Playing without three starters on defense, the Arkansas Razorbacks held on to beat Samford Saturday night at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, 31-21. Defensive end Trey Flowers, linebacker Jarrett Lake and safety Rohan Gaines were all out for the Hogs.
After trailing 21-17 in the third quarter, the defense stiffened up and didn’t not allow another score.
Arkansas opened up the scoring on the first possession of the game with a six-play, 75 yard drive, capped off by a Brandon Allen touchdown pass to Mitchell Loewen for 24 yards.
The Hogs went right back down the field on their next drive, going eight plays, 78 yards. Allen connected with Javontee Herndon for a 7-yard touchdown.
Herndon, who had just three touchdowns in his entire career, has now caught as many touchdowns in two games his senior year.
Samford responded with a touchdown drive of its own shortly after, making it 14-7. Arkansas added to that lead early in the second quarter with a Zack Hocker field goal of 53 yards, the longest of his career.
On the first drive of the second half, running back Jonathan Williams fumbled on the Hogs’ own 24 yard line, giving Samford excellent field position, down 17-7.
The Bulldogs cashed in on the opportunity, making the score 17-14 midway through the third quarter.
After an Arkansas punt, Samford drove down the field again. Fabian Truss scored on a 16-yard TD run to put the Bulldogs on top for the first time all day, 21-17.
That scored remained the same heading into the fourth quarter. That’s when freshman Alex Collins broke a 21-yard run inside the five yard line. Jonathan Williams scored from a yard out a few plays later, putting Arkansas back on top 24-21 early in the fourth.
After a Samford punt, Collins ripped off another long run for 55 yards, inside the Bulldog 20. Collins capped off the drive with the first touchdown of his career from two yards out, giving the Hogs a 31-21 lead with nine minutes to go.
Collins finished with 24 carries and 172 yards. He is the first freshman in school history to rush for more than 100 yards in his first two games.
Williams also topped the 100 yard mark with 126 yards rushing.
The duo are the first running backs in program history to each have 100 yards in the first two games.
Arkansas had 163 of its 333 rushing yards in the fourth quarter alone.