If Arkansas wanted to show something different during its season-opener against UTEP, then mission accomplished. Thanks to a suddenly explosive offense, the Razorbacks jumped out to an early lead over the Miners and never looked back, winning 48-13 at home in Fayetteville.
What the win means for Arkansas: Going into the game, you didn’t think expectations could get any higher for Arkansas, a 7-6 team a year ago that many now believe can compete for an SEC title. But then Brandon Allen threw four first-half TDs and the offense was downright explosive. Now we’re left to wonder if the Hogs really are the complete package considering the improvement in the passing game, which was an Achilles' heel the last two seasons.
What the loss means for UTEP: Arkansas did about what you’d expect running the football. Alex Collins and the Hogs are going to get theirs. But what UTEP should be concerned with is its pass defense allowing 308 yards and four touchdowns through the air. With Texas Tech’s high-flying offense coming up next, it may be time for coach Sean Kugler to go back to the drawing board.
Stat of the game: Arkansas had it going. In the span of two offensive snaps and 10 seconds, the Razorbacks scored two rushing touchdowns, one a 7-yard run from Collins and another a 3-yard scamper from backup tailback Kody Walker. So how’d they do it? The defense made it look easy with a fumble recovery and an interception in back-to-back series.
Player of the game: Allen tied a career high for touchdown passes in a single game in the first half alone. The formerly indecisive, inaccurate QB was gone. In his place was something different, someone with a strong arm and the confidence of a fifth-year senior. It was just one game against a lesser opponent in UTEP, but 308 yards and four touchdowns on 14 of 18 passing isn’t a bad way to start the year.