Three Keys For An Arkansas Win Against Ole Miss

Keys to Arkansas Win

This season the Arkansas football program has been much more inconsistent than the first seasons of the Pittman Effect. When you look at this season, we understand there are critical injuries, but decisions have not put this team in the best position to be as successful as they can be. After losses to Liberty and LSU in back-to-back weeks, the Hogs faithful is starting to become concerned the team will not make a bowl game. With two games left and a 5-5 record, the Razorbacks need one victory to become eligible.  Can Arkansas figure out what keys will get a win this week?

This week, against Ole Miss, Arkansas will have to play nearly a perfect game to win. On Saturday, the Razorbacks and Rebels will battle for the 69th time in their history. Within this storied series, the Razorbacks hold a 12-2 series advantage of games played in Fayetteville. In every game, there are keys to a victory and things that the team will need to focus on. We found three keys that it will take to get the win. What are these keys?

Keys To Arkansas Win

1. Play The Right Quarterback

The last few weeks have been a carousel of quarterbacks in Fayetteville. This coaching staff has grossly mismanaged the position and has another viable option. When starter KJ Jefferson went down with a concussion earlier this season, it became clear they didn’t have a backup plan. Last week, we saw Cade Fortin come in and boost the number 23-ranked offense. This week all signs point to Jefferson starting with reports of a good week in practice.

Whoever the starter is will need to be protected as the visiting Rebels rank third in the SEC and 24th in the nation with 2.8 sacks per game. In 2022, at least 10 players have one sack this season. Ole Miss has recorded at least three sacks in seven of the 10 games this season. In eight of the games, they have at least two sacks. Arkansas will need to make the right decision in their starter and ensure their experienced offensive line will need to keep him upright. This key for an Arkansas win has been one that you can copy and paste over the past few weeks. We will see if this week will be the right decision.

2. Disrupt A Fast Offense

Arkansas will need to apply as much pressure on Ole Miss starter Jaxson Dart to cause disruption. The Rebels’ offense is fast and efficient. To further this point, they have run 750 plays in 2022 at a rate of a play every 20.7 seconds. This ranks second nationally.  Arkansas will need to continue to average three sacks per game this season and create chaos in an already crazy offense.  What about this offense will Arkansas need to key on?

Ole Miss has players who can take a game over in multiple places within their offense.  Freshman running back Quinshon Judkins is a phenomenal player. He is one of nine running backs to surpass the 1,000 yards in school history, with his 1,171 yards accumulated thus far in 2022. His 15 touchdowns this season is also an Ole Miss record. To counter this, Arkansas must continue to apply pressure from its linebackers, Bumper Pool, Drew Sanders, and others.

The secondary will need to contain one of the most electric wide receivers in the nation. Senior, Jonathan Mingo, has the most starts of any Rebel on the roster with 36. Mingo is second in the SEC in receiving yards with 723 yards and in yards-per-possession with 19.5 per catch. Defensively, Arkansas will be even more handcuffed as starting safety Myles Slusher was arrested following the Liberty loss. Pittman subsequently suspended Slusher for his actions. This will be a complicated key for an Arkansas win.

3. Get the Offense Going

Arkansas doesn’t want to get in a shoot-out with the Rebels, as that is their style of play. What the Hogs need to do is run their offense. That offense is to run the ball and set up a consistent passing game. When Arkansas gains over 430 yards per game, they are 5-1 and 0-4 when they do not. Key number one will be a vital part of this third in the success of this final victory point.

The Hogs need to continue to average 222 rushing yards per game and control the possession game. With the Hogs 4.7 yards per carry and the number 11 running back in the nation, Raheim Sanders averaging 114 yards per game, they must run the ball. This team is efficient this season when Arkansas has had a consistent and effective ground game. This will have to be a key from the opening snap to defeat the Rebels. This will be even more important to ensure that the offense doesn’t become one-sided and have an effective passing game.

Holes To Fill

When it comes to the Arkansas passing game, it took a slight hit this week. We learned that wide receiver Warren Thompson would be leaving the team. Thompson appeared in five games playing 40 snaps with 12 catches for 178 yards. The departure of Thompson opens the door for redshirt freshman Jadon Wilson to get some vital playing time to close the season out. Matt Landers and Jadon Hazelwood will be considered for more of that leadership role in this position room.

As we have mentioned, it will take an incredible performance by the Razorbacks to knock off the #14 Rebels. While there are many keys to this victory for Arkansas, the three we have detailed will play a vital role in a home victory over a long-time foe. The game will kick off at 6:30 Central on the SEC Network. For those of you keeping score, the Rebels are 4-0 on the SECN and 2-0 in night games in 2022. The Razorbacks have played with their backs against the wall this season, and this week will be no different. Can the Hogs accomplish these keys and get the win and bowl eligible?

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