LATE FLAG LETS REBELS ESCAPE WITH VICTORY
10/25/2008 11:30 PM
Late in the game, after Arkansas recovered an onside kick, Casey Dick spotted London Crawford streaking down the sideline. He lofted a pass his way and Crawford hauled in the bomb at the Ole Miss 21. The crowd was sent into a frenzy, then the yellow hankie came in from the linesman Johnny Crawford. Pass interference on Crawford was the call. Instead of being in field goal range with a chance to win the game with a field goal the Hogs found itself backed up to their own 32. Three incomplete passes later and Ole Miss was in the victory formation.
Bobby Petrino and the Razorbacks didn’t have to let Michael Smith carry the load. D.J. Williams stepped up and hauled in 10 passes for 129 yards. Smith, who suffered a concussion last week on the road at Kentucky and was cleared to play Friday, had 160 yards of total offense including 129 yards rushing on 19 carries and one touchdown.
This game marked the return of Houston Nutt to Fayetteville for the first time since he left for Ole Miss last November. He had several friends and family members on the Rebel sideline. There was a Little Rock businessman and a Little Rock Firefighter that I spotted from the press box with a Team Bench pass. Danny Nutt was there along with his brothers Dickie Nutt and Dennis Nutt, and Rebel head basketball coach Andy Kennedy made the trip from Oxford to cheer on the Rebels. I found it odd that the head coach of your basketball team would be in the team bench area on a road football game when he could be back at the Tad M. Smith Coliseum putting his team through pre-season drills.
Arkansas had a chance to get on the board first. Shay Haddock trotted onto the field to attempt a 34 yard field goal the he missed wide right. That was after Ole Miss went three and out on their first possession. The Rebels took the ball at their 20 after the miss by Haddock and made a field goal of their own on their second drive of the game.
Right before the half Arkansas was trying to make something happen and Casey Dick threw high over Michael Smith’s head and Fon Ingram intercepted the pass at the Rebel 45 and returned it 38 yards to the Arkansas 17 with two seconds left in the first half. Nutt called for the field goal and Joshua Shene kicked a 34 yarder to give Ole Miss a 13 – 7 lead at the half.
In the second half the Razorbacks couldn’t get the offense on track until they were down 20-7. Sound familiar? Last week Arkansas had a 20-7 lead in Lexington and gave the game away in less the two minutes in the fourth quarter.
This week the Razorbacks were the hunters late in the game. They got back in the game by making plays and not committing mistakes. The Hogs made plays in the fourth quarter. Arkansas got within 20 – 14 and had Ole Miss in a second and 14 on the Ole Miss 31 and Jevan Snead connected with Mike Wallace for 42 yards into Arkansas territory and set up the game winning field goal of 28 yards by Shene.
Two weeks of back to back tough losses for these Hogs. Next week Tulsa comes to town in what could be a shoot out. Arkansas needs a win to have any realistic shot at a bowl game.