LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Ole Miss Rebels gave the Arkansas Razorbacks a scare Saturday night, pulling to within one field goal in the final seconds but falling short in a 14-12 loss.
Arkansas coach Lou Holtz said his team may have played too conservatively in the final minutes when the Razorbacks held a 14-3 lead. But he said the team was trying to avoid mistakes, and overall, he would have stuck to his game plan -- except for one play.
'If I had it all to do over again, I wouldn't have done anything different except substituting with one second left,' Holtz said.
The substitution resulted in Arkansas being penalized for 15 yards with one second left, moving Ole Miss to the Arkansas 30 and putting the Rebels seemingly within field goal range.
Ole Miss placekicker Todd Gatlin booted wide right on a 47-yard field goal attempt that would have given the Rebels a 15-14 win.
Holtz said he watched the kick and hoped it would not hook left and go through the uprights. The Arkansas coach, however, said his mind was on the previous call.
'I was really upset over the previous call,' Holtz said. 'We were called for having 12 men on the field and they called him (defensive back Danny Walters) for being a participant which made it a 15 yard panelty instead of a five. Even if he hadn't gotten off the field he wasn't a participant. I'm disappointed. That gave them a chance to win.'
Holtz said the victory at War Memorial Stadium did prove the Razorbacks could handle pressure.
'I think we found out a lot about our team,' Holtz said. 'We did not fold under pressure. We have to bury this game. It was an emotional game but I hope we can benefit and get into the conference. This game certainly helped us get ready.'
Arkansas, 3-0 and ranked 9th in United Press International's college football coaches' poll, opens its Southwest Conference season this week against TCU in Little Rock.
Holtz before the Ole Miss game had stressed the improvement shown by the Rebels, who came into the game with a 2-1 record following a 48-14 loss to No. 4 Alabama.
Ole Miss did not surprise the Arkansas coach, especially with its defense which held the Razorbacks to only 301 yards total offense. Ole Miss linebacker Nakita Williams and tackle Andre Townsend led the Rebel defensive attack with 11 tackles each.
The Ole Miss offense, meanwhile, rolled up 344 yards total offense and stayed close enough to win the game until the final second.
'It was everything the rivalry should be,' Holtz said. 'It was intense, yet there were no turnovers in the second half.'
The Razorbacks received a few minor injuries Saturday, with Phillip Boren receiving a strained knee and reserve linebacker Barry Thomas suffering a sprained shoulder. Both Boren and Thomsa should return to practice by midweek.
Senior quarterback Tom Jones, who has been nursing a minor toe injury, did not start Saturday's game and played little behind sophomore Brad Taylor. Arkansas trainers said Jones's toe still is sore but the rest helped him and he should be available for the TCU game.
Two players who did not dress out for the Ole Miss game -- running back Thomas Brown and tight end Luther Franklin, both of whom were injured in the previous week's outing with Navy -- are expected to return to workouts this week and be available for TCU.
Linebacker David Bazzell, who saw no action in the Ole Miss game because of a hip pointer, also should return be available for the TCU game. Wide receiver Derek Holloway, who strained a knee in the Navy game and missed the Ole Miss game, remains doubtful for the TCU game, but may be ready for the Oct. 9 meeting against Texas Tech in Fayetteville.