But whether it was ULM's Kolton Browning scampering in for an overtime winner or Bryson Rose hammering in a 31-yard field goal on the final play for an Ole Miss victory, it was an ugly year in War Memorial Stadium for the Razorbacks.
Both teams had open dates to prepare for what likely is the critical SEC game of the season for the two programs. The Rebels made the fewest big mistakes to earn the road victory.
Ole Miss had the Arkansas routes down like the back of their hand, allowing only three wideouts to touch the ball. The Rebel secondary batted down passes on the usually solid Arkansas crossing routes and limited quarterback Tyler Wilson to just 24 of 43 with two interceptions.
A patchwork Arkansas defense that did so many things right against Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace failed to line up right for most of a series that led to a field goal that seem to haunt Paul Haynes after a 30-27 loss more than the drives to end each half that.
Yes, the Rebels scored a touchdown in the two-minute drill to end the first half, then got the game winning field goal as time expired after a 61-yard drive for the game's final 2:09. But it was the 53-yard field goal on the first Ole Miss posesion of the fourth quarter that Haynes was talking about in the post-game interviews.
The Hogs had just cut the lead to 24-20 on Zach Hocker's 41-yard field goal with 13:23 left in the game. They might have tied it except for lining up with five men in the backfield on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Wilson to Austin Tate with 14:21 left.
"Our guys are going to be bang their heads againt the wall when they look at how they played that possession," said Haynes, the UA defensive coordinator. "We did some things decent most of the game. We knew they would get some plays, but we gave up three points when we didn't get lined up right on that formation.
"We worked on that. We eventually cleaned it up. But that three points they got there was huge. We did some things better, but we didn't finish. It's about playing 60 minutes and we didn't make the plays at the end when it was right there for us."
Wilson was frustrated with the second missed opportunity in Little Rock.
"We wanted this win," he said. "We wanted to finish things out. Little Rock has been good to me. Unfortunately, not this year."
That might be the understatement of the season. Wilson was knocked out of the ULM game with a concussion just before halftime with the Hogs up 21-7. He couldn't solve Mississippi defensive coordinator Dave Wommack's coverages on this trip.
"They were very aggressive in the secondary," Wilson said. "We made a number of plays, but no real deep balls except maybe one to Cobi Hamilton early. We were not able to take advantage of what they were doing. Ole Miss did a good job. They bit on the short routes and probably should have gotten more things deep."
Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said, "They were route reading in the secondary. They mixed things up, but nothing we hadn't seem them do before, nothing we don't work on and practice against. They were in a lot of zone and reading the routes, what we thought we would get."
Wilson threw into double and triple coverage at times. The Rebels got their hands on several other passes that could have been intercepted.
"The deep one for Cobi, I misread the safety," Wilson said. "They did a number of things, but on that one they did a really good disguising it. There are a number of throws I'd like to have back and that was one of them.
"I thought they were in two safety high coverage, but it was single. I looked to the right, then came back to Cobi. I didn't see (Sawyer) well enough and I have to eliminate that kind of mistake."
The mistakes were just too big for the Hogs this time. They actually outgained the Rebels, 464 to 355, in total offense. They led in both rushing (167 to 77) and passing (297 to 278). But they had one more turnover and also allowed a blocked punt.
The Hogs scored the only touchdown of the second half, a 5-yard run by Dennis Johnson that capped a 55-yard scoring march that tied it with 2:09 to play. Johnson gained 21 and 20 yards on the two previous plays in the four-play drive.
Johnson's runs came against an Ole Miss dime package that left the front exposed.
"They popped us on that last drive which was good by their coaches," said Hugh Freeze, the Ole Miss head coach. "We knew that would be a weakness, and they did that to their credit."
Johnson said the first of the three runs was a read by Wilson.
"I was just trying to win the game," Johnson said. "Just will my team to a win. That's all it was right there at the end. Tyler made the read on the first one, a great read. It was a bubble play, just go with the way the linebacker plays and Tyler made a great read."
The Hogs thought they should have had another touchown, on the Wilson throw to Tate that was called back for an illegal formation. It appeared that the crew of official Penn Wagers got it right with the Hogs lining up with five men in the backfield, instead of the limit of four.
Petrino, in the box, thought he saw the formation correct.
"It's a play we to the (officiating) crew with before the game," Petrino said. "From what I saw, we were right. I thought I saw two on the ball."
Wilson said, "I'm going to say this as carefully as I can because I can get in trouble, but I thought it should have been called a touchdown. I thought we were lined up in the right positions. But the video will tell us."
Ole Miss nickel back Denzel Nkemdiche called Johnson "just a great back. He runs hard. He doesn't stop on first contact. I take my hat off to him. He's just a great back."
Johnson said that will to win won't go away despite losing a game that might be crucial to bowl hopes.
"We just need to stay focused," he said. "We need to stay focused on this team and on the next game."
Petrino called it "a tough loss," but said there was no quit in the team and not in the coaches.
"There is no quit in this team and no quit in (coaches)," he said. "I'm coming to work and going to continue to fight. All of us will fight."