Mississippi at Arkansas

No. 21 Arkansas overcomes delays, dumps Mississippi

CBSSports.com wire reports
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas finally earned its first win over Houston Nutt, even if only a smattering of fans remained at the end to see it.

The 21st-ranked Razorbacks snapped a two-game losing streak against Mississippi and their old coach, getting 176 yards rushing and three touchdowns from Knile Davis in 38-24 win over the Rebels on Saturday.

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Nutt coached the Razorbacks (5-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) for 10 seasons before leaving for Ole Miss after the 2007 season.

"People may say, 'Well the players may not say anything, but deep down we know that's how they feel,"' said Arkansas senior tight end D.J. Williams, who played for Nutt as a freshman. "But that's not the case at all.

"We just needed to beat Ole Miss because they had beaten us the last two years."

The game was delayed twice in the second half by lightning, with the two weather delays totaling 89 minutes and causing most of the 73,619 in attendance to leave before it ended.

Arkansas won despite starting quarterback Ryan Mallett ending the game on the sidelines for the second straight week. The junior played only a quarter after suffering a concussion against Auburn, and he left the game in the third quarter on Saturday after a third-quarter hit left him with a bruised throwing shoulder.

Mallett finished 13-of-24 passing for 196 yards before giving way to backup Tyler Wilson.

"I think he'll be OK," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "It's just a matter of getting his strength back and being able to throw the ball."

Throughout the week, Arkansas' players referred to the game as a "must-win" because of an embarrassing 65-43 loss to Auburn last week that left them with two conference losses. The Razorbacks played as though the game were a must-win early, building a 21-3 halftime lead.

Joe Adams put Arkansas up 21-0 midway through the second quarter with a school record 97-yard punt return for a touchdown. The return was aided when receiver Jarius Wright leveled Ole Miss punter Tyler Campbell at midfield, freeing up Adams down the sideline. It was the first punt return for a touchdown of Adams' career, and it broke the previous school record of 95 yards that was set by Ken Hatfield against Tulsa in 1963.

"It was kind of like the guy taking the 3-point shot five feet behind the line," Petrino said. "You're like No, no, no, and then you say, Good shot when he makes it.

"That's how it was with Joe's return."

Despite the early deficit, the Rebels rallied behind Masoli, who accounted for 425 yards of total offense in the loss. The senior transfer was 21 of 36 passing for 327 yards and three touchdowns, and he also had 98 yards rushing on 15 carries. Two of Masoli's touchdown passes came in the fourth quarter when Ole Miss twice cut Arkansas' lead to a touchdown. Both fourth-quarter touchdowns were to Markeith Summers, who finished with three catches for 104 yards.

Summers' first touchdown came with 11:39 remaining and pulled the Rebels within 24-17. The second was from 22 yards out and closed the Arkansas lead to 31-24.

"We have glimpses of really good things for a young group," Nutt said. "In this league, you have to take advantage."

After both Ole Miss touchdowns, however, Davis answered for the Razorbacks. The sophomore, who rushed 22, sprinted 71 yards past the Rebels' defense to put Arkansas up 31-17. He followed that with a 22-yard touchdown run behind the right side of the Razorbacks' offensive line to stretch the lead to 38-24.

"The more reps I get, the more comfortable I get in the backfield," Davis said. "The offensive line gives me a lot of support back there, and that gives me the time to do what I've got to do.

"It was all very smooth (Saturday)."

The weather delays didn't slow either offense, with the two teams combining for 976 yards of offense.

They also didn't slow Davis.

"Well, it took five hours, but we got the win," Petrino said.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams greets fans after Saturday's win at Fayetteville.  (AP)
Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams greets fans after Saturday's win at Fayetteville. (AP)

 

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Scoring Summary
ARKnile Davis 2 yd run (Zach Hocker kick)
ARGreg Childs 23 yd pass from Ryan Mallett (Zach Hocker kick)
ARJoe Adams 97 yd punt return (Zach Hocker kick)
MSBryson Rose 22 yd FG
ARZach Hocker 46 yd FG
MSJa-Mes Logan 18 yd pass from Jeremiah Masoli (Bryson Rose kick)
MSMarkeith Summers 43 yd pass from Jeremiah Masoli (Bryson Rose kick)
ARKnile Davis 71 yd run (Zach Hocker kick)
MSMarkeith Summers 22 yd pass from Jeremiah Masoli (Bryson Rose kick)
ARKnile Davis 22 yd run (Zach Hocker kick)
 
Team Stats
 MSAR
First Downs2116
Third Down Efficiency4-173-11
Fourth Down Efficiency2-30-0
Plays-Net Yards78-51256-464
Rushes-Yds42-18527-197
Passing Yds327267
Kick Return Yds6766
Punt Return Yds58144
Passes21-36-016-29-1
Punts7-3567-292
Fumbles-Lost2-21-1
Penalties-Yds8-558-55
Time of Poss.36:1123:49
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
MS: Jeremiah Masoli 15-98, Jeff Scott 11-62, Brandon Bolden 11-9, Rodney Scott 2-7, Jesse Grandy 1-7, Derrick Herman 1-1, Lionel Breaux 1-1
AR: Knile Davis 22-176, Ronnie Wingo 2-27, Broderick Green 1-1, Ryan Mallett 2--7
PASSING
MS: Jeremiah Masoli 21-36-327-0
AR: Ryan Mallett 13-24-196-1, Tyler Wilson 3-5-71-0
RECEIVING
MS: Ja-Mes Logan 5-84, Melvin Harris 4-53, Brandon Bolden 4-31, Markeith Summers 3-104, Jesse Grandy 2-29, Richie Contartesi 1-18, H.R. Greer 1-5, Ferbia Allen 1-3
AR: Greg Childs 4-45, D.J. Williams 2-55, Joe Adams 2-49, Cobi Hamilton 2-46, Jarius Wright 2-40, Knile Davis 2-19, Julian Horton 1-20, Ronnie Wingo 1--7
 

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