FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas erased a ten point second half deficit on Saturday to knock off Rice, 38-17. It Sam Pittman's first non-conference win as the Razorbacks head coach.
The Hogs got on the board on just their second drive of the game. KJ Jefferson ran for a 34 yard touchdown for the first score of the season.
Halfway through the first quarter, Grant Morgan was ejected after being called for targeting. The Hogs would be without their senior captain for the remainder of the game. He will be eligible to return next Saturday.
The first quarter would end with Arkansas leading 7-0. Jefferson had just two completions for six passing yards. The Hogs 85 yards on the ground was the difference maker.
Rice would block an Arkansas punt on the first play of the second quarter, but the Hogs defense would hold the Owls to a field. It was 7-3 Razorbacks.
With under five minutes to play in the half Rice would strike again. The Arkansas special teams unit continued to put Rice in prime field position.
With the half nearing a close Rice would take a lead. A Jordan Myers touchdown run would cap off an eight play 40 yard drive for the Owls.
Arkansas came into the game as 19 1/2 point favorites but found themselves down 10-7 at the half.
Wiley Green would throw a 41 yard touchdown pass out of the gates in the second half. Arkansas found themselves down 17-7 early in the third quarter.
The Hogs would answer though with a six play, 57 yard touchdown drive. Jefferson would run in it for his second of the day and Arkansas trailed 17-14.
The Hogs would tie the game on the next drive. Freshman Cam Little hit a 34 yard field goal to make it 17-17.
On the first Rice drive of the fourth quarter Jalen Catalon would come away with an interception to put the Hogs deep into Owl territory. Three plays later Trelon Smith would run for his first touchdown of the season to make it, 24-17. Smith had over 100 yards rushing on the afternoon.
Bumper Pool would receive the Razorbacks second targeting call. He would be ejected and will be forced to miss the first half of next Saturday's game against Texas.
Jefferson would hit Tyson Morris for another Razorback touchdown to put the finishing touches on this one. It was Jefferson's first touchdown pass of the year and gave Arkansas a 31-17 lead.
Dominique Johnson would score from three yards out to extend Arkansas' lead to 38-17 with 58 seconds left. The comeback was complete. Arkansas held on to knock off Rice to win the season opener.
Arkansas will now prepare to host Texas, Saturday September 11th at 6 p.m.