Ole Miss has lost control of the SEC West in an incredibly improbable way.
Brandon Allen's two-point conversion gave Arkansas a 53-52 win over Ole Miss on Saturday. The conversion came after a facemask on a sack negated the first two-point conversion attempt, and a few plays after Hunter Henry's wild lateral on a fourth-and-25 play resulted in a first down conversion by running back Alex Collins to keep the game alive.
A penalty, sack and incompletion led to the long fourth down. Allen completed a pass to Henry on the right sideline and as Henry was tackled, he chucked the ball toward the original line of scrimmage and Collins picked it up.
Collins got the first down, though not before he fumbled at the end of the play. After a review, Arkansas retained possession of the ball.
The touchdown to set up the two-point conversion came when Allen hit Drew Morgan. Then, after he was taken down by the facemask on the first two-point try, Allen squeaked into the end zone on the second.
The pass to Morgan was Allen's sixth touchdown pass of the game, a career high. Allen, whose previous big passing games have corresponded with Arkansas losses, finished the contest 33-of-45 passing for 442 yards.
Arkansas finished the game with more than 600 yards of total offense while Ole Miss had 590.
Entering the game, the Rebels controlled their own destiny in the SEC West. Going undefeated the rest of the way would have meant a berth in the SEC championship game against Florida, the only team to beat Ole Miss in the SEC in 2015. That scenario is now gone.
With two conference losses, the Rebels are behind both Alabama and LSU no matter what happens in Tuscaloosa. If LSU wins, Ole Miss is two games back of the division lead. If Alabama wins, the Rebels are a game back of the Tide with a game to play against the Tigers.
And the loss not only crushes Ole Miss' conference hopes, it makes the CFP committee's job of deciphering the West much easier. A two-loss Ole Miss winning the West with two potential one-loss teams would have put the burner on the committee had it decided LSU or Alabama was worthy of a top-four spot.
The win is Arkansas' third straight, and the second consecutive SEC win that's gone to overtime. After being 2-4 following a loss to Alabama, the Hogs are now 5-4 and a win away from bowl eligibility. With games remaining against LSU, Mississippi State and Missouri, the Razorbacks have a real chance of getting to 6-6 or better and making a second straight bowl game.
For more Arkansas news, visit HawgSports.com.
For more Ole Miss news, visit RebelGrove.com.
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