Arkansas bounced back from last week’s thumping to put one of their own on Mississippi State in Starkville. It was a dominating performance from the Razorbacks, who improved to 7-4.

Here’s a closer look at Arkansas’ 58-42 victory over Mississippi State:

What it means

Arkansas: The Razorbacks made a statement on the road, improving their bowl status with a convincing victory over a Bulldogs team with the only losing record among SEC West teams. The loser dropped into the division cellar and the Razorbacks proved they had no intentions of going in that direction.

Mississippi State: Trying to stay bowl eligible for the seventh consecutive season under Dan Mullen, the Bulldogs were unable to accomplish the feat after falling Saturday and assuring themselves of a losing season. Mississippi State’s slimmest of slim chance left at making a bowl game is to win next week against Ole Miss and fill in through academic qualification if there aren’t enough eligible teams to fill the bowl slots.

What I liked

Arkansas: The offensive line manhandled Mississippi State’s D-line. It not only opened up holes for the Razorbacks running backs but also gave time for QB Austin Allen to operate and throw for 303 yards and two touchdowns. The O-line paved the way for 455 yards in the first half alone as Arkansas scored on six of seven first-half possessions, including five touchdowns. The only drive in which the Razorbacks failed to score in the first half was because of a missed field goal attempt.

Mississippi State: There was no quit in the Bulldogs. Even after falling behind by 24 points at halftime they came out in the second half and drove for a touchdown and matched Arkansas’ scores in the third quarter.

What I didn’t like

Arkansas: The Razorbacks defense gave up far too much real estate. Fortunately their offense couldn’t be stopped.

Mississippi State: The defense was a sieve. Arkansas moved the ball at will both on the ground and through the air. Though the effort was there, the tackling at the line of scrimmage and pass coverage in the secondary was not.

Who’s the man

Arkansas: In the first quarter alone, RB Rawleigh Williams rushed for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns. He reached a season-high 191 yards by halftime while scoring four touchdowns in that time frame to stake the Razorbacks to a 38-14 lead at intermission. He finished with 205 yards. For good measure, Williams threw a touchdown pass in the third quarter. Williams took a handoff on 4th-and-goal at the Bulldogs’ 1-yard line, heading toward the line of scrimmage, and the left-hander tossed a jump pass to Austin Cantrell, who was all alone in the end zone.

Mississippi State: Bulldogs QB Nick Fitzgerald wouldn’t let his team quit. The sophomore threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 131 yards. He scored on two rushing touchdowns (58, 18) in the first quarter and added to that with a pair of short rushing touchdowns in the second half.

Key play

Arkansas: When Williams ripped off his second long touchdown run of the first quarter, it served notice that the Razorbacks would not be stopped. Williams dashed for 42 yards and a touchdown, after opening the scoring with a 72-yard jaunt.

Mississippi State: After the Bulldogs fought back to within 52-36 early in the fourth quarter, kicker Brad Wall executed what was originally ruled a successful onside kick, recovering his own kickoff. However, after further review, the call was reversed and instead of getting the ball back in great field position, Arkansas was awarded the ball and the Razorbacks drove for a touchdown.

What’s next

Arkansas: The Razorbacks close out the regular season Friday afternoon at Missouri, then it’s wait-and-see which bowl game they will receive an invitation to.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs close the season Saturday afternoon in Oxford, hoping to salvage the season with a victory over arch-rival Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.