The Mississippi State Bulldogs were hoping to get their first ever victory over Arkansas within the states borders this past Saturday. It didn’t go so well for Dan Mullen’s team, as the Hogs proved that they were better in every facet over the Dogs.
With Arkansas’ 44-17 victory over MSU (Arkansas’ 12th win out of the last 13 meetings, & 3rd in a row), the Razorbacks improve to 10-1 on the season, and very well are ranked #3 in the latest AP Poll.
Mississippi State fell to 5-6 overall, but still has a very good chance to become bowl eligible when they host an Ole Miss squad next weekend that has mailed in this season and can’t wait for it to be over. MSU should enjoy wining another Egg Bowl.
The Dogs tried to make a game of it in the second quarter. MSU freshman QB Dylan Favre (Brett’s nephew) scored a TD on a short run to cut the Hogs lead to 14-10. This came after Miss St’s best play of the game. Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson, who completed 32 of 43 passes for 365 yards and 3 TD in the game (the completions set a school single game record), was sacked from behind on a cornerback blitz and fumbled the ball.
MSU lineman Fletcher Cox scooped up the loose ball and rumbled to the Arkansas 25, setting up Favre’s TD run. MSU didn’t score again until there was less than a minute to play, and Arkansas had their second and third team defenders in the game.
Tyler Wilson continues to show that he is the best QB in the SEC. Wilson completed 74% of his passes Saturday afternoon and distributed the ball to eight different receivers.
Arkansas receiver Jarius Wright (61 rec 1,002 yds 10 TD) also continues to perform at a high level, leading the SEC in receiving TDs, tied for first in receiving yards, and is second in receptions. As a matter of fact, Wright is just a couple of catches away from making Razorback history. He needs two catches to break the single season reception record, three yards to break the single season receiving yardage record, and two TD catches to break the single season TD reception record.
In short, Jarius Wright is on the cusp of having the single greatest season of any receiver in Razorbacks history.
Once again the second half belonged to Arkansas. The Hogs were up 24-10 at halftime thanks to a touchdown pass from Wilson to Joe Adams and a Zach Hocker field goal. Arkansas stretched that lead to 34-10 by the end of the third quarter with a touchdown by tight end Chris Gragg and another Hocker kick.
The fourth quarter was more of the same. Hocker kicked his third field goal of the game, finishing 3 of 4. MSU D-Lineman Fletcher Cox blocked Hocker’s first try. Running back Broderick Green finished off Arkansas’ scoring for the day with a 2 yard blast at the 3:20 mark.
It was total dominance by Arkansas. Mississippi State just didn’t have the defensive firepower to stop the Hogs, as Arkansas rolled up 539 yards of total offense (373 pass, 166 rush). Razorback running back Dennis Johnson continued to perform well, finishing the game with 98 yards on 14 carries.
Conversely, the Bulldogs didn’t have the offensive firepower either. Arkansas’ defense held MSU to a paltry 84 yards rushing on 32 attempts. MSU running back Vick Ballard finished with just 54 yards on 13 carries.
The Miss St passing game wasn’t much better. Between Dylan Favre and Tyler Russell, the Dogs completed just 48% of their passes for 127 yards and 1 TD. That’s 211 yards of total offense. The Bulldogs aren’t going to beat anyone with that kind of poor production. Then again, it may be enough to beat Houston Nutt in his last game in Oxford.
One more game looms large for the Razorbacks. #1 LSU in Baton Rouge awaits this Arkansas team that is peaking at the right time, and hitting on all cylinders. The winner of the Golden Boot may very well play for not only the SEC Championship, but the BCS Title as well.
If a 9-6 defensive struggle in Tuscaloosa between Alabama and LSU was considered the new “Game of the Century”, maybe the Hogs and Tigers can one up that game this Friday afternoon.