LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Bo Wallace and Bryson Rose made sure Mississippi's season of resurgence didn't suffer a setback in a 30-27 win over Arkansas on Saturday.
In fact, the duo helped the Rebels take a major step forward — closing in on the school's first bowl berth since 2009.
Rose kicked a 31-yard field goal as time expired to secure the win for Ole Miss, its second straight in the Southeastern Conference after snapping a 16-game league losing streak against Auburn. It was the senior's third field goal of the game, including a career-best 53-yarder that put the Rebels (5-3, 2-2) up 27-20 early in the fourth quarter.
The late-game kick helped Ole Miss stave off a rally by the Razorbacks and put the school within one win of bowl eligibility. It also marked the school's first road win in the SEC since beating Vanderbilt 23-7 in 2009, the same year it last won back-to-back conference games.
"I'm thrilled," first -year Rebels coach Hugh Freeze said. "... Our team grew up today, won on the road in this tough conference, against a very good football team.
"The ride home will be really, really sweet."
Arkansas (3-5, 2-3) had won two straight entering the game, raising hopes that it had found the answers it needed after an earlier four-game losing streak. However, the Razorbacks' season-long slide continued — despite a career-best 161 yards rushing and a late game-tying touchdown by Dennis Johnson — and they now have equaled their loss total of the previous two seasons combined.
"We fought back and battled, battled and battled," Arkansas coach John L. Smith said. "We just didn't make quite enough plays."
While Arkansas' free fall from the preseason Top 10 continued, Ole Miss continued its rebirth after finishing a combined 1-15 in the SEC the last two seasons. The Rebels rebounded from an early 10-point deficit Saturday thanks in large part to Wallace.
The sophomore quarterback accounted for 316 yards of total offense, finishing 29 of 37 passing for 278 yards. After running for, passing for and catching a touchdown pass two weeks ago against Auburn, Wallace directed the Rebels on an eight-play, 61-yard drive that set up Rose's game-winning field goal.
White House Program Cuts Up to $1k off Monthly Payments! (3.05% APR)