FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – If Matt Corral had been Superman for Ole Miss, then Arkansas was his Kryptonite.
Corral, ranked No. 2 in the nation in passing efficiency, fumbled at the 1 on the Rebels’ first possession and went on to throw six interceptions in Arkansas’ 33-21 win at Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday.
It’s the Razorbacks’ first SEC home win since beating Florida 31-10 on Nov. 5, 2016.
Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks was playing for Florida then. On Saturday he passed for 244 yards and a touchdown while often facing pressure from a resurgent Ole Miss defense.
The Razorbacks ended a string of 13 home losses to Power Five teams 12 of those in the SEC.
For Ole Miss, there were dropped passes and missed blocks too.
When it wasn’t dropping eight defenders and confusing Corral, the Razorbacks often found their way into the Ole Miss backfield and finished with 11 tackles for loss, six in the first half.
“The theme of the day was the opposite of what the season had been,” Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said. “The offense struggled, the turnovers, the two goal-to-go situations and no points out of that … there were so many opportunities,” Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said.
Ole Miss drove to the 1 with its first possession of the game, but on fourth down receiver Braylon Edwards went in motion and made contact with the ball on the shotgun snap. The play ended with a Corral fumble.
On the Rebels’ first third-quarter possession Arkansas brought pressure to the hole and stuffed running back Jarod “Snoop” Conner on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
Arkansas played without its leading tackler, linebacker Bumper Pool, who missed the game with a shoulder injury.
The Rebels’ three top guards are redshirt freshmen, and Reece McIntyre, the left side starter in the first three games, did not make the trip.
Ole Miss was down 26-14 with less than 7 minutes to play when linebacker Mohamed “MoMo” Sanogo took the snap as an up back and ran 47 yards to the Arkansas 26.
The play temporarily revived an Ole Miss offense which covered the remaining 26 yards in three runs by Jerrion Ealy, the last from a yard away.
The kick left the Rebels a touchdown back, and the defense got a stop when Arkansas running back Rakeem Boyd dropped a screen pass with blockers in front on third-and-6 from near midfield.
The Rebels started from their 14 with 3:46 left. A touchdown drive could have wiped out a day full of sins, but there were more to come.
After Conner lost 2 yards on first down Corral’s pass to the left flat was picked off by linebacker Grant Morgan who returned it 26 yards for a score.
It was the second pick-six of the game surrendered by Corral.
The Razorbacks gave Corral a confusing look that resulted in Morgan’s pick.
“I kept looking at the flat because that was my key, but it was not just a flat defender. It was also a mid-field safety playing over there as well. It was something I messed up,” he said.
Senior Ryder Anderson got more snaps at end as Tariqious Tisdale missed the game. Anderson had 13 tackles, two for loss, and a quarterback pressure.
Ole Miss outgained Arkansas 442-394.
“I was happy to see our defense play a lot better, play with energy, get turnovers and with good emotion and execution,” Kiffin said. “At least it wasn’t us losing another game by a big score. My message to the team was that we can be really good if we play offense like we did prior and defense like we did today.”