YOU GUYS! YOU GUYS! YOU GUYS!
Was anybody else afraid Brandon Allen was dropping back to pass on that last play? I was freaked out. Even when he slid I was trying to all the clock math in my head because I couldn't quite believe it was over.
But it was. And Arkansas actually won a game. An SEC game. Even though the Razorbacks tried to screw it up on special teams and the coaches made a few highly questionable decisions, it all worked out. Arkansas won a one-possession game for the first time since Bret Bielema arrived, and Brandon Allen was the quarterback. Actually, it was Allen's worst game of the season, statistically. He had trouble setting his feet on the wet surface of Neyland Stadium and only completed 11 of 24 passes for 219 yards.
BUT THE HOGS OVERCAME ALL OF IT. The blocked field goal. The weird time-outs. The fake field goal. All the kick returns the Hogs gave up in the first half. IT WAS OVERCOME.
Arkansas dominated the last three quarters of that game. The score was close, but the Hogs dominated. The score was close mostly because Tennessee ran the game's opening kick back for a score and scored again early in the first quarter, but after that, they settled for field goals, and the only other time they were close they turned the ball over. Arkansas ended the game on a 24-6 run.
At the end of the first quarter, Tennessee was averaging nearly eight yards per carry. They ended up averaging four. The defense shut down Jalen Hurd. Josh Dobbs was a non-factor running the ball, and his accuracy dropped off as the game went on.
Game balls to Alex Collins (154 yards on 27 carries), Rawleigh Williams III (100 yards on 14 carries for a 7.1 average), Drew Morgan (110 yards on 5 receptions), Dominique Reed for finally getting a chance to showcase his speed on a 33-yard touchdown reception - his first score of the season and his Razorback career, and Hunter Henry for coming down with that big 51 yard reception. It wasn't Arkansas' most efficient game, but they made more big plays than usual and it paid off.
Also, Dre Greenlaw infamously made that bad play against A&M last week, but the true freshman shook it off and led the team in tackles with 10 including one tackle for loss. Not everybody would be able to bounce back so quickly after that. Santos Ramirez, a redshirt freshman, was next on the team with seven tackles. The defense showed up in the last three quarters. They were still frustrating at times, but overall were very solid.
We'd also be remiss not to give a shoutout to the offensive line. Only three penalties this week. They gave up no sacks and the Hogs averaged 5.5 yards per carry.
This gets something of a monkey off the team's back. They've won an SEC road game for the first time since 2012. They won a close game. And they're back in the bowl eligibility picture. Arkansas now has two wins, but still has four games in Fayetteville remaining and have a ton of momentum.
YOU GUYS! The Hogs won. They did. Their first win in Knoxville since 1992. After the last three weeks, this is incredible. This isn't beating Alabama. The Vols weren't ranked. But maybe they can turn this season around.
Arkansas desperately needed this one.