When Bret Bielema took over the head coaching job in the offseason for the Arkansas Razorbacks, he said he wanted to bring something to the program that it has never had. Well, the longest losing streak in Arkansas football history was definitely not what he had in mind.
The Hogs lost in Little Rock on Saturday to the Mississippi State Bulldogs in overtime 24-17 to make it eight straight losses which is a school record. While it was the closest that Arkansas has come to a win in SEC play, it was more than likely their last real chance to keep from going winless in conference play.
The two leading rushers for the Hogs, Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams, were sidelined for the first quarter of the game for being late to team meetings. That allowed for Korliss Marshall and Kody Walker to take over the rushing workload for the Razorbacks on the first scoring drive that was capped off by a 8-yard rush by receiver Javontee Herndon.
Arkansas would add a 54-yard field goal from Zach Hocker early in the second quarter to extend the lead to 10-0.
The Bulldogs would respond with a 24-yard field goal of their own from Devon Bell on the next possession cut the lead back to seven.
On the ensuing kickoff the pooch kick was returned and fumbled by tightend Mitchell Loewen to give the ball back to State in Arkansas territory.
Bulldog quarterback Tyler Russell threw a 30-yard touchdown pass down the middle of the field to tie the ballgame going into half. Russell was 18-of-28 for 263 yards and two touchdowns for the game.
Both teams traded punts on their first two possessions of the second half, but it was Arkansas who scored first on a 22-yard rush by Julian Horton on an end-around that put the Hogs back in the lead late in the third.
Russell would drive the Bulldogs down the field again and score on a 5-yard pass to Jameon Lewis to tie the game 17-17 midway through the fourth.
Brandon Allen hit a wide-open Jeremy Sprinkle for a 44-yard gain with five minutes remaining in the fourth that put Arkansas in the redzone. However on the following play, Alex Collins would have the ball stripped away inside the 10 and State would take over from there.
The Bulldogs would miss a 42-yard field goal with 24 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime, Arkansas’ first of the season.
State was first up on offense and wasted no time scoring a touchdown on the first play by way of a 25-yard run by freshman quarterback Damian Williams.
Arkansas could get nothing done on offense with their shot and on a fourth and nine, Allen would throw an interception to secure the win for the Bulldogs. Allen would finish the day 10-of-18 for only 114 yards with 44 of them coming off the pass to Sprinkle.
The Arkansas football team will travel to Baton Rouge on Friday to take on the #15 LSU Tigers for the Battle of the Golden Boot.
Read more Arkansas football news, rumor, and opinion on our Arkansas football page.