Stopping Ole Miss In Its Tracks

FAYETTEVILLE -- On fourth and one and clinging to a one touchdown lead, Arkansas' defense came up with a huge first-quarter stop during Saturday's 35-3 win against Ole Miss.

Out of the I-formation at the Arkansas 47, Rebels quarterback Ethan Flatt handed the ball off to tailback Brandon Jacobs on a simple dive play up the middle. The 6-foot-1, 235-pound bruiser was stopped in his tracks at the line of scrimmage by Hogs defensive end Jamaal Anderson and noseguard Keith Jackson, two second teamers.

"We brought everybody inside in what we call, ‘Stone.'" said Arkansas defensive coordinator Dave Wommack. "And you've got to give credit to our defensive line and the penetration of the linebackers.

"It was a great play."

Anderson made first contact, hitting Jacobs low, and Jackson came in high to level the big back and force a turnover on downs.

"I hit the guard and tried to read it," Anderson said. "But I was so low that all I saw was the running backs legs so I just grabbed after them and Keith came in and finished him off."

It was middle linebacker Sam Olajubutu who took out the lead blocking fullback on the play, which allowed his teammates a free path to Jacobs.

"When it's fourth down and short like that, you know you've got to bring it," Olajubutu said. "You can't let them fall forward or anything. You've got to come in with everything you've got to stop them."

Jackson said the defensive alignment was perfect to stop the inside run. The Hogs walked the outside linebackers up on the edges and collapsed three defensive linemen inside the tackles.

"We were stacked inside because we knew they were going to hit it up the gut," Jackson said. "We had Sam Olajubutu come and pound that fullback in the mouth and that bounced it out towards my way and I was just happy to be right there to make the play.

"Jamaal came in a swept his feet out and then I took him out high and I really think that play changed the whole game around."

Arkansas capitalized on the defensive stand with a nine-play, 53-yard scoring drive that was capped off by tailback DeCori Birmingham's 11-yard run which made it 14-0.

"That play set the tone of the game," Anderson said. "After that, it had the offense fired up and motivated them to go down and score.

"Then, we're up 14-0 and that's all she wrote."

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