Strong Offense Propels Rebels to Victory Over Arkansas in SEC Opener

Adam Brown
Sports Editor

The Ole Miss Rebels found a rhythm on all sides of the ball to pick up a 31-17 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks inside the Vaught on Saturday night. 

“I thought the atmosphere and the energy in the stadium was the best it has been,” head coach Matt Luke said. “I really want to thank our fans for showing up. We really fed off of that late in the second half.”

Ole Miss’ (1-1,1-0 SEC) offense started clicking in front of their home fans with 483 total yards of offense on the night. The defense stood strong against the Arkansas running attack.

Redshirt freshman Matt Corral threw the ball for 246 total yards and two touchdowns both to sophomore wide receiver Elijah Moore. Moore ended with a new career high – 130 reception yards on seven catches.

“Elijah made two big plays for touchdowns as he beat his man on cover one,” Luke said. “He is just a sophomore but is one of the leaders.”

Senior running back Scottie Phillips had 26 touches for 143 yards and two touchdowns against the Razorbacks.

“I was proud of Phillips,” Luke said. “In the second half, we knew that we had to get the run game going in between the tackles and he put us up three scores.”

The Rebels carried the rock for a total of 237 yards on the ground. The distribution of touches in the ground game were given to Corral (10), Snoop Conner (8), Jerrion Ealy (4) and Isaiah Woullard (1).

The Landshark defense lost junior MoMo Sanogo with a right ankle injury early in the first quarter when he made a tackle on a punt return by Arkansas with 14:21 left on the clock in the first quarter.

“The entire defense went out to see him prior to him leaving the field,” defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre said. “He is the voice of us and is a leader for the defense.”

As a team, Ole Miss held the Razorbacks to 61 yards rushing. The Razorbacks Rahkeem Boyd carried the ball 17 times for a total of 67 yards. His longest run from scrimmage on the night was a 10-yard burst.

“We really were focused on stoping the run,” MacIntyre said. “Boyd is a really excellent runner and we never let him get started.”

Ole Miss returns to action next Saturday as they play host to Southeastern Louisiana. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. on SEC Network Alternate.

Photos by Walter Lyle.

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