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Keep the history alive!
Ole Miss was always a high rivalry for the Hogs dating back to their first matchup in 1908 which the Cardinals (now Razorbacks) won 33-0. Arkansas had held the lead in the series, but perhaps it was the controversies or their competition that kept the rivalry alive. However on that November day in 2001, the game would not be determined until the final play.
Arkansas would receive the opening kickoff. Cornerback Lawrence Richardson received the ball and returned it to the 25 yard line. At this point quarterback Zak Clark set up shop and opened with an incomplete pass to the right. On second and ten from the 25, Fred Talley rushed left for five. On the next play Clark found flanker George Wilson on the right for seven. Another Arkansas Razorback First Down. The first drive, however, stalled at the 37 after three consecutive no gains. Following the punt by Ritchie Butler, the Rebels would begin at their own 20 yard line.
After a three yard gain up the middle by running back Charles Stackhouse, Eli Manning threw two consecutive passes to wide receiver Bill Flowers moving the Rebels out to the Hog 46. Next came a 15 yard penalty on the Hogs, followed by running back Joe Gunn moving Ole Miss to the Arkansas 8. Running back Robert Williams would take the ball up the middle for 7, giving the Rebels first and goal from the 1. On the snap, Gunn would plow up the middle for the final yard. With the PAT, Ole Miss would hold a 7-0 lead over the Hogs.
On their second possession, Arkansas would start at the 20 yard line and move the ball in nine plays to the Ole Miss 42 where Butler would once again be called upon to punt. Ole Miss would be backed up at their own 10 yard line, and were unable to gain a first down. On fourth and one, Rebel punter Cody Ridgeway would kick the ball to the Razorback 41 where Marvin Jackson would pull it in and lose a yard back to the 40.
Following an offsides by Mississippi, twelve yards by Talley and one by quarterback Matt Jones, fans would see the initial quarter come to an end with Ole Miss in command 7-0.
The second quarter began with a third and nine from the Ole Miss 42. After a no gain by Decori Birmingham, Butler would again be called upon. Ole Miss would again start from its own 10 yard line. The Rebels had the same result that they had before by being pinned back and not being able to gain a first down. This time Jackson would return the punt to the Arkansas 40. Clark rode the backs of Talley and Cedric Cobbs down to the Ole Miss 29 before throwing an interception by Rebel Kevin Thomas.
After a 15 yard penalty on the Hogs, Ole Miss could again not move the chains as they were forced to punt from their own 47. Jones came in for Clark at the Hog 15, but was unable to move the ball and Arkansas was forced to punt from our own 22 yard line. Rebel Jason Armstead returned Butler's punt two yards to the Ole Miss 37.
After a Rebel offsides, Manning was not able to gain a first down and Mississippi would again be forced to punt. Ridgeway punted to the Hog 19 where Arkansas would set up shop. The running game of Cobbs and Talley moved the ball out to midfield. At this point, Clark and the passing game took over primarily aimed to Wilson. With 25 seconds left in the half, Arkansas was second and two from the two. The ball is snapped. Clark hands off to Cobbs who takes it right and in for the final two yards. With 13 seconds left, a Brennan O'Donohoe PAT ties the halftime score at 7-7.
On the initial series of the third quarter, Ole Miss drives 78 yards from the 20 in 8 plays, but comes away without any points after a missed field goal. Hogs take over at the 20 and go 50 yards in 12 plays. The Rebels, unable to move, lose 4 yards before punting to the Hogs.
Clark begins his drive at the Rebel 43 before moving 15 yards in 6 plays culminating in a O'Donohoe field goal from the 28. Arkansas now has its first lead of the game at 10-7.
The ensuing kickoff is returned 52 yards by Armstead to the Arkansas 40. Not to be denied any points, Manning moves the Rebels to the 14 yard line in seven plays before Ole Miss ties the game at 10-10 with a field goal by Jonathan Nichols.
Arkansas would go into the final quarter on an 85 yard drive that would result in a TD on a two yard run over the middle by fullback Mark Pierce with 1:58 elapsed into the quarter. The Hogs would now lead 17-10.
The Rebels would go 72 yards in 13 plays to tie the score at 17 all showing on the scoreboard at the end of regulation time. OVERTIME.
Overtime 1: Jones hands off to Cobbs who runs around left end for the TD. The Rebels responded with a Manning 11 yard pass for TD keeping the score knotted and sending the game to Overtime #2.
Overtime 2: Neither team scored. After a Manning fumble, the Hog's recover and have the opportunity to put the game away. This possession ended with the Razorback's missing on a field goal attempt keeping the score tied at 24 all. Overtime #3.
Overtime 3: Jones keeps and goes 25 yards around right end for the TD. A pitch to Birmingham around left end failed for the ensuing two point attempt. Gunn scores on a one yard plunge for the Rebels (the 2 point pass attempt from Manning fails). 30-30 Overtime #4.
Overtime 4: Manning passes for 21 yards to Bill Flowers and the TD. The two point pass fails to the deep right corner of the end zone. On Arkansas' possession, Jones throws a 24 yard pass to Wilson on the right side of the end zone for the Hog TD. The two point run by Birmingham fails extending the game to Overtime #5. 36-36
Overtime 5: Jones scores on a keeper around the left end for eight yards and six. However, the two point pass attempt to the left failed. Not to be outdone, Manning hits tight end Doug Zeigler on the left side of the end zone for six. Not as lucky on his two point attempt as his pass fails. 42-42 Overtime #6.
Overtime 6: Manning again passes to Zeigler for six. Charles Stackhouse added on two more with his two point rush around left end. On the Hog possession, Mark Pierce would take the ball in over the left side from two yards out. Jones scrambles and passes to the left rear of the end zone for the two point conversion. 50-50 Overtime #7.
It seemed like this might go on forever. Neither team could pull away. If one scored, the other would follow suit. If one team failed to score, likewise the other would also. The record was being set.
Overtime 7: Fullback Pierce would again run over the middle and in from two yards out for the TD. Birmingham would be on the receiving end of a Jones' pass to the right side of the end zone for the two point conversion making the score 58-50. Again the Rebels would answer the score as Manning would throw to the right corner of the end zone for six. The two point conversion pass attempt to the right from Manning to Zeigler was broken up by inside linebacker Jermaine Petty. Petty had laid it all out. Enough was enough. It had finally ended. Final score was Hogs 58, Rebels 56.
As the teams exited, they had combined for 60 first downs, 130 rushing attempts, 68 pass attempts, and 198 total offensive plays while only committing 2 fumbles, 8 penalties, and one sack. The game had 114 points, 988 offensive yards, four 100 yard rushers, and seven overtimes. The fans had certainly gotten their money's worth in the Hogs' third (and now NCAA record setting longest) overtime game.
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