This is what progress looks like.
The game went almost completely according to plan. The Razorbacks wanted to completely push them around with the running game and they absolutely did. And it wasn't some 13-10 B1G style like a lot of people are afraid of. This was exactly what Bret Bielema has been wanting to do. Arkansas had the ball 10 times and only ended up losing the ball twice.
By the time the scoring finally stopped on Alex Collins' 84-yard sprint, the Tech defense had effectively tapped out.
There's only so many ways we can write BEAT EM DOWN. But that's what happened. BEAT. EM. DOWN.
Texas Tech was only allowed three drives in the second half and only scored once. The only time Arkansas didn't score in the second half is when Brandon Allen took knees to run out the clock.
Arkansas' rushing numbers are staggering. 438 total yards on 68 carries for a 6.4 yards per carry average. Seven touchdowns. It seemed like every time Tech got to Jonathan Williams or Alex Collins the offensive line would push the pile a few more yards. It was a thing of beauty.
The game was competitive through the first three quarters or so. Arkansas very easily could have been playing catch-up much of the day but the team made a few key plays that kept them ahead throughout most of the day.
Nursing a seven-point halftime lead, the Hogs converted three third downs and a fourth down on the opening drive of the second half to push their lead to 14 points. The touchdown came on a 3rd-and-goal play that looked like a disaster until when Brandon Allen was forced to run back and back but eventually was able to run through the left side and get into the end zone untouched for a touchdown. Once Arkansas had the 14-point lead, the Red Raiders never had the ball with a chance to tie the game.
The Hogs nearly gave Texas Tech a chance to take the lead into halftime, when another bruising drive was halted in the red zone when the Hogs tried an embarrassing cutesy reverse that was blown up into a big fumble. Allen handed the ball off to Collins, who was hit as he tried to pitch it to Keon Hatcher and Tech was able to make the easy recovery. However, a couple of plays into Tech's ensuing drive, Martrell Spaight picked off Davis Webb and nearly ran the ball back into the end zone, but barely stepped out of bounds near the yard line where Arkansas lost the ball to begin with. Williams scored a touchdown on the next play to put Arkansas up 28-21.
Early on it looked like Arkansas wouldn't be getting the big breaks, when a punt hit Jared Collins off a bad bounce on the game's first drive, setting up Tech's first touchdown. The Red Raiders forced Arkansas' only punt on the next drive, but Brooks Ellis forced a fumble deep in Tech territory to set up Arkansas' tying touchdown at 7-7, and the Hogs would never look back.
The stats you'll see: Alex Collins: 212 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns. Jonathan Williams: 145 yards on 22 carries for four touchdowns. Brandon Allen was 6-12 for 61 yards. The Texas Tech offense was held to 252 passing yards and Davis Webb completed 27 of 45 passes. He threw three touchdowns but was intercepted twice. The other pick came late on a 4th down armpunt to Arkansas freshman cornerback Henre' Toliver.
Rohan Gaines did this:
You'll probably still hear a lot this week about poor tackling from Arkansas, but we're feeling good and will deal with that later.
Penalties did hurt Tech a couple of times but they were better than they'd been. They committed only five but they were big ones that resulted in 60 free yards for Arkansas. The Hogs only committed two penalties for 15 yards.
Spaight led the team with 11 tackles. Brooks Ellis had 8 tackles and four (!) pass breakups. Tevin Mitchel came back from injury and had five tackles and two pass breakups.
Where do we go from here? Arkansas will be favored to beat Northern Illinois next week, and if they do, they have a legit shot at bowl eligibility in November. But regardless, this should create a great mood among the Arkansas fans this week. I'm glad the Northern Iliinois game is at night. That should be a fun day.