Arkansas sets record with 447 yards passing, cruises by Missouri State

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Dennis Johnson returned the season's opening kickoff for a touchdown, and Arkansas set a school record with 447 yards passing in a 48-10 victory over Missouri State on Saturday night.

Ryan Mallett, who sat out last season after transferring from Michigan, went 17 for 22 for 309 yards and a touchdown for the Razorbacks. Backup Tyler Wilson also played and threw for 138 yards and two TDs.

Coming off a 5-7 season, the Razorbacks (1-0) are expecting a big improvement in Bobby Petrino's second year as their coach. They were in control throughout the game against Missouri State (0-1). Johnson took the opening kickoff 91 yards to give Arkansas the lead 18 seconds into the game.

That was quite an omen for the Hogs, who fumbled away the first kickoff of last season.

Mallett hadn't played in a game since November 2007, and Petrino let both him and Wilson throw. Michael Smith, who rushed for over 1,000 yards last year, carried only four times for 43 yards. His 15-yard touchdown run early on made it 14-0.

Jarius Wright was open all over the field for the Razorbacks and finished with six catches for 139 yards. His 58-yard reception from Mallett set up Broderick Green's 1-yard scoring run that made it 21-3. Green, a transfer from Southern California, carried several times in short-yardage situations with mixed results. In the second quarter, Arkansas had first-and-goal from the 5 before Green was stopped on three straight runs. Wilson had to throw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Van Stumon on fourth down to make it 28-3.

In the final minute of the half, another drive stalled near the goal line and Arkansas' Alex Tejada kicked a 20-yard field goal.

Cody Kirby, who played his high school football in northwest Arkansas, went 12 of 20 for 107 yards with two interceptions for the Bears. Missouri State scored its only touchdown in the second quarter after the Razorbacks were called for pass interference on fourth down. Jonathan Davis' 2-yard scoring run made it 28-10.

The Razorbacks had never thrown for over 400 yards in a game, but they surpassed that number with plenty of time to spare Saturday. Joe Adams took a short pass from Mallett and broke down the right sideline for a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and Wilson added a 1-yard touchdown pass to Cobi Hamilton in the fourth.

Wilson went 13-of-19 with an interception. He and Mallett nearly combined to break the school record of 31 completions, set in 1971.

Freshman Ronnie Wingo Jr. led the Razorbacks with 50 yards rushing.