By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss Rebels travel to Little Rock this weekend for a matchup against the Arkansas Razorbacks as both teams look for their first conference win of the season. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.
“Any time that you’re in this conference and you go on the road, you have to have that mental toughness enough to be able to block out the distractions and do your job over and over again,” Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke said.
Ole Miss (4-2, 0-2) is coming off a 70-21 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. The Rebels offense was on fire with 826 total yards in the game. Senior quarterback Jordan Ta’amu passed for 374 yards and three touchdowns.
The Arkansas Razorbacks currently sit at 1-5 overall and 0-3 in the SEC. Arkansas is coming off a 65-31 conference loss to top-ranked Alabama on Saturday. Arkansas is last in the SEC, averaging just over 350 yards of total offense per game.
“For the third week in a row we are playing one of the top offenses in the country,” Arkansas head coach Chad Morris said. “Ole Miss has an explosive offense that is very experienced.”
The Razorbacks do most of their damage through the air, averaging 211 passing yards. Junior quarterback Ty Storey has started four games for Arkansas, including the last three. Storey has completed 69-of-126 passes on the season for 861 yards and six touchdowns. He is coming off a 230-yard performance against Alabama. Running back La’Michael Pettway leads all Arkansas receivers with 200 yards receiving and three touchdowns.
Junior college transfer and former Texas A&M running back Rakeem Boyd took over duties in the backfield after Devwah Whaley, a preseason All-SEC selection, was injured earlier in the year. Boyd responded with several powerful runs, including a 102-yard rushing effort vs. Alabama. It was the first time a Razorback has rushed for 100-plus yards against Alabama since Darren McFadden in 2007. Arkansas’ defense has allowed 405.7 yards of total offense per game, including 271 yards through the air. Junior linebacker De’Jon Harris leads the SEC and ranks 18th nationally with 10.7 tackles per game. Senior defensive lineman Armon Watts is ninth in the SEC with 0.67 sacks per game.
Ole Miss and Arkansas have met on the gridiron 64 times in the all-time series. The Razorbacks hold the advantage at 35-28-1 in the series, but the Rebels hold an 8-6-1 in Little Rock.
“(Arkansas has) come out ahead the last few times but it’ll be important for us this year to go play good football and to do the little things it takes to win those games,” Luke said.
Fans can watch all the action on the SEC Network or listen to the call on the Ole Miss Radio Network.