Have you ever wondered what it was like to experience of the 4th and 25? Here’s Mr. Will Harberson’s entertaining story. Enjoy!
It was November 7, 2015 in Oxford, Mississippi on a day where the weather was a bit misty throughout the day. On the drive there, we stopped at a gas station outside of town. The majority of customers were Hog fans as we greeted one another with a Wooo Pig and carried on toward Oxford. I was in a car with all Ole Miss alum’s and it made me a stranger amongst everyone I was with. Then we pulled up literally to the stadium, because the people I was with were not only alums, but big contributors and donors to the Ole Miss Rebels. I had always heard about The Grove and how great it was to tailgate there. So, being who I am I had to check it out for myself and see what all the hype was about. The grove was a madhouse. It was packed! Everywhere you looked there were Ole Miss faithful, partying it up and enjoying the festivities. They all had a red solo cup in their hands and dressed in their Columbia button-ups, khaki shorts and penny loafers. The Rebel fans were laughing and carrying on to the music that was playing. There was literally no room to walk through all of the madness. I was not impressed with it at all, not because I was the lone Arkansas fan amongst the crowd, but I just don’t like being around that many people with no elbow room. Once I finally got up to the stadium, it was still misting a little bit. Then the stadium started to fill up and the mist went away.
It was time to start the game and no one knew the quarterback duel they would see. Brandon Allen had one of the best games of his career, going shot for shot with Chad Kelly, who the Hogs had no answer for that evening. The Razorbacks would go down the field, with Drew Morgan and Dominique Reed receiving or Alex Collins running all over the vaunted Landshark defense led by Robert Nkimdiche . It was back and forth and shot for shot. As a fan, it was about all you could ask for and fans got their money’s worth that Saturday.
Regulation ended with the game tied at 45 and overtime was amongst us. If overtime was going to be anything like the game and knowing Arkansas’ history in OT’s, I knew something was special was in store. As a fan, I would never have dreamed in a million years what I would see next. Down by 7, Arkansas started off with a delay of game penalty, Making it 1st and 15. Then 2nd down came, Brandon Allen took a sack, making it 3rd and 25. You could hear the roar of the Ole Miss faithful across the stadium, they could feel it in the air. All the while, all of us Hog fans where packed in our corner of the stadium on the opposite end, sitting on our hands anticipating a loss. 3rd and 25 came and Allen tried to hit Henry on a pass that fell incomplete. This was it. This was our last chance for the win. Every hog fan was holding on tight, but could not bare to watch. The stadium was rocking. Besides seeing the birth of my son, this would be the second most miraculous thing I would ever see. 4th and 25, Arkansas’ last opportunity. Allen dropped back, then stepped up to avoid the rush and hit Henry well shy of the 1st down marker. All of our fans gasped and just knew that’s how it ended. You could look around the stadium and see cups being thrown all around. Everyone knew that the game was over. Henry took the hit straight on, spun and chunked the ball over his head as far as he could. Then I see players looking up in the sky, and see Dan Skipper jump above them all. With his huge paw, Skipper swiped it to the ground and straight into the hands of Collins, the one person you would want to have the football in their hands if something like this were to happen. I never saw this coming. After he scooped the ball, Alex started running up the sideline. All the hog fans started taking notice. All of the Ole Miss fans were yelling “Get Him!” Alex had a wall of protection, behind Sprinkle and others as he ran down the sideline. He made the first down, and Hog fans were now more tuned in than every before through the entire game. Ole Miss fans still had hope though. They stayed loud even though they could not believe what just happened. Then, Brandon hit Morgan for a TD, making it 52-51 Rebels. If Arkansas kicks the PAT, the game goes to another overtime. If the Razorbacks choose to go for two, they can end the game right here, right now. As good as Chad Kelly was that night, I didn’t question Bielema’s decision one bit when he kept the offense on the field.
It was make or break time. To the Hogs it was go big or go home. The game was going to end one way or another. Brandon took the snap, rolled out to his right, being heavily chased and eventually brought down. The 2-point conversion failed and that was the ball game. But even from where we were sitting, you could clearly tell he was brought down by his face mask. It happened right in front of the official, so he had to call it. After the call, Arkansas received aNother chance to end the game and make it one of the most memorable games in Razorback history. Allen sent Morgan in motion, Allen took the snap, followed his blockers towards the end zone and extended the ball as far as he could. Allen bounced his head on the field hard. The 2-point conversion was good! The Arkansas side of the field erupted, the rest of the stadium was dead silent.
It will always be one of my greatest Razorback sports memories and I will never forget being in Oxford that night. As we all came back to the vehicle, Ole Miss fans were all sad, gloom and doomed. Arkansas had done the unthinkable and ended what was going to be potentially a SEC Championship game appearance contention for Ole Miss. The “Henry Heave” or the “Swine Intervention” or whatever you want to call it, was the greatest sports memory I’ve ever had, and it happened in Oxford, Mississippi.