Quick reaction: Arkansas uses massive games from Rocket Sanders and KJ Jefferson to destroy Ole Miss

KJ Jefferson and Rocket Sanders are a killer duo, and Arkansas showed them at their best on Saturday night.

They combined for over 400 yards and 6 touchdowns in defeating Ole Miss, 42-27, as the Razorbacks clinched a berth with their sixth win of the season.

Ole Miss, aside from having a tough night on defense, had several costly errors, including 2 first half touchdowns called after penalties were stopped. For Ole Miss, the Rebels couldn’t have written a worse script. Conversely, Arkansas could not come up with a better plan, and started at halftime.

After a punt on first possession, Jefferson led Arkansas to 3 straight touchdown runs of 7-and-8 and 7 plays going 14-for-18 in passing for 164 yards and 3 touchdowns, including 2 touchdown passes to Matt Landers. Jefferson also added 6 carries for 51 yards.

Jefferson has been limited by a shoulder injury in recent weeks, and while he played in the loss against Liberty, Jefferson was ruled out against LSU and relieved by Malik Hornsby. With Jefferson back, the Arkansas offense turned out for its best performance of the season.

The Razorbacks offense appeared to be hitting on all cylinders against Ole Miss, as Arkansas scored 72 points in the final two halves against Ole Miss, and the Razorbacks had a 37-point run after halftime last year in Oxford.

Fans and media on both sides noted that multiple calls went Arkansas’ way, as Ole Miss trailed 35-6 at halftime. These types of plays continued into the second half as it seemed every time Ole Miss made a big run the flag came right behind him.

The Rocket also wasn’t the only Sanders to make a big play, Drew also made an interception in the first half to stop Ole Miss’s offense.

But once Ole Miss tried to get back on track, the second half seemed to get worse before it even started. The Rebels saw Sanders kick 68 yards, his third of the game to bring his carry average to 12.3 yards per rush. Then Quinshon Judkins fumbled the next Ole Miss drive from the 30-yard line, and Dwight McGlothern recovered it.

By the time Judkins and Zack Evans scored in the fourth quarter, it proved to be too little, too late. Although just as impressive as Judkins’ scoring drive was when it was 9 plays and covered 96 yards in 2:42.

It was Sanders who joined Darren McFadden as the only players in the last 25 seasons to rush for at least 200 yards and record 3 rushing touchdowns against a ranked opponent.


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