Photos and Story by Mike Price
Mississippi State piled up 640 yards of offense and 54 points on the Hogs for homecoming in Fayetteville Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs got started quickly, like most opponents have this season vs the Hogs, and 6 plays in lead 7-0 and never looked back.
The Hogs went 4 and out, 3 and out and 3 and out on their first 3 possessions and were down 17-0 before putting together their first scoring drive. On the 2nd play of that drive, Rakeem Boyd took the ball 52 yards for the touchdown.
State answered with a 6 play touchdown drive to go back up 24-7. Arkansas responded with a field goal after a fumble recovery on another 4 out and out series that set them up at the State 23 yard line.
On the next Bulldog possession, RB Kylin Hill hit a 58 yard run to get them down to the Arkansas 26 and then Nick Gibson ran for 21 more to get down to the 5. 3 plays later Hill finished it off with a 1 yard touchdown run. Hill had a record day with 234 yards and 3 touchdowns. 198 of those yards came on 13 carries in the first half.
Arkansas’ next possession lasted 3 plays when starter Ben Hicks threw a pick 6 to Mississippi State defender Marcus Murphy who took it 32 yards for the score to make it 38-10. That would be the end of the day for Hicks. The next possession saw John Stephen Jones trot onto the field to a loud cheer from the crowd.
Arkansas started the 2nd half much like the first with a 3 and out. The Bulldogs went 66 yards on 6 plays for another touchdown to make it 45-10. The Hogs came back with a 12 play 59 yard drive that ended on a 4th and 8 play where Jones hit Mike Woods for a touchdown in the corner of the end zone to make it 45-17.
Arkansas finally saw KJ Jefferson take the field in the 4th quarter. On his first snap, he took it on a keeper up the middle for 21 yards. 2 plays later he hit Braylon Burks for a 32 yard completion down to the 5 yard line. Jefferson took it the rest of the way for his first collegiate touchdown on the next play.
Mississippi State finished with 180 yards passing and a whopping 460 yards rushing while dominating the time of possession 40:09 to 19:51 for the Hogs. Arkansas was only able to muster a total of 285 yards behind 101 yards passing and 184 yards rushing. More frustrating to fans was only converting 2 of 12 on 3rd down. This now marks the 3rd year with no SEC wins at home. Arkansas’ last SEC win was over Ole Miss on October 28, 2017.
Mississippi State faces Alabama in 2 weeks after a bye. Arkansas hosts Western Kentucky and former Hog quarterback Ty Storey.