Whew, pig sooie
Hogs hold off FCS foe's upset bid
Posted: September 7, 2013 at 9:19 p.m.
LITTLE ROCK On a warm September night, Arkansas fans nearly had deja vu at War Memorial Stadium.
But 364 days following a shocking loss to ULM in the state's capital city, the Razorbacks staved off an upset bid from FCS foe Samford Saturday night, beating the Bulldogs 31-21 in front of an announced crowd of 47,358.
Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins each had short touchdown runs in the fourth quarter as Arkansas (2-0) overcame a 21-17 deficit entering the final period. The Razorbacks improved to 2-0 under first-year head coach Bret Bielema, having to work considerably harder after a 20-point win in the opener.
A strong rushing game helped Arkansas regain the lead before playing keep away in the closing minutes. The Razorbacks rushed for 163 of their 333 yards on the ground in the fourth quarter, controlling the ball for the final 7 minutes, 35 seconds.
Did You Know?
Saturday's attendance was the lowest at War Memorial Stadium since 42,814 for the Troy State game in 2002.
Collins' 21-yard run helped set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Williams to regain the lead for Arkansas with 13:38 remaining. Collins, a freshman, added a 55-yard run in the Razorbacks' next drive, setting up his first career touchdown from 2 yards out with 9:04 to play.
Collins and Williams became the first pair of backs in school history to rush for more than 100 yards in consecutive games. Collins finished with 172 yards, while Williams had 126 yards rushing.
Samford (1-1) had taken the lead on a 16-yard touchdown run by Fabian Truss late in the third quarter. The Bulldogs had pulled within 17-14 earlier in the period on a 2-yard pass from Andy Summerlin to Zeke Walters.
Arkansas started the game well, scoring on possessions of 75 and 78 yards in the first quarter. Quarterback Brandon Allen had touchdown passes of 24 and 7 yards to Mitchell Loewen and Javontee Herndon, respectively.
Allen finished the game completing 9 of 17 passes for 125 yards.
After Samford pulled within 14-7 on Kelsey Pope's 2-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, Arkansas extended the lead on Zach Hocker's career-long 53-yard field goal with 11:54 remaining before halftime.
The Bulldogs, who beat FBS member Georgia State in the season opener a week ago, had a chance to pull closer late in the first half after recovering a fumbled punt return by Herndon at the Arkansas 35 with 49 seconds to play. But the Razorbacks' defense, aided by a Robert Thomas sack, forced a punt to preserve the 10-point halftime lead.
The Razorbacks played the game without three defensive starters. Defensive end Trey Flowers and safety Rohan Gaines were out with knee injuries, while linebacker Jarrett Lake was suspended.
Defensive end Brandon Lewis, linebacker Martrell Spaight and safety Alan Turner made the starts in their absence. Turner played the game despite his father dying of cancer Friday night.
Arkansas will face Southern Miss next Saturday at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. The kickoff for that game is scheduled for 11:21 a.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.