Razorbacks Run Through Ragin’ Cajuns
The Arkansas Razorbacks looked a lot like the Wisconsin Badgers Saturday as they rushed for 292 yards, running past the Ragin’ Cajuns 34-14.
Head Coach Bret Bielema, who left Wisconsin last season to coach the Razorbacks, brought with him a rushing attack that got after the Cajuns all day long. The one-two punch of Sophomore Jonathan Williams and true freshman Alex Collins, running behind an All-SEC Center and an offensive line that opened numerous holes for them all day long, each finished with over 100 yards rushing. As Coach Bielema pointed out during the television broadcast, it more than helped ease Soph. QB Brandon Allen into the game after suffering through a 4-8 season last year in which just about everything seemed to go wrong for the Razorbacks.
On the opening drive, the Cajuns got a quick dose of what they would be seeing for most of the game: Allen handing off to either Williams or Collins. The two RBs gashed the Cajuns defense, setting up a wide open 6-yard TD pass from Allen to Sr. WR Javontee Herndon, who finished with 2 TDs on 3 catches for 73 yards.
The Cajuns offense responded, though, with a balanced attack led by Jr. QB Terrance Broadway. After converting an early 3rd and 3 in their own territory, the Cajuns drove deep into Razorback territory, but after Broadway’s pass to WR James Butler was tipped in the end zone by an Arkansas defender, departed kicker Brett Baer’s replacement, Stephen Brauchle, missed a short field goal to leave the score at 7-0 Arkansas.
It stayed that way until the 2nd Quarter when Jr. RB Alonzo Harris punched in a 2-yard TD run after Freshman RB Elijah Maguire made a sensational catch on a wheel route to set up the score. That made the score 7-7.
But then Allen stepped up the aerial attack that made this Razorback offense even harder to stop, completing pass after pass after noticing the Cajuns had been loading up the box to stop the run. A 49-yard TD pass to Herndon put Arkansas up 14-7.
After the Cajuns went 3-and-out, the Razorbacks added a 22-yard field goal after the Cajuns’ defense stopped them on a 3rd and goal from the 5-yard line. That made the score Arkansas 17, Cajuns 7.
Broadway drove the Cajuns just past midfield, but the drive stalled, bringing on Daniel Cadona to punt. It was a great one, as he pinned the Razorbacks at their own 4-yard line with just over two minutes left in the 1st Half. But after converting on a 3rd and 9, Allen went to work, attacking the seems and the sidelines against the Cajuns defense. Kicker Zach Hocker finished the drive off by making a 34-yard field goal as the 1st Half expired, making the score 20-7 in favor of Arkansas.
In the 2nd Half, it appeared the Cajuns had caught a break, as a Razorbacks TE fumbled near midfield after three Cajun defender closed in on him. But the Cajuns gave it right back as Broadway fumbled while he was getting sacked, just one of many times in the 2nd Half when the Razorbacks defense was able to successfully get to him. After continuing to gash the Cajuns on the ground with Williams and Collins, Allen completed a 10-yard TD pass to FB Kiero Small, making the score 27-7 Razorbacks.
But the Cajuns responded, going 75 yards in 2:19, as TE Jacob Maxwell capped off the scoring drive with an 11-yard TD catch from Broadway. That brought the Cajuns within 27-14.
But Williams, who finished with 151 yards on 18 carries, ran 75 yards for his lone touchdown of the game, putting the Razorbacks up 34-14, which held up as the final score after a scoreless 4th Quarter.
In addition to the running of Williams, Collins finished with 131 yards on 21 carries. Allen ended the game with 230 yards passing and 3 TDs on 15-22 passing. Leading the Razorbacks in receiving, in addition to Herndon’s efforts, Freshman TE Hunter Henry finished with 75 yards receiving on 5 catches. The Razorbacks gained 522 yards overall.
For the Cajuns, Broadway finished with 171 yards passing, 1 TD and 1 INT on 15-28 passing. He finished with –1 yards rushing. On the ground, Harris finished with 56 yards and 1 TD on 10 carries to lead the Cajuns. On the receiving end, Maxwell led the way with 77 yards and 1 TD on 6 receptions. The Cajuns gained 274 total yards.
Up next for the Cajuns (0-1) is Kansas State (0-1) in Manhattan, at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sep. 7. You can listen to the game on Sportradio ESPN 1420 AM.