No. 13 Arkansas will travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to take on the No. 17 Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
The Razorbacks are coming off a 37-0 shutout loss to the No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs. Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said last week’s defeat will motivate the Hogs going into Saturday.
“Any time that you lose a game or go into a different environment, if you can learn from it, it should help you quite a bit the rest of the season,” Pittman said Wednesday during the Southeastern Conference Football Head Coaches' Teleconference. “Hopefully (last week’s loss) does that for us.”
Sophomore quarterback KJ Jefferson has delivered for the Hogs, completing 59.3% of passes and amassing 909 yards through the air. He has also thrown six touchdowns and two interceptions, while contributing with 235 rushing yards on 40 attempts and two touchdowns.
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin said he has been impressed with Jefferson and even compared him to former Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.
“The size is crazy how big he is,” Kiffin said. “Maybe Cam (Newton) was that big at one point, I don’t know. It’s like a giant running back back there when he runs the ball. He has improved on some throws. He’s very dangerous. They make a lot of big plays off their run game.”
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral has been a part of the Heisman Trophy conversation this season. He has put up big numbers including 1,210 passing yards, a 69.6 completion percentage and 10 touchdowns, as well as six scores on the ground. He has yet to throw an interception.
Last season, Corral threw six interceptions and lost a fumble against Arkansas. Pittman said Corral will be motivated after his performance last year.
“We’re gonna have to set the edge on him,” Pittman said. “He can run up the middle so we’re gonna have to push the pocket and set the edge so there’s nowhere to go.”
Pittman said Ole Miss is a different team from last year, especially on defense.
"On defense, the portal has been very good to Ole Miss,” Pittman said. “(Defensive back) Otis Reese transferred in from Georgia and (linebacker) Chance Campbell from Maryland. Both of those two kids are their top leading tacklers. And they brought in some nice pass rushers from a couple of junior colleges.”
Saturday will be the 67th meeting between Arkansas and Ole Miss. The Razorbacks lead the all-time series over the Rebels, 37-28-1.
Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN. Ole Miss is favored to win by 6.5 points and the over/under is 66, according to College Football News.