Ta'amu puts up whale of a game

By: Bob Holt
Published: Sunday, October 14, 2018
Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta'amu (10) runs the ball during the fourth quarter of Ole Miss' 37-33 win over Arkansas on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Photo by Thomas Metthe
Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta'amu (10) runs the ball during the fourth quarter of Ole Miss' 37-33 win over Arkansas on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta'amu came into Saturday night's game against the University of Arkansas leading the SEC and ranking sixth nationally in total offense with an average of 337.2 yards per game.

The senior fem Pearl City, Hawaii, was even better than that against the Razorbacks.

Ta'amu had 528 yards in total offense and accounted for four touchdowns to rally the Rebels to a 37-33 victory over Arkansas at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

"I think he had a heck of a night," Arkansas Coach Chad Morris said. "His ability to see the field when the pocket collapses around him and keep his eyes down the field, that's why he's one of the top quarterbacks in our league. From passing efficiency to running the football."

Ta'amu completed 26 of 35 passes for 387 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.

But Arkansas junior linebacker De'Jon Harris said Ta'amu's rushing is what really did in the Razorbacks.

"The quarterback run was the biggest problem tonight, defending that," said Harris, who had 13 tackles and sacked Ta'amu once. "We haven't had problems this year with the quarterback run, but I think they did a pretty good job scheming us up."

Ta'amu had 17 carries for 141 yards, including an 18-yard touch run in the second quarter.

"It was just a lead draw," Harris said. "We were in man-to-man [coverage] most of the time on the outside and basically it was a six-man box, and he was winning those one-on-one battles."

Ta'amu gained 15 yards on a scramble to the Arkansas 14 on the Rebels' final drive to set up Scottie Phillips' 5-yard touchdown run that put Ole Miss ahead 37-33 with 42 seconds left.

"He's a pretty good quarterback, man," Harris said. "He can move in the pocket. He's a good passer on the run."

Ta'amu had completions of 20 yards to A.J. Brown and 48 yards to Dawson Knox on the Rebels' 97-yard drive on their final possession.

"We busted a formation in the secondary," Harris said of the completion to Knox. "One guy said he didn't get the call.

"You just can't do that in critical situations like that. Then [Ta'amu] hit us with another quarterback draw, and they punched it in."

Ole Miss converted on 6 of 10 third-down situations.

"It's very disappointing," Harris said. "That's one thing we emphasized, getting off the field."

Sports on 10/14/2018

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