Brandon Allen and Arkansas put the SEC West on notice in Week 1 after the Razorbacks kicked off the season by dismantling Texas-El Paso by a 48-13 score. Bret Bielema’s squad dominated the Miners in all facets, including offense, defense and special teams and never trailed during the contest.

5 TAKEAWAYS

  • Brandon Allen systematically picked the Miners defense apart en route to setting a career-high for touchdown passes with four — which he accomplish in the first half. The senior was methodical and poised and has the makings of being one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC this year.
  • Thought to be one of the strongest rushing attacks in the SEC, the Razorbacks also proved they can throw. Five different receivers hauled in passes, including Keon Hatcher (106 yards, 2 touchdowns).
  • Brandon Allen is pinpoint accurate (14-of-18, 308 yards), but a lot of credit belongs to the offense’s ability to make plays happen after getting the ball. Players such as Drew Morgan (26-yard TD), Jared Cornelius (58-yard TD) and Hatcher (28-yard TD) each scored touchdowns after eluding defense on long runs.
  • The Arkansas defense was disciplined and yielded very few big plays, holding star UTEP running back to 70 yards rushing.
  • Bret Bielema’s squad looked dominating in all facets and lived up to the preseason hype that made them a dark horse favorite to win the SEC West.

REPORT CARD

Offense: A — The Razorbacks as a team rushed for 182 yards and passed for another 308 for 490 yards of total offense.

Defense: B+ — Arkansas yielded 204 yards of offense to UTEP, but Henre’ Toliver made a huge interception to set up a touchdown and set the tone for the second half. DeMarcus Hodge added a sack for the Hogs.

Special Team: A+ — The Razorbacks special teams caused three fumbles on UTEP punt attempts, recovering two of them.

Coaching: A — Bret Bielema and his crew executed a flawless game plan against UTEP and kept the pressure up for all 60 minutes.

Overall: A – You couldn’t ask for a more complete win for Arkansas, which looked to be every part of an SEC West contender.

GAME PLAN

Bret Bielema mixed it up on offense, instead of relying heavily on his rushing attack. The Razorback ran 38 rushing plays against 20 passes, a number a bit skewed considering Arkansas slowed its passing game after getting a big lead. Spreading the ball around worked, as several players contributed in the passing game.

GAME BALLS

  • Brandon Allen: Showed a mature command of the offense with 308 passing yards and 4 TDs.
  • Henre’ Toliver: His interception on first play of second half set was a deflator for UTEP.
  • Keon Hatcher: He hauled in scoring grabs of 20 and 38 yards, to go along with a game-high 106 yards.

INJURY UPDATE

  • CB Cornelius Floyd sat out with a hamstring injury.
  • TE Alex Voelzke sat out with what Bielema called “a soft injury.”
  • DL JaMichael Winston left the game due to a mouthful of “black pellets.”