FAYETTEVILLE — Sophomore running back Rocket Sanders returned to his old form on Saturday night when he rushed 24 times for 232 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-27 win over No. 14 Ole Miss.

In addition, Sanders caught five passes for 29 yards. The big night came after back-to-back games where Sanders, at least by his standards, struggled. Sanders rushed 17 times for 60 yards against Liberty. Sanders had 12 carries for 46 yards in the loss to LSU. For the season, Sanders now has 209 carries for 1,379 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also has 25 receptions for 249 yards and a touchdown. Sanders talked about the difference Saturday night.

“I would definitely say with the bowl eligible deal,” Sanders said. “And I just feel like we had a great week this week. The main thing, I feel like, that made us go and made me go was that we put who we dedicated the game to on our shirt. I feel like that was a big part of it.”

His quarterback, KJ Jefferson, was equally elated to have Sanders running wild against No. 14 Ole Miss.

“I was proud of him,” Jefferson said. “Early on, I just told him ‘Just trust yourself. It’s going to happen.’ So, it just happened. He trusted himself, and the O-Line created lanes for him. He hit the hole and just played ball from that point. Extremely proud of his patience, just running the ball and also just believing in himself and keeping his confidence throughout the game.”

In the second quarter, Sanders scored on a 50-yard touchdown run only to have it called back due to a holding call. Two plays later Sanders scored again.

“After that penalty, I felt like I had the momentum to go back and score again,” Sanders said.

Arkansas took a 35-6 lead into intermission. While some worried about the Hogs getting complacent with that size lead at halftime, Sanders took care of that on the second play of the third quarter when he sprinted 68 yards for a touchdown.

“I feel like that play was pretty big, just to get us back scoring and just helping me with my yards, as well, with the offensive line trusting me and KJ helping me with him being back,” Sanders said. “I feel like that helped me a lot.”

Sanders was quick to credit the offensive line for opening holes for him all night. He talked about what was different with the offensive line Saturday night compared to the two previous games.

“We were going pretty fast and I feel like this week we had a great week with practice and just coach putting all the periods together,” Sanders said. “I feel like with them another thing is tonight felt like a senior night for them, knowing it was their last game here.”

Right tackle Dalton Wagner returned after missing the LSU game and talked about the game Sanders played against Ole Miss.

“I was elated for him tonight,” Wagner said. “It was so awesome to see him back doing what he needs to be doing. Think that the key decider in it was he trusted us to go get the job done and you could see it in a lot of his cuts, too.

“He knew that we were pressing, pressing, pressing, and he baited, baited, baited, and then cut it at the last second and there would be a hole just as big because he set up the blocks for us. I’m so proud of Rocket … 230 net yards? That’s insane. That’s crazy.”

Wagner also wasn’t surprised when after getting his 50-yard touchdown run wiped out that Sanders came right back and scored two plays later on a 20-yard run.

“I don’t think anyone was going to stop him at that point,” Wagner said. “He wasn’t going to be denied. Even a 50-yard run getting negated by holding, he still was going to scratch and claw and find his way into the end zone.”

It isn’t just the Razorback fans that enjoy watching Sanders play when he’s at his best. Linebacker Drew Sanders was very complimentary of the running back after the game.

“Every week he’s fun to watch play,” Sanders said. “He just does what he does. He’s really good at putting the team on his back and just getting those hard-earned yards. He’s just a great player.”

Arkansas will now close out the regular season on Friday at Missouri. The kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. and televised on CBS. While Arkansas has secured its bowl status, Missouri will need to beat Arkansas to get to a bowl game.