Rapid Reaction: Arkansas starts slow, holds on to beat Portland State to open the season
It wasn’t pretty but Arkansas has started the season with a win by beating Portland State 20-13 in Fayetteville.
The Razorbacks were in complete control of this game from the start, surrendering only a pair of field goals to the FCS program until late into the fourth quarter on Saturday. While the score may not be indicative of the outcome of this game, the Razorbacks were never in danger of losing this game.
Based on the first result of the season, despite having two new quarterbacks to work with, it appears Chad Morris’ offense still has a ways to go. Senior Ben Hicks got the start and finished the game completing 13 of 28 passes for 137 yards. He did not have a touchdown but at least he didn’t turn the ball over. Nick Starkel finished the game completing four of five passes but his lone incompletion was a bad one — he threw a red zone interception after failing to read the Portland State defense.
On the bright side for the Razorbacks, John Chavis’ defense held Portland State to only 184 yards of total offense, including 73 rushing yards. The six points surrendered in the game came from a 53-yard kick and a 47-yard kick. The Arkansas unit also racked up six sacks and only allowed 13 first downs in the game.
Without a doubt, the star of the game for the Razorbacks was running back Rakeem Boyd. With only 18 carries, Boyd broke loose for 114 yards and a touchdown with another 22 yards on three catches. With Arkansas moving into SEC play next weekend, the Razorbacks have to find more ways to get Boyd as many touches as possible.
Arkansas is now 1-0 with a trip to Ole Miss looming next weekend. The Rebels lost on Saturday on the road at Memphis.