Classic SEC Football: Arkansas Tops Ole Miss in 2001 in 7 Overtimes
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The 2001 meeting between Arkansas and Ole Miss started out like any ordinary game.
Ole Miss entered the game at 6-1 and riding a four-game winning streak, while the Razorbacks came in with a 4-3 record and looking to get things cooking after a big win over Auburn the previous week.
The game started out like any other hard-fought SEC game. The two teams were tied at 7 at the half, entered the fourth quarter tied at 10, and then ended regulation tied at 17.
An overtime game? You'd think that the first four quarters of this game would be quite the story, but this one was just getting started in Oxford, Miss.—to the tune of seven overtime periods and 80 combined points.
Arkansas got the scoring started in overtime, with a 16-yard touchdown run from Cedric Cobbs. Ole Miss answered with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Jason Armstead to send it to a second overtime.
Neither team scored in the second extra period, and the game moved to OT No. 3, when you have to go for the two-point conversion after every touchdown. That rule is supposed to make the game end sooner.
The two teams scored touchdowns without converting two-point conversions for three straight periods, and entered overtime No. 6 tied at 42.
In the sixth overtime, Manning hit Doug Zeigler for a touchdown off of play action, and then Charles Stackhouse ran it in off left tackle to convert the two-point conversion, giving the Rebels the 50-42 lead.
Arkansas wasn't fazed.
Fullback Mark Pierce plunged in from two yards out and Razorback quarterback Matt Jones hit Jason Peters in the back of the end zone after a wild scramble to his left to send this war of attrition to the seventh overtime.
Pierce again plunged in from two yards out in the seventh overtime. Jones, with pressure in his face, threw off of his back foot and hit Decori Birmingham to give the Hogs the 58-50 lead.
Ole Miss answered back when Manning hit Armstead in the back corner of the end zone from three yards out, setting up the game's final play. Manning connected with Zeigler on the 1-yard line, but he was immediately stopped, giving Arkansas the dramatic 58-56 win.
The game didn't mean much in the overall landscape of the SEC, but it will go down in history as one of the most memorable games in SEC history.
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