The Razorbacks made another one look easy.
That 17-game road win streak of Northern Illinois? History.
Any nerves about this game quickly dissipated when Korliss Marshall ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. Northern Illinois had a shot on their ensuing drive after a big play put them in Razorback territory, but they were stopped on 4th down and the game was never close.
Arkansas' next score was an exquisite fat guy touchdown, when Trey Flowers sacked Northern Illinois quarterback Drew Hare and caused a fumble that was scooped up by Darius Philon, who took it right into the end zone for the 14-0 lead. Jonathan Williams scored the Hogs' third touchdown a bit later in the 1st quarter. So Arkansas scored on offense, defense, and special teams in the first quarter. That's like hitting for the cycle, or something.
At that point the rout was on. Arkansas scored again on a near-2 minute situation when they took over with 3+ minutes before halftime. Allen was 6-for-7 on the drive and capped it off with a nice 10-yard toss to Jared Cornelius in the end zone with 49 seconds left to go up 28-7 at halftime.
The Hogs ended up scoring four times in the fourth quarter to push the final margin to 52-14. That included a beautiful 44-yard bomb from Allen to Keon Hatcher just to prove he can.
Bielema said early this week the Hogs would throw it more and they certainly did. Allen was 15-of-22 for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Bielema afterward, "How 'bout that passing game?"
The rushing numbers weren't nearly as crazy this week. Alex Collins led with 79 yards on 15 carries and Jonathan Williams 69 on his 15 carries. Arkansas finished with 212 total rushing yards.
The Razorback defense did a fantastic job shutting down Northern Illinois' rushing attack. The Huskies came into the game averaging 325.3 yards on the ground, good for 8th in the nation (I know I know, look at who they've played), but they were held to 123 yards on the ground tonight and none of them had more than 50 yards total.
Trey Flowers led with 9 tackles, followed by Martrell Spaight and Jared Collins who both had six. There were no interceptions tonight and the Hogs had four pass break-ups.
Demetrius Wilson didn't play tonight. Bielema said afterward he "tweaked" his ankle at the end of the Texas Tech game and wasn't ready to go 100% but is expected to be full-go this week. Brooks Ellis took a shot from Martrell Spaight somehow and stayed out the rest of the game. He's also expected to fine for A&M week, according to Bielema. Rohan Gaines was down after a 4th quarter play and walked to the sideline favoring his arm. After a few tests he was walking around on the sideline freely. From our standpoint it didn't appear too serious after seeing him on the sideline but we'll see how it goes.
From here it's simply, how good is this team? The Razorbacks head to Arlington next week for the first of three straight showdowns against possible top 10 opponents (if UGA gets back in, which they could). We'll find out soon. Remember, the spread tonight was about two touchdowns and the Hogs won by 38 points. The spread against Texas Tech was two points and Arkansas won by 21. They've crushed a couple of teams that people at least thought were pretty decent.
Everyone knows Texas A&M will be a much bigger test next week. Arkansas is playing really well right now. Let's find out just what stuff these Razorbacks are made of.
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