Game Preview: Rebels look to get first SEC road win against Razorbacks

The Ole Miss Rebels are coming off a bye week on a high after defeating the Auburn Tigers.  The Rebels will face the Arkansas Razorbacks this weekend in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The Razorbacks are entering the game with a two game winning streak after losing four games in a row.  The confidence level for the Rebels is still high and they have are aiming for a bowl berth this season as predicted in the preseason.(Click here for five reason why the Rebels will go to a bowl game).   The Razorbacks had expectations of competing for a SEC West Championship this season and will need a lot of help in achieving that goal.  Tyler Wilson has returned to a top level form after recovering from an injury.   Arkansas won the game last year in Oxford 29-24.

Five keys for the Rebels in defeating the Razorbacks:

Gilbert Pena taunts Auburn’s quarterback Clint Moseley. (Photo by Justin Ford)

Control the tempo.  In just seven games, Ole Miss has already surpassed last year’s total number of points, touchdowns and wins. Ole Miss has not lost when it has scored first this year (4-0), but is winless when the opponent scores first (0-3).  The Rebels are ranked 26th nationally in rushing offense with 211.1 yards per game.   The Rebels no huddle offense will look to win the time of possession.  Against Auburn, sophomore QB Bo Wallace became the first player in school history to score a rushing, passing and receiving touchdown in the same game.

Overcoming adversity.  The Rebels have not won a road SEC game since defeating Vanderbilt in Nashville on October 2, 2009.  The crowd will be major factor the Razorbacks and the Rebels need to take them out of the game early and destroy the confidence of the Razorbacks.  Turnovers will be a major key for the Rebels, both forcing some and not committing any.

Control the line of scrimmage.  The undersized Rebels will face yet another team where they will be out weighted, but that has not been a big factor for the Rebels this season.  They used various schemes and their team speed to counter their lack of size.  Ole Miss is ranked fourth among SEC teams and eighth in the NCAA in tackles for loss (7.9/game).

Limit the opportunity of the Razorbacks’ offense.  Arkansas has 3 receivers with over 200 receiving yards this season, Cobi Hamilton 754 yards ,Chris Gragg 234 yards, and Brandon Mitchell 257.  Tyler Wilson has 1,957 passing yards with 17 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.  The Rebels defense needs to disrupt the Razorbacks’ offense and stop them on third downs.

Continue the offensive diversity.  Donte Moncrief is the only Rebel with more than 200 receiving yards this season with 480 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Bo Wallace has 1,371 passing yards with 9 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.    Jeff Scott leads the Rebels rushing attack with 562 yards and has 5 rushing touchdowns.  Wallace has been able to spread the pass receptions among many receivers this season.

Terry Davis covers Ole Miss football for MemphiSport. Follow him @Terryd515.

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