After The Game

For the first time since 2003 against Louisiana-Monroe, Ole Miss had two receivers catch passes that amassed more than 100 yards each.


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Donte Moncrief with seven receptions for 149 yards, and Ja-Mes Logan with five receptions for 110 yards both played key roles in the Rebels' 34-24 win against Arkansas Saturday afternoon.

The Rebels have plenty of receiver weapons, and head coach Hugh Freeze said they are a special group.

"I've followed Ole Miss football for a long time. I would think our group could arguably be put up there with the receiving corps throughout our history," Freeze said. "That would be something to study, but I'd think they're up there."

Laquon Treadwell had eight receptions to lead the Rebels in number of catches, for 39 yards and a touchdown. Jaylen Walton caught four for 77 yards, Vince Sanders had two catches for 35 yards, Nicholas Parker had one for eight yards, and Jordan Holder one for just one yard.

Of course, Holder also is the Rebels' current punt returner.

Freeze said the two long receptions for touchdowns that Logan and Moncrief had in the third quarter were important to victory.

"We actually put it in after the first series of the second half," he said of the play to Logan. "I told the guys to get over there and draw one up in the dirt, kind of. That was the Ja-Mes touchdown. So we kind of just drew that one up in the dirt.

"The other one we worked on all week. Donte made a guy miss, and I want to point out the job Jordan Holder did (blocking) on that," Freeze said. "Jordan is a prime example of (helping us). The job he did on getting that block made a 20-yard play a 70-yard play that was big at that point in the game."

Bowling Again

The Rebels are bowl eligible for the second year in a row. Senior offensive lineman Emmanuel McCray said the Rebels can't get complacent at 6-3 overall and 3-3 in Southeastern Conference play.


Donte Moncrief
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"Definitely we've got a lot of work left to go," he said after helping block for a Rebel offense that wound up with 531 total yards. "We've got to keep these young guys motivated. They haven't experienced this and being able to go to a bowl. We know there's a lot more games to play, and we've got to keep fighting."

McCray was asked about winning and not playing their best game of the season, by most assessments.

"It says a lot about the guys and our leaders," he said. "Coach (Freeze) emphasizes a lot playing the next play. We had a lot of bad drives but we stuck through it and persevered. We played very hard and we understand it's just part of the game."

McCray said there's no sweating out getting to a bowl this year since the Rebels now have six wins.

"It feels better (than last year), because we got it earlier," he said. "We're proving to ourselves we're a better team than we were last year. We're winning games we're supposed to win, and we're competitive in all the games. I think we're better than last year."

Bo Wallace said the Rebels have winning all the rest of their games as their goal, if they can possibly get that done.

"A bowl game with nine wins, that's on our minds," he said.

Denzel Nkemdiche concurred.

"We wanted this game to make sure we got bowl eligible," he said. "Now these three next games, we want to see how big we can make this bowl game and how many more wins we can get."

"We're excited to be bowl eligible and get that out of the way," said Freeze, taking a Rebel team to a bowl game in both of his first two seasons in Oxford. "To be bowl eligible the first two years, I would say we're probably ahead of schedule.


Robert Nkemdiche
USA Today Images

"My plan when I first came in was probably to get to a bowl game by year three, if I were to be truthful with you," Freeze concluded.

Hard Foul

Robert Nkemdiche was ejected from the game on a personal foul call after Arkansas' last touchdown that pulled the Razorbacks to the final margin of 10 points with 4:57 left in the game. Although the younger Nkemdiche wasn't available for comment after the game, his older brother, Denzel, was asked about it.

"He retaliated or what not, I guess," Denzel said, who mentioned he had spoken with his brother since that moment. "I just told him he had to control himself in situations like that because we need him."

Denzel was asked if it's sometimes difficult in the heat of battle to actually control your emotions completely and make sure you aren't ejected or get a personal foul penalty.

"It is tough, because I've gotten a penalty before," he said. "It's just something (Robert) has to work on."

Freeze said he would have to check to see if there are any repercussions from the ejection or not. He is hopeful there aren't any, obviously.

"I don't know. I've got to go find out," he said. "(Referee Tom) Mr. Ritter told me (Robert) hit him after the play was over and it was vicious enough that he thought he needed to be ejected. It was not a fight. So I don't think there's any penalty moving forward. But I'll have to double check."

Freeze said those type actions hurt the team.

"I don't mind mistakes and our motto is you don't blink; you move forward and play the next play," Freeze said. "But you don't do a selfish act that hurts our football team. We'll love on him but make sure he understands that."

Hog Speak

Bret Bielema, the former Wisconsin Badger head coach turned head coach at Arkansas since last season, said losing as many games as the Hogs have isn't easy. They haven't won a game since Sept. 14 when they were 3-0 in non-conference action.

"Obviously getting very frustrated with the position we're in today," he said, "having the chance to win a game and can't pull it off because of some things that fundamentally break down for us."

That must indeed happen often. The Razorbacks have now lost seven games in a row to fall to 3-7 overall and 0-6 in SEC play.

They have two opportunities left to get wins. Arkansas hosts Mississippi State in Little Rock. After that, it's the season finale at LSU.


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