West was in large part in the hands of Ole Miss. The operative word there, though, is “was.”
In a wild affair where defense was decidedly optional, Ole Miss went down in overtime to Arkansas by the score of 53-52. The loss drops the Rebels to 4-2 in SEC play; the winner of LSU-‘Bama will be at worst 5-1 (Tide) or at best 5-0 (Tigers). Regardless, the winner of that game will control its own destiny in the chase to face Florida in the SEC championship game — control that Ole Miss held firmly in its grasp before being stunned by Arkansas.
The Rebels scored on a Chad Kelly touchdown pass to go up 45-38 with just under five minutes remaining in the fourth. A Brandon Allen touchdown pass four minutes later knotted the score at 45-all. On the ensuing possession, Hugh Freeze head-scratchingly decided to go for it on fourth down near midfield, but his offense failed and handed the ball back to the Hogs; Freeze was bailed out by his special teams as a potential game-winning field goal was blocked.
The Rebels scored first in the initial overtime to take a 52-45 lead. On the Razorbacks’ first possession of the extra session, they faced a fourth-and-25 when, well, the following happened:
Two plays after the latest bizarro college football lateral, Allen connected on his school-record sixth touchdown pass of the game. On the road, head coach Bret Bielema grabbed his Little Berts and went for two. The attempt failed as Allen was sacked; however, Allen’s facemask was also grabbed on the play, giving the Hogs one more shot from the one-yard line. Allen took advantage of the second chance as he scooted in from a yard out to give the Razorbacks the win and pulled them to within a game of bowl eligibility.