LITTLE ROCK, Ark. • The Ole Miss offense was late to the party but had plenty in the tank to steal an SEC win at War Memorial Stadium.
The Rebels rolled up 191 yards in the fourth quarter and scored two touchdowns in the last 4 minutes, 15 seconds to defeat Arkansas 37-33.
It took quarterback Jordan Ta’amu and his mates 1:20 to move 97 yards and punch in the game-winner on a 5-yard run by Scottie Phillips with 42 seconds left.
Minutes earlier the Rebels (5-2, 1-2 SEC) scored on a determined 2-yard run by Isaiah Woullard whose second-effort got him across the goalline.
All the action came after Luke Logan’s miss of a 38-yard field goal after a 64-yard drive took the wind out of the Rebels and left them nine points behind.
Ta’amu, who had a big day in the run game a week ago, followed that up with 141 rushing yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.
He was 26 of 35 passing for 387 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
Ta’amu’s 528 yards of total offense are the second-most in a single game for Ole Miss behind Archie Manning’s 540 yards against Alabama in 1969.
The Ole Miss defense gave up 476 yards but forced Arkansas’ only two punts of the game on two-straight possessions to set up the comeback.
Then, after Arkansas started a last effort from its 28-yard-line, Zedrick Woods sealed the win with an interception.
“I told Jordan to just go finish the game. He’d been playing great, making great decisions,” Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said. “He was really good with his feet. We knew as much man coverage as they played we’d have a good matchup with him running the ball.”
The Ole Miss offense, looking to assert itself in an SEC game, was unable to match the Razorbacks in the first half and fell behind 27-10 before Ta’amu’s 6-yard touchdown pass to DaMarkus Lodge with 33 seconds left made it 27-17 at the half.
The Rebels had been outscored 107-23 and outgained 544.5-288 in SEC losses to No. 1 Alabama and then-No. 5 LSU.
They finished with 613 total yards, 226 on the ground against Arkansas (1-6, 0-4).
Phillips’ score came in the same south end zone that Bryson Rose kicked a game-winning field goal for Ole Miss here in 2012.
Ole Miss got off to a fast start when Ta’amu hit DK Metcalf for a 49-yard gain on the first possession of the game.
The drive stalled, and Ole Miss settled for a 36-yard field goal by Logan.
Arkansas scored the next 17 points, and Metcalf left the game with injury later in the quarter.
The Hogs’ secondary, giving up 271.3 yards per game on average, made its share of plays while their offense took control.
Cornerback Ryan Pulley closed a lot of ground fast to pick off a deep ball intended for A.J. Brown to kill another first-quarter drive.
The Razorbacks also bothered Ole Miss with pressure when it approached the end zone, and a sack by lineman Jamario Bell preceded a missed 45-yard field goal by Logan in the middle of the second quarter.
Ta’amu was confident at the end.
“I told my O-line, ‘It’s only 97 yards,’” he said. “We’ve done this before. Let’s go out and play our game. Let’s put up a score.”