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Hot Read: Hogs Come Up Clutch

By Matt Osborne
SouthernPigskin.com
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Five quick thoughts from Arkansas' 34-30 win over Ole Miss.

Arkansas scored with 2:20 remaining to pick up a 34-30 win over Ole Miss on Saturday evening.

Here are five quick takeaways from the contest.

1. Austin Allen continues to be one of the biggest surprise players in the SEC in 2016. Even more impressive than his 229 passing yards and three touchdowns was his ability to come up with clutch plays coming down the stretch for Arkansas. Allen showed tremendous poise under pressure, and delivered a number of high-pressure throws late in the contest in spite of a pesky Ole Miss pass rush. With another strong showing, Allen has now thrown 18 touchdowns and just six interceptions in his first season as starter.

2. Ole Miss rushed for 150 yards on the contest, but 89 of those yards came from quarterback Chad Kelly. The Rebels’ inability to establish a consistent ground game with their running backs has plagued the program for the duration of the Hugh Freeze era. Arkansas was able to key in on slowing down Kelly, which allowed the Razorbacks to have success in slowing down the Ole Miss offense after the first quarter. 

3. Give the Razorbacks a ton of credit for not allowing Kelly to beat them with big plays, as he so often has done to conference opponents. Kelly took numerous shots down the field, completing less than 50 percent of his passing attempts on the evening. In particular, the Arkansas secondary did a nice job of playing the football against a group of Ole Miss receivers that usually excel at making acrobatic catches. Henre’ Toliver deserves special recognition for his spectacular interception of Kelly.

4. It is at least worth pondering how the end of the game might have gone different if Gary Wunderlich had not missed an extra point for Ole Miss early in the first quarter. It is crazy to think how special teams miscues early in contests often come back to affect the decisions that are made much later in the contest. Ultimately, it was a poor time for Wunderlich to miss the first extra point of his collegiate career.

5. Given the way that last year’s contest between these two teams ended, shout out to Bret Bielema for handling the end of game situation correctly. After the Razorbacks forced a turnover on downs late in the fourth, they had Allen ran around and waster time on three consecutive plays. The strategy ultimately worked, as the Razorbacks burned just enough clock to keep the Rebels from gaining one final possession.

Matt Osborne - Matt Osborne currently serves as the director of recruiting and lead editor for Southern Pigskin. His work has been published in a number of national publications, including USA Today. Although he loves all levels of football, Matt's number one joy in his life is his relationship with Jesus Christ. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattOsborne200. For media requests, please email Matt at matt@southernpigskin.com.