Razorback Rewind:

Arkansas run game gets a lift

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Monday, October 3, 2016
Arkansas sophomore running back Rawleigh Williams carries against Alcorn State on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, during the third quarter at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Photo by Jason Ivester
Arkansas sophomore running back Rawleigh Williams carries against Alcorn State on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, during the third quarter at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

Arkansas gave its running game a big workout in Saturday's 52-10 victory over Alcorn State.

The Razorbacks rushed for a season-high 353 yards against the overmatched Braves, the team's highest total since grinding Texas Tech for 438 yards in 2014.

Offense

RB Devwah Whaley

Whaley, a freshman from Beaumont, Texas, had nine carries for 135 yards and scored his first college touchdown on a 75-yard run up the middle in the first quarter. Whaley averaged 15 yards per carry.

Defense

DB Henre Toliver

Toliver, a junior from Marrero, La., Toliver brought back an interception 75 yards for a third quarter touchdown. His fourth career interception resulted in his first college touchdown. Toliver also tied De’Andre Coley for the team lead with 7 tackles.

Arkansas moved up 39 spots to No. 48 in the FBS with an average of 197 rushing yards per game. The Razorbacks were No. 87 with 158 yards per game last week.

"If you can run the ball it sets up your whole offense," quarterback Austin Allen said. "The play-action pass, passing game, everything. I thought we really ran the ball today. Credit to the offense line and fullbacks, and the running backs to be able to hit the hole hard and get some extra yards."

Freshman Devwah Whaley led the way with 135 yards for his first 100-yard game. Rawleigh Williams added 126 yards, his third 100-yard game this season and the fourth of his career.

The Razorbacks had tandem 100-yard rushers for the first time since Alex Collins ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns and Williams added 100 yards in a 24-20 victory at Tennessee last season.

Poll position

Arkansas moved up four spots to No. 16 in Sunday's Associated Press top 25 poll to set up Saturday's SEC West showdown against defending College Football Playoff national champion and No. 1 Alabama. The Razorbacks are 4-1 for the first time since the 2011 season.

Alabama has the nation's longest winning streak at 17 games. The Crimson Tide have been ranked No. 1 in the AP poll 49 times since the start of 2008, the most of any team in that span. Florida is second with 15 weeks at No. 1.

The Razorbacks jumped five spots to No. 17 in the USA Today coaches poll, just behind North Carolina and just ahead of Florida, whom the Hogs will host on Nov. 5.

Arkansas moved back into the National Football Foundation Super 16 poll at No. 16. That poll is conducted by the Football Writers Association of America.

Tube talk

Arkansas' game with Alabama at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Saturday will kick off at 6 p.m. and will be a national broadcast on ESPN.

CBS Sports had exercised one of its two six-day exceptions last Monday to see the weekend results before picking its prime 2:30 p.m. game on Saturday. Tennessee's final play Hail Mary touchdown at Georgia might have been the deciding factor in CBS choosing No. 9 Tennessee at No. 8 Texas A&M as its featured game on Saturday.

ESPN's College GameDay will also set up shop at Texas A&M, perhaps another result of Tennessee's touchdown after Georgia had taken the lead with 10 seconds left in the game.

New scorers

Four Arkansas players scored their first college touchdowns against Alcorn State, beginning with tailback Devwah Whaley's 75-yard run up the middle in the first quarter. Defensive back Henre Toliver intercepted a deflected pass and brought it back 70 yards for his first touchdown in the third quarter. Freshmen LaMichael Pettway and T.J. Hammonds closed out the scoring for Arkansas in the fourth quarter with a 10-yard catch and a 5-yard run, respectively.

Extra points

Deatrich Wise moved into 16th place on Arkansas' all-time list of sack leaders. Wise has 10 sacks in his last 10 games.

Bret Bielema has a 40-4 record against nonconference opponents during his 11-year head coaching tenure.

• Arkansas' 24-point first quarter was its highest since a 28-point second quarter against Tennessee-Martin last season.

• Arkansas has received the opening kickoff in all five games.

• The Razorbacks' four takeaways against Alcorn State was their most since a six-takeaway game in a 30-0 victory over Ole Miss in 2014.

Sports on 10/03/2016

ADVERTISEMENT

More headlines

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.