Revenge can be a powerful thing. The desire of capturing it can motivate and enhance a team’s performance, and after last year’s performance in Fayetteville, revenge is on the Rebels’ minds.
The 2014 matchup featured a 30-0 Razorback drubbing of an Ole Miss team that was running on fumes after their national championship dreams were ended three weeks earlier.
“Everybody knows what happened down there. We’re going to use that as motivation this week,” Mike Hilton, senior safety, said. “They came in fired up and got on us quick and took over.”
Last year’s one-sided affair didn’t sit well with senior safety Trae Elston, either.
“I think it’s really anger at ourselves,” Elston said. “We didn’t execute last year against Arkansas. They wanted to win and we didn’t.”
Even though starting quarterback Chad Kelly was busy winning a national championship in Scooba, Mississippi last year, he was aware of the Rebels’ performance at Arkansas.
“I think it is a revenge game for me at least,” Kelly said. “I was watching it personally and felt the pain that they were going through during the game, and I’m excited for this opportunity.”
Arkansas got off to a difficult start this year, and their 4-4 record could be a little misleading. With the exception of a 13-point loss at Alabama, all of their SEC games have been decided by one score or less.
“This will be no different. It will be an SEC fist fight. It’ll be a physical game,” head coach Hugh Freeze said.
Physicality is a word commonly used when talking about the Razorbacks. They boast the biggest offensive line in football, including the NFL, and will come into the game with a balanced offensive attack complemented by a punishing run game.
“It’ll be very physical, but I feel like the Landshark defense will come out physical too,” Bridges said.
Just like everything else this season, whether or not the Rebels get the revenge they so feverishly desire is entirely up to them.
“We know they’re going to come in ready to play. We’ve just got to match their intensity and their enthusiasm,” Hilton said. “We’re just going to make sure we handle our business, and focus on what we can do and see how it turns out.”