Despite Weather, Hogs Get a Win Over Kentucky
Despite the inclement weather, the Razorbacks gave fans something to cheer about Saturday night. Through a lightening delay that lasted an hour and six minutes and an eventual game-ending lightening delay, the Razorbacks defeated Kentucky 49-7.
This is the first time in Razorback history that a game was terminated prematurely. The game was paused for a lightening delay with 5:08 left in the third quarter and the Southeastern
Conference Commissioner ended the game at 10:04 p.m. because of the “extended weather forecast,” according to an email from Charles Bloom, SEC assistant commissioner.
Tyler Wilson had a huge day for the Razorbacks, tying Ryan Mallet’s record for touchdowns in a single game with five.
“This was Tyler Wilson’s best game,” head coach John L. Smith said.
Wilson completed 23 of 31 passes for 372 total yards before yielding to Brandon Allen in the third quarter. Wilson’s quarterback rating on the day was a 228.2.
Freshman Jonathan Williams was on the receiving end of two of Wilson’s touchdown passes including a 74 yard touchdown reception on the first play of the game. Williams would go on to average 77 yards per catch on the night.
“Jonathan Williams has things you don’t teach,” Smith said. “He has great vision”
Before the weather took a turn for the worse, the Hogs marched down the field again in a drive that lasted 4:30. It was capped off by a touchdown run from three yards out by Dennis Johnson.
The game was delayed shortly after the touchdown with 3:32 left in the first quarter and the Razorbacks leading 14-0.
After waiting for more than an hour for the lightening to move out of the area, play resumed. The official rule is that if lightning strikes within six miles of the stadium, play must be stopped for at least thirty minutes.
Once play resumed, the Hogs continued with vigor. With 1:58 left in the first quarter, the Razorbacks extended their lead to 21 points on a five yard pass from Wilson to Johnson.
On the last play of the first quarter, after a three-and-out by Kentucky, Wilson threw a 77 yard touchdown pass to Williams to advance Arkansas’ lead to 28-0 and give Williams his second touchdown of the night.
Before halftime, the Hogs scored twice more. Once on a Wilson pass to Javontee Herndon and again on another short run from Johnson. The score at half time was 42-0.
The Razorbacks scored for the last time in the abbreviated game with 10:39 left in the third quarter on Wilson’s fifth touchdown of the game—an 18-yard pass to Julian Horton.
Kentucky prevented Arkansas from getting the shut out when freshman quarterback Jalen Whitlow through a 61-yard touchdown pass to La’Rod King shortly before the second lightning delay.
With 5:08 left in the third, the game was delayed again as a huge storm rolled through Fayetteville. The play never resumed, and the 49-7 score was final.
Wilson’s 372 passing yards were not the only way Arkansas moved the ball. On the ground, Johnson rushed for 82 yards and averaged 6.8 yards per carry. Knile Davis had 69 yards rushing and averaged 5.2 yards per carry.
“When you win, everyone has a good night,” Smith said.
The Razorbacks’ balanced offense proved beneficial with ten first downs on rushing plays and twelve first downs on passing plays.
Arkansas only punted twice, and the Razorbacks controlled time of possession, being on offense for 23:15 to Kentucky’s 16:37.
The Razorbacks held the Wildcats to only six first downs and 170 total yards of offense. The Hogs had 24 first downs. Arkansas converted eight of 11 third downs.
“If you can do that, you can have continued success,” Smith said of converting third downs.
The Razorbacks recorded two sacks on the night and there were zero turnovers for either team.
“I don’t know that it was a turnaround,” Smith said of the defensive effort. “I wanted a shutout.”
It was a night of firsts for Arkansas. It was the first time a Razorback game has been terminated prematurely, it was the first time the Hogs wore “smoke” colored uniforms, and it was the first time(s) Jonathan Williams caught a touchdown pass.
And if this game wasn’t unprecedented enough, Randy Jackson from American Idol led a Hog Call at halftime.
The Razorbacks have a bye week next weekend and face Ole Miss in Little Rock October 27.