Arkansas ends losing streak in Provo

The Razorbacks season has been nothing short of a disappointment.  When Arkansas beat a tough, quality Cincinnati team first game of the season, we all thought this is a good start.  Then Arkansas barely defeats Missouri State at home, and we began to wonder.  A close disappointing loss to Texas A&M realized our fears; the Razorbacks are in for a long season.  Arkansas needed a victory heading into the bye week and they finally delivered, ending a three-game losing streak.


Tough Start.

The Razorbacks did not get off to a good start when Raheim Sanders bumbled and fumbled away a second down carry during the first possession of the game.  After the defense turned out a rare stop in the first half the offense could not score and was forced to punt.  BYU drew blood first with a 31-yard gain on a fourth-down play followed by a short touchdown score.  That score woke the Razorbacks up and the game was on as Sanders burst 15 yards for a touchdown to close out their third offensive possession of the game.


Turning Point.

BYU and Arkansas traded scores for the next 2 possessions and until the Razorbacks were down 17 to 21 late in the 2nd quarter.  The turning point in this game occurred during BYU’s fifth drive.  It was 4th and 1 and the Cougars were sitting on their 34-yard line.  Coach Kalani Sitake for some mysterious reason decided to go for it. Call it analytics, call it what you want, I think he just got greedy.  He was up by three points, and he wanted a shot to go up by 10.  The Razorbacks stuffed the play and gained the ball in prime scoring position.  The Razorbacks did their best to make it harder on themselves than they needed to.   After securing a first down Arkansas commits a personal foul tacking on an additional 15 yards to their next set of downs.  KJ Jefferson shrugged off the foul and connected with AJ Green on a 30-yard pass play to secure the first down on the BYU four-yard line.  The next play was a Matt Landers touchdown reception.  The score is now 24 to 21.

BYU’s next possession ended four plays in when Hudson Clark intercepted Jaren Hall.  The Razorbacks drove 68 yards to pay dirt ending with a 15-yard touchdown strike from Jefferson to Rashod Dubinion.  It was a great play call.  Two receivers were lined up to the left.  As the recievers released, they carried two defensive backs with them leaving a safety off the line of scrimmage to cover the speedy Dubinion.  He ran a wheel route into the vacated space, beat the defender and scored the touchdown to put the Razorbacks ahead ten points.  One ill advised 4th down call by Coach Sitake and an interception by Clark put the Razorbacks in control of the game.


The Best Play!

Perhaps the best play I saw in the game occurred during the previously discussed drive.  Two plays before that 15-yard strike to Dubinion, Arkansas was sitting at 3rd and 11 on their 42 yard line.  The Cougars sent a blitz which struck home on KJ Jefferson, except that Jefferson would not go down.  He swatted away four defenders before finding Trey Knox over the middle who rumbled all the way the to the BYU 22-yard line, breaking several tackles before eventually going down.



The Razorbacks won the 2nd quarter 24 to 9 and the fourth quarter 7 to nothing.  The 2nd half of the game was fireworks show.  Arkansas showed that they can win a long-drawn-out drive as well as execute a quick strike.  Early in the third quarter Jefferson connected with Landers on a 39-yard touchdown strike.  Early in the fourth quarter Raheim Sanders turned on the afterburners as he rocketed 64 yards down the sideline for the Razorbacks last touchdown of the game.  The Razorbacks offense executed a full and complete game, rushing for over 200 yards and passing for 367 yards and five touchdowns.  It was an A plus effort. Jefferson spread the ball around to 10 different receivers including three of his running backs.  Jefferson is the engine that really makes this offense run.  His passing has greatly improved from last year.  Hopefully Arkansas can find a way to win the remainder of the games this year with him under center.

The defense on the other hand is a different story.  Missing five starting defensive backs, they suffered thru yet another pass happy offense.  They did enough to win.  Their crowning moment occurred in the 2nd quarter when they won fourth down to give the offense the ball on BYU’s 34-yard line.  During their next possession they secured an interception.  The Arkansas defense did end the game on a high note forcing and winning two fourth downplays on BYU’s last two possessions.  Hopefully the bye week will net the Razorbacks some of the injured defenders in the secondary.  The Razorbacks are off to Auburn in two weeks.

(Special Note on the Photo: The Associated Press did not cover this game).

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