Hogs Start Fast, Coast Against Alcorn State
LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) – In the first 15 minutes, Arkansas did exactly what it needed to do to exorcise the demons inside War Memorial Stadium. Then the Razorbacks put it into cruise control.
Arkansas scored 24 first quarter points, including a 75-yard touchdown run by freshman Devwah Whaley, and coasted to a 52-10 win over Alcorn State in Little Rock.
“We talked about starting fast, and we did that,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said. “We hit a little hole in the second quarter when we got stopped on a fourth down play. We responded coming out of the second half. Austin had another good game. He’s getting comfortable. His numbers are really, really good. It’s good to get two of our rushers over 100 yards, and also throw TJ (Hammonds) in there.”
After settling for a field goal on their first possession, Arkansas (4-1) took control with a 29-yard scoring pass from Austin Allen to Jared Cornelius. The Razorbacks’ next offensive play saw Whaley break the longest run of the season and a 17-0 lead. Allen and Cornelius hooked up again in the final minute of the first quarter, this time for 35 yards, as the FCS level Braves fell behind 24-0.
From that point, Arkansas seemed stale and was outscored 7-0 in the second quarter. The short yardage struggles continued as the Razorbacks were stuffed on a 4th-and-1 at their own 45-yard line. Those struggles saw a tie game turn into a blowout loss against No. 10 Texas A&M last weekend in Arlington, Texas.
Arkansas came out in the third quarter and quickly put the game away thanks to their defense. Henre’ Tolliver hauled in a deflected pass and returned the interception 70 yards for a score. Josh Liddell followed with an interception on Alcorn’s next offensive possession.
“A pick six is always nice, and to have three of them this year with three different players,” Bielema said. “With an interception or a blocked field goal going the other way, we always have the athletic advantage going the other way. They created it and made it happen.”
Cody Hollister put Arkansas up 38-7 as he took a speed sweep 26 yards for a score, going untouched. LaMichael Pettway, a freshman receiver, then scored his first career touchdown as he brought in Allen’s third scoring pass early in the fourth quarter.
T.J. Hammonds got his most work of the season and the freshman found the end zone from five yards out with 6:36 left in the fourth quarter, putting Arkansas up 52-10.
Whaley led Arkansas with 135 yards rushing on just nine attempts while Rawleigh Williams rushed for 126 yards. Arkansas ran for 353 yards as a team, the most since the Texas Tech game in the 2014 season.
“I have spent a lot of time working hard and preparing for the job. Rawleigh Williams and Kody Walker are like two big brothers,” Whaley said. “They help me with whatever questions that I have and they are helping to shape my skills as a player. I look forward to getting even better and making Arkansas proud.”
Austin Allen finished the game going 13-of-18 for 206 yards and three touchdowns. Allen became the first Arkansas quarterback to throw for multiple touchdowns in each of the first five games of the season since the Razorbacks joined the SEC in 1992.