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Arkansas Dismantles Western Carolina 56-13 in Little Rock


Arkansas Razorbacks
Credit: University of Arkansas via Facebook

Arkansas kicked off in Little Rock just after noon on Saturday against the Western Carolina Catamounts and started the game firing on all cylinders. The Hogs jumped out to an early lead on just the second play of their first possession with a 65-yard touchdown pass to Jaedon Wilson to make it 7-0 Hogs. Interestingly enough, Deja Vu happened on the field as the play call for that touchdown pass was the same play call executed that scored when Dan Enos first arrived in Arkansas during the Bret Bielema era.

By the end of the first quarter, Arkansas had a comfortable lead with KJ going 12-12 180 plus yards and two touchdowns. The Hogs would take the game into the half up 35-3 and would score another 21 points in the second half to make the final score 56-13. In a game where Arkansas should have asserted dominance over an FCS opponent, they certainly achieved that. The new and improved Arkansas defense showed out as well. The Hogs held the Catamounts to just 4-15 on 3rd down, and in turn, the Catamounts had just 291 yards the entire game, most of which came in late in the second half. Both Cole Gonzales and Charlie Dean were faced with constant pressure all game, resulting in 5 defensive takeaways for Arkansas. Four of which were interceptions. True Freshman, Brad Spence capped off the day for the defense with an 85-yard pick-six late in the fourth.

Play of the Game

With 2:56 left in the second quarter, KJ Jefferson pulled a hand-off and ran it in up the middle for a 17-yard score to go up 28-3. Western Carolina thought they had tacked Arkansas running back Dominique Johnson for a loss, only to find KJ had scampered past untouched to the end zone. I've said before that KJ has next-level vision, and this play certainly proved that.

MVP - Arkansas

KJ Jefferson receives the game ball in this one, finishing 18-23, 246 yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown. On a day when Western Carolina wanted to load up the box and stop the run, KJ delivered and then some. He thrived under new offensive coordinator Dan Enos and executed the plan in place efficiently. In the first quarter alone, he was 11-11 for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Stout numbers from a quarterback that some say is not a pocket passer. Naysayers were proven wrong today.

MVP- Western Carolina

Desmond Reid scored the only touchdown of the day for Western Carolina with 10:59 left in the third quarter. Production-wise, there was one player for Western Carolina who had more yards on the ground, but that player also gave up a fumble that resulted in an Arkansas score. Therefore, Desmond Reid is the right choice.


Room for Improvement

The lack of a run game had some Arkansas fans very concerned. Western Carolina sold out on the run all day moving 8-9 guys in the box almost every play. They were laser-focused on running back Rocket Sanders. He finished the day with just 15 carries, 42 yards, and two touchdowns. The lack of push from Arkansas's offensive line may be concerning, but with starting center Brady Latham sitting this one out, a deviation from normalcy was to be expected. The pass protection was decent but will also need improvement down the stretch. That will certainly be the focus moving forward this week in practice.

 

Next up: Kent State

1 commentaire


Very well written. Fear not Arkansas fans, the run game is fine. It was Western Carolina. No needs to go all out when it isn’t necessary. Good start to the season

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