STARKVILLE, Miss — For the second week in a row, the story of the first half was the Arkansas defense. For Mississippi State, things couldn't have started worse. Star running back Kylin Hill went down with an apparent head injury on the first drive. Then Arkansas DB Greg Brooks picked off K.J. Costello and took it 69 yards to the house for a 7-0 Arkansas lead.
The Bulldogs then marched 75 yards for a score to tie things up, while the Hog offense continued to struggle, getting nothing from a first and goal at the seven and losing star running back Rakeem Boyd to injury. But the defense continued to hold strong, forcing three straight punts and an interception in the second quarter, and the Razorback offense finally began to stir. Franks hit Warren for a 19-yard score with 5:27 left to play in the half, and Arkansas took a 14-7 lead into the locker room.
Of course, Arkansas led Georgia at halftime too. But the second half went differently. Arkansas roared out of the break with a 75-yard drive, capped by Hudson Henry’s first career touchdown reception. Mississippi State countered with a 14 play, 76-yard touchdown drive that ate over seven minutes of clock, scoring on a 4th down run to cut the Arkansas lead to 21-14.
Mississippi State started the fourth quarter driving, but Joe Foucha’s second interception of the game soon ended that, but the Hog offense couldn’t cash in. After the teams traded punts, Franks and Warren couldn’t handle a handoff and Mississippi State recovered deep in Arkansas territory. Once again, the Razorback defense came through, forcing a huge turnover on downs, and prompting Arkansas twitter to scream “PAY BARRY ODOM WHATEVER HE WANTS!”
Arkansas special teams was a notable improvement over week one, until a huge punt return for Mississippi State with 6 minutes left gave the Bulldogs excellent field position. But once again, the Arkansas defense held strong, stopping a 4th and one from their own seven-yard line.
The Arkansas offense stalled again, but then the break. Mississippi State dropped the punt and the Hogs recovered in Bulldog territory. The Arkansas offense picked up a huge first down, and it was all but over. After Franks took some knees, the Hogs punted with 32 seconds left, and held them off.
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