The 8-2 Ole Miss Rebels play the 5-5 Arkansas Razorbacks in the only conference game to feature a team from the SEC West this weekend.
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys to an Ole Miss win:
1 – The Arkansas QB Situation
Arkansas has dropped many games it could have won for various reasons. Chief among those has been the health of the quarterback, with Jefferson missing the 13-10 defeat at the hands of LSU last weekend. He was also missing in the game where Mississippi State beat the Hogs; even in games he has played, he is beaten up. The health of Jefferson’s shoulder will be key here, with Arkansas playing two quarterbacks last week against LSU. Malik Hornsby was ineffective starting the game, and the Hogs didn’t get their spark until Cade Fortin entered the game. Jefferson seems healthy, but Ole Miss needs to be ready for just about anything here.
2 – Ride Quinshon Judkins
If Judkins isn’t the best running back in the SEC, then I am not sure who is. Judkins has been immense all season, and at a point where some running backs are slowing down, he just seems to be getting stronger. His 135-yard performance with two touchdowns at 5.4 yards per carry against Alabama was sensational, especially given the workload he gets. The week prior, Judkins rushed 34 times for 205 yards against Texas A&M, and there is no reason to think he can’t go for 150+ on Saturday.
3 – Find Rest For The Defense
This is going to be a game played at a wild tempo. The Ole Miss offense is the third fastest in the nation and is known for the speed at which plays are run. It is why the Rebels are usually beaten in time of possession, even with their killer running game. Arkansas is no slouch with the ball, and the Hogs are a Top 20 team nationally regarding tempo. This might come down to something as simple as conditioning, with defenses having to play fast for short periods and trying to catch their breath on the sidelines quickly before being thrown out onto the field again.