Arkansas–Ole Miss football rivalry
|First meeting||October 10, 1908
Arkansas 33, Ole Miss 0
|Latest meeting||November 7, 2015
Arkansas 53, Ole Miss 52OT
|All-time series||Arkansas leads, 34–27–1 (per Arkansas) or 33–28–1 (per Ole Miss)|
|Largest victory||Arkansas, 44–8 (2007)|
|Longest win streak||Ole Miss, 6 (1958–70)|
|Current win streak||Arkansas, 2 (2014–present)|
The Arkansas–Ole Miss football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Arkansas Razorbacks football team of the University of Arkansas and the Ole Miss Rebels football team of the University of Mississippi. The teams first met in 1908, and have played each other every year since 1981. Arkansas leads the series, which includes two wins by Ole Miss in postseason bowl games, the 1963 and 1970 Sugar Bowls.
- 1 History
- 2 Game results
- 3 Notable games
- 3.1 1908 – First Meeting
- 3.2 1914 – Contentious result
- 3.3 1954 – Powder River Pass
- 3.4 1959
- 3.5 1960
- 3.6 1963 Sugar Bowl with National Championship implications
- 3.7 2001 – Record 7-Overtime Game
- 3.8 2008 – Houston Nutt's first return to Arkansas
- 3.9 2011 – Houston Nutt's last stand
- 3.10 2015 – The Henry Heave
- 4 References
- 5 External links
The rivalry between Arkansas and Ole Miss developed partially due to geography. Besides being neighboring states in the southeastern United States, from the University of Arkansas' perspective, before the addition of Missouri, the University of Mississippi was closer in terms of distance than any other Southeastern Conference school. Arkansas has played Ole Miss more than any other SEC opponent with the exception of Texas A&M.
The teams were first scheduled to meet each other in 1906, but due to a cancellation, the two teams began play against one another in a 1908 contest in which Arkansas won by a score of 33–0. Arkansas and Mississippi played many times sporadically in the following years. In addition to several single years of playing each other, the two teams played each other from 1940–47 and 1952–62 on an annual basis. The Razorbacks and Rebels also met twice in the Sugar Bowl played in New Orleans, in 1963 and 1970; both contests were won by Ole Miss. Especially in the early years, the teams often met in Memphis, Tennessee to play the game, besides the normal Arkansas and Mississippi game sites.
1980s to present
Since 1981, the two teams have played each other annually in football. The games have generally alternated yearly between a site in Mississippi (Jackson, or more recently Oxford) and a site in Arkansas (Little Rock, or more recently Fayetteville), except for one time in 1995 when the game was played in Memphis, Tennessee. Since Arkansas joined the Southeastern Conference in 1991 (first football season was 1992; previously a member of the SWC), the two teams have played annually as both conference and Western division rivals.
In 2001, Arkansas and Ole Miss had an NCAA record seven-overtime game in Oxford, MS.
Houston Nutt association
Upon the conclusion of the 2007 regular season, Arkansas Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt was forced to resign amid several controversies and allegations that had arisen. Hours later, he was announced as the head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels football team, replacing Ed Orgeron who had been fired after three consecutive losing seasons.
Ole Miss and Arkansas met in Fayetteville on October 25, 2008 with identical 3–4 records. This marked Nutt's first return to the University of Arkansas campus as an opposing coach. Nutt led his Rebels to a 23–21 victory over the Razorbacks. The long-standing rivalry was more interesting while he was coaching because of his association with both universities. Nutt was fired by Ole Miss at the end of the 2011 season, ending his association with this rivalry.
The results of games played between Arkansas and Ole Miss:
|Arkansas victories||Ole Miss victories||Ties and disputed games|
1908 – First Meeting
Arkansas 33 – Ole Miss 0
The very first meeting between the two teams was a 1908 contest in which Arkansas won 33–0. The teams were first scheduled to meet each other in 1906, but due to a cancellation, the 1908 contest was the first meeting.
1914 – Contentious result
Arkansas lists the 1914 contest as a forfeit by Ole Miss because Ole Miss used an ineligible player. Ole Miss denies the allegation of using an ineligible player and therefore lists the contest by the recorded on the field winning score of 13–7 in favor of Ole Miss. Therefore, the two school's official records for the overall series shows a one game difference. Ole Miss lists the series as 33–28–1 in favor of Arkansas while Arkansas lists the series as 34–27–1 in their favor.
1954 – Powder River Pass
Arkansas 6 – Ole Miss 0
Arkansas and Ole Miss met in War Memorial Stadium on October 23, 1954. The game was scoreless until the Razorbacks called a trick play: a 66-yard halfback pass from halfback Buddy Bob Benson to Preston Carpenter for the only points of the game. Arkansas head coach Bowden Wyatt named the play after the Powder River, a river in his native Wyoming. The river is a mile wide but deceptively only a foot deep. With the 6–0 win, Arkansas would go on to fall in the 1955 Cotton Bowl Classic against Bobby Dodd's Georgia Tech, and the Rebels would continue to the 1955 Sugar Bowl, losing to Navy.
Ole Miss 28 – Arkansas 0
Ole Miss 10 – Arkansas 7
The 1960 contest between the teams was won by Ole Miss 10–7 at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas, on their way to a final record of 10–0–1 for the 1960 season and the second of their three claimed national championships. Sometimes called the Tommy Bell game by Arkansas fans, he called a timeout in an attempt to quiet Razorback fans. Rebel Allen Green did not hear the whistle and kicked the ball through the uprights. After the timeout, fans swear Bell signaled that the kick was good as soon as Green connected with the ball. Fans also swear that the kick was no good. Fighting broke out all around the stadium and because of this, the annual series between the two schools was played the next year in Jackson and then canceled until the two teams renewed the series in 1981.
1963 Sugar Bowl with National Championship implications
Ole Miss 17 – Arkansas 13
The January 1, 1963 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans was played between the two teams as an end to the 1962 regular season. It was both the Razorbacks' and Rebels' fourth bowl in four seasons, and was the second straight Sugar Bowl for Arkansas.
After each team kicked field goals, Ole Miss scored the first touchdown, a 33 yard strike from Glynn Griffing to Louis Guy gave the Rebels a 10–3 lead. The Hogs replied with a five-yard touchdown toss from Billy Moore to knot the game at 10. Ole Miss QB Griffing then scored on a one-yard touchdown scamper. The Razorbacks tacked on a field goal, but neither team could dent the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. Ole Miss won the game 17–13 to finish the season 10–0 and win a share of the 1962 national championship in college football. This is the last of three national championships Ole Miss claims.
2001 – Record 7-Overtime Game
Arkansas 58 – Ole Miss 56 (7OT)
On November 3, 2001, Arkansas and Ole Miss played in an NCAA record 7-overtime game in Oxford, MS. The marathon game featured 114 points, 988 offensive yards, four 100-yard rushers, and seven overtimes, with Arkansas prevailing 58–56. The game started slowly, however, with a 7–7 tie going into halftime. Arkansas completed a field goal attempt in the third quarter, giving the Hogs a 10–7 edge. A tying 32-yard field goal attempt was then set up by Eli Manning. Razorback fullback Mark Pierce ran in from one yard away to take a 17–10 Arkansas lead in the fourth quarter, but Eli Manning connected with Jamie Armstead to send the game into overtime.
Razorback RB Cedric Cobbs scored from 16 yards out to start the overtime scoring. Eli Manning responded with an 11-yard touchdown pass, sending the game to a second overtime, in which neither team would score. Matt Jones scrambled all 25 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, but the two point run failed. Ole Miss drove to the one-yard line, where Joe Gunn ran in. Given a chance to end the game by completing the two-point conversion, Eli Manning threw the ball, but it was incomplete, sending the game to its fourth extra frame. Rebel receiver Bill Flowers hauled in a 21-yard pass from Manning to take the lead, 36–30. After the Rebels failed the two point pass, Jones threw a 24-yard TD pass to George Wilson. The Hogs would fail the two point run, extending the game to a fifth overtime. Jones again scored for the Razorbacks, an 8-yard rush, but failed the two-point conversion. Manning hit his tight end Doug Zeigler from twelve yards out, and failed the two point pass. In the sixth overtime, Zeigler again caught a Manning aerial, and Ole Miss connected on the two-point conversion with a Charles Stackhouse rush, taking a 50–42 lead. Razorback Pierce ran in from two yards out, and Arkansas completed the tying two-point conversion on a Jones pass. The game would go to a seventh overtime.
Mark Pierce again ran in for a two-yard touchdown (his third two-yard score of the game), and Decori Birmingham would receive the two point pass from Jones, making it a 58–50 Hog lead. Manning would throw his sixth touchdown pass, but the two point pass to Doug Ziegler was stopped by Jermaine Petty, giving Arkansas a 58–56 win over rival Ole Miss.
The two teams combined for 60 first downs, 130 rushing attempts (80 from the Razorbacks), 68 pass attempts, and 198 total offensive plays, while limiting mistakes, including two fumbles, eight penalties, and one sack.
The win moved Arkansas to 5–3 on the year and 3–0 in overtime. Arkansas would play another seven-overtime game, in 2003. Arkansas ended up winning with a final score of 71–63. Arkansas finished with 531 yards of offense, 370 rushing and 161 passing, while Ole Miss netted 457 yards of offense, 312 passing and 166 rushing.
2008 – Houston Nutt's first return to Arkansas
Ole Miss 23 – Arkansas 21
On October 25, 2008, Ole Miss returned to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas for the 55th meeting between the two programs. This was the first game between Ole Miss and Arkansas with former Razorback head coach Houston Nutt as the head coach of the Rebels. Ole Miss won the game by a score of 23 to 21. This was the Rebels' first win in the series since 2003.
2011 – Houston Nutt's last stand
Arkansas 29 – Ole Miss 24
When the two teams met on October 22, 2011, in Oxford, they seemed to be heading in different directions. Arkansas was ranked in the top ten, fresh off two top-15 victories, while the Rebels were winless in the SEC with coach Houston Nutt on the hot seat. The Rebels, however, surprised the Razorbacks by opening up a 17–0 lead in the second quarter behind quarterback Randall Mackey. A late touchdown brought Arkansas to within 10 points.
The Razorbacks continued in the third quarter with a 19–0 scoring run, including two touchdown runs by quarterback Tyler Wilson and a safety; the Razorbacks were up 26–17. Arkansas added a field goal in the fourth quarter before the Rebels rallied: Ole Miss closed within 29–24 late in the game and was able to recover an onside kick. The Rebels's chance of a winning touchdown was thwarted with Eric Bennett's interception of Randall Mackey with little time remaining, sealing the win for Arkansas. Arkansas moved up to 6–1 (2–1 SEC) while Ole Miss fell to 2–5 (0–4 SEC).
The win was Arkansas's second in a row in the series, and it was Houston Nutt's final game against his former team. He was fired at the end of the 2011 season.
2015 – The Henry Heave
Arkansas 53 – Ole Miss 52
The November 7, 2015 contest in Oxford between the two teams was a hard-fought offensive battle in which Arkansas largely abandoned its previous ground-and-pound style for a more pass-intensive offensive philosophy in which quarterback Brandon Allen threw for a career-high 442 yards and six touchdowns. Arkansas and Ole Miss scored exactly the same in each of the individual four quarters of regulation time leading up to overtime. In overtime, Arkansas won the coin toss and elected to play defense first, leading to Ole Miss scoring the first overtime touchdown.
After the Ole Miss touchdown, and while on defense, Arkansas kept the game from ending on a fourth-and-25 play in which quarterback Brandon Allen completed a pass to Hunter Henry, who saw that he was going to be tackled, and flung the ball backwards as a lateral towards running back Alex Collins. Collins picked it up on the bounce at the line of scrimmage and ran it for a 31-yard gain to gain a first down, fumbling it at the end of the play, but it was recovered by teammate Dominique Reed. Head coach Bret Bielema called the play "divine intervention."  The uniqueness of the play led to widespread media attention and replays.
After Arkansas scored an ensuing touchdown, they chose to go for two, even though overtime rules do not require a two-point conversion attempt until the 3rd overtime. The first attempt appeared to result in a quarterback sack and a victory for the Rebels, but Ole Miss' Marquis Haynes was called for a face-mask penalty, which gave the Razorbacks another chance. On the next play, Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen ran it into the end zone.
The win moved Arkansas one game closer to eventual bowl eligibility and was widely seen as a turn-around point in the Bret Bielema era. For Ole Miss, the loss meant they no longer controlled their own destiny in the SEC West for the 2015 season as they had previously coming into the game.
- mcubed.net : NCAAF : Arkansas : Series records
- SI.com – Writers – Stewart Mandel: Nutt faces heat in truly bizarre Arkansas soap opera – Thursday February 22, 2007 6:10PM
- SN: Time for Nutt to bolt Arkansas – College football – MSNBC.com
- ESPN – Nutt agrees with Ole Miss hours after resigning from Arkansas – College Football
- mcubed.net : NCAAF Football : Series records : Arkansas vs. Mississippi
- Bailey, Jim, and Henry, Orville. "The Razorbacks-A Story of Arkansas Football"
- "Ole Miss History and Records." University of Mississippi. Ole Miss Bowl History. Retrieved on July 7. 2008.
- "Arkansas vs. Ole Miss." Box Score, Stats, and Game Summary. USA Today. Nov 3, 2001. Retrieved on August 23, 2008.
- "2001 SEC Football Standings." 2001 SEC Scores. SECsports.com. Dec 13, 2001. Retrieved on August 23, 2008.
- "Arkansas Downs Ole Miss 58–56 in Seven Overtimes." Story. arkansasrazorbacks.com. 11/3/01. Retrieved on August 23, 2008.
- Arkansas Downs Ole Miss 58–56 in Seven Overtimes – University of Arkansas Athletics
- Nov 03 2001 – Arkansas 58, Ole Miss 56 :: Arkansas Razorback Sports Network :: Your Online Source for Razorback Football and Basketball