'We didn't get it done'

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – From getting gashed on defense, to poor red zone offense to weak special teams, the Rebels just didn't get it done at Arkansas. Read about it inside.

Ole Miss middle linebacker/defensive end D.T. Shackelford said it best after describing the 38-24 rain-delayed (twice) loss to Arkansas.

"It's really pretty simple," said Shack. "We didn't get it done. We didn't play well enough to win."

Defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix and co-offensive coordinator Mike Markuson agreed.

Nix first.

"They have some explosive players, but we made them look real good by missing tackles and them hitting big plays because of our whiffs. They blocked us up a couple of times, but we didn't play with good fundamentals and those 6-yard gains were turning into 20, 30 or more yards."

Arkansas has a big play early to TE D.J. Williams that set up their first score, then Knile Davis had a 71-yard run in the fourth stanza. Davis ended with 179 yards on 22 carries and three TDs on the day.
LaMark Armour sacks Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallet

There were others, but those were the brutal ones.

"Big plays. We knew they were a high-powered offense and we knew they would make plays, but we could not afford to give them the big ones," Nix continued. "It really disappoints me we had so many missed tackles this late in the season.

"To beat any team, you have to tackle well. We tackled very well against Alabama, but not today. We emphasize that so much, but we just didn't have it today."

The Hogs ended up with 464 yards of total offense, but the Rebs held them to 3-11 on third down conversions and started getting pressure on the Razorback QBs as the game progressed.

"We got them in some obvious passing downs and were able to bring more pressure. We were able to turn the guys loose a little and they got to them a few times," Tyrone stated. "But in the end, we gave up big plays down the stretch due to poor tackling and it cost us when I thought we were in the game and had a chance to win."

Markuson was as disappointed as Nix, but for different reasons.

Mostly, his problem with the Reb offense was the lack of production in the Red Zone. Even though the stats say 2-3 in that area, it went down like this.

On Arkansas' first possession, the Rebs got a pick from Allen Walker in Hog territory and got no points. Later, they got a fumble recovery run back from D.T. to the UA 3 and got only a field goal. Even later, the Rebs marched to the UA 1 and fumbled out of the Wild Rebel.

Even though the Rebs rambled for 512 yards and scored 24 points, there were a lot of points left on the rain-soaked field.

"You have to score when you get a turnover. Then we flubbed the snap on the Wild Rebel. We were not consistent," said Mike. "We look like a real club at times and then at other times, we look real bad. Not just bad, real bad. We have a penalty or a turonover or something. If we don't gain some consistency, we will continue to have problems.

"We struggled some on some third-and-shorts and were just 4-17 on third-down conversions. Unfortunate, because we really thought we could come in here and get this one."

The Rebs fell behind 24-3, but made a game of it by cutting the score to a TD twice in the fourth quarter.

"We started putting it in the air more and Markeith Summers made some great grabs to get us back in it," he said. "But that fumble on their one sealed it."

The young OL struggled early but came on strong in the second half.

"We had problems in the first half, but settled in the second half, despite Patrick Junen going out with a hurt ankle," Mike noted. "We moved A.J. Hawkins to the left side and put Jared Duke at RG. After a couple of series, they started clicking some and gave Jeremiah (Masoli) more time to operate."

It was hard to fault Masoli's play - he ran for 98 yards and threw for 325 yards and three TDs with no picks.

"He's a multi-talented player who did a great job today. There were times he did not have much but he made plays out of nothing," Markuson closed. "Even though we lost today, he is in the locker room right now trying to rally the guys and tell them to keep their heads up."

While both the offense and defense lacked consistency, the special teams had some major errors as well.

To wit: Gave up a 97-yard punt return; fair caught a punt at the 3; kicked off out of bounds late in the game in a one-score game; poor punts; penalties on returns; and so forth.

"We have to shore that up. That's two weeks in a row special teams have hurt us," said Houston Nutt. "Not good. We are better than that."

D.T. Shackelford hit the nail on the head.

The Rebs weren't good enough. They did not get it done.

And if your eyes could not see that, the coaches confirmed it.

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