Arkansas uses huge plays from Rocket Sanders, KJ Jefferson to demolish Ole Miss

KJ Jefferson and Rocket Sanders are a deadly duo, and Arkansas showed them at the highest level Saturday night.

They combined well over 400 yards and 6 touchdowns in a loss to Ole Miss, 42-27, as the Razorbacks secured a bowl berth with their sixth win of the season.

As well as having a tough night on defense, Ole Miss had several costly errors including 2 touchdowns in the first half that were recalled for holding penalties. The rebels couldn’t have written a worse script for Ole Miss. Arkansas, on the other hand, couldn’t come up with a better plan, and it started in the first half.

After a punt on first possession, Jefferson led Arkansas to 3 straight touchdown drives with 7, 8 and 7 games as he launched 14-for-18 passes for 164 yards and 3 touchdowns, including 2 touchdown passes to Matt Landers. Jefferson also added 6 carries for 51 yards.

Jefferson has been hampered by a shoulder injury in recent weeks, and while he played in the loss to Liberty, Jefferson was ruled out against LSU and replaced by Malik Hornsby. With the return of Jefferson, the Arkansas offense put in their best performance of the season.

The Razorbacks’ offense seems to be on all cylinders against Ole Miss. Arkansas scored 72 points in the last two halves against Ole Miss. The Razorbacks had 37 points after halftime in Oxford last year.

Fans and media on both sides noted that several calls went towards Arkansas as Ole Miss was 35-6 down at halftime. These plays continued into the second half as it seemed every time Ole Miss made a big move, a flag would fly in right behind it.

Rocket wasn’t the only Sanders to deliver a big game either, Drew also delivered an interception in the first half to stall the Ole Miss offense.

But just as Ole Miss was trying to get back on track, the second half seemed to take a turn for the worse before things really got going. The Rebels saw Rocket Sanders hit a 68-yard touchdown rush, his third of the game, to increase his per-carry average to 12.3 yards per rush. Then Quinshon Judkins fumbled from his own 30-yard line on the next Ole Miss drive, and Dwight McGlothern recovered.

When Judkins and Zach Evans scored touchdowns in the fourth quarter, it turned out to be too little and too late. As impressive as Judkins’ scoring drive was as he went 9 plays and covered 96 yards in 2:42.

It was Sanders who, alongside Darren McFadden, became the only 2 player to rush for at least 200 yards and hit 3 rushing touchdowns against a ranked opponent in the last 25 seasons.

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