Arkansas rolled up 522 yards of total offense in beating Louisiana-Lafayette 34-14 in coach Bret Bielema’s debut Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Quarterback Brandon Allen passed for 230 yards and three touchdowns, and running backs Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins each rushed for more than 100 yards. Williams rushed for 151 yards on 18 carries, and Collins rushed 21 times for 130 yards to become the first Razorbacks freshman to rush for more than 100 yards in his college debut since Felix Jones in 2005.
Arkansas scored on its opening possession of the game against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. Bielema’s emphasis on power football was evident from the first play, a 14-yard carry by Williams.
The Razorback moved 75 yards on 11 plays and scored on a 6-yard pass from Allen to Javontee Herndon to take a 7-0 lead with 8:24 left in the first quarter. The Razorbacks rushed 8 times for 62 yards on the opening drive.
The Ragin’ Cajuns answered with a drive that reached Arkansas’ 6 before stalling. Steph Brauchle missed a 27-yard field goal to keep Arkansas’ lead 7-0.
The Ragin’ Cajuns tied the game with 13:58 left in the second quarter on Alonzo Harris’ 2-yard run that capped a 10-play, 71-yard drive.
The Razorbacks answered quickly on their next drive when Allen connected with Herndon for a 49-yard touchdown and a 14-7 with 11:30 left in the first half. Arkansas extended its lead to 17-7 on Zach Hocker’s 22-yard field goal with 5:18 left in the first half.
Hocker’s 34-yard field goal on the last play of the second quarter gave Arkansas a 20-7 halftime lead. The field goal capped a nine-play drive that started on the Razorbacks’ 4.
The Razorbacks increased their lead to 27-7 in the third quarter. After an exchange of fumbles, Arkansas drove to the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 10 before Allen threw his third touchdown pass of the game, a 10-yarder to fullback Kiero Small with 8:39 left in the third quarter.
Louisiana-Lafayette’s Terrance Broadway threw a 11-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Maxwell to pull the Ragin’ Cajuns to within 27-14 with 6:20 left in the third quarter.
On Arkansas’ next offensive play, Williams raced down the left sideline for a 75-yard touchdown. Williams had left the game in the second quarter with what appeared to be a minor shoulder injury but returned after halftime.