Instant replay:

Starting RB handed off to Williams

By: Bob Holt
Published: Sunday, September 24, 2017
Arkansas running back David Williams carries the ball during a game against Texas A&M on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Arlington, Texas.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas running back David Williams carries the ball during a game against Texas A&M on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Arlington, Texas.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Senior tailback David Williams, a graduate transfer from South Carolina, made his first start for the Razorbacks.

Williams started in place of sophomore Devwah Whaley, who was involved in what Coach Bret Bielema called "a little disagreement in the locker room" with receiver Brandon Martin last week.

Bielema said the incident had nothing to do with Whaley not starting, that he was limited in practice during the week and didn't practice the previous week because of an ankle injury.

"He didn't get a lot of practice time," Bielema said. "And no matter how good of a player, how long you own it, if you can't practice, just don't know how much you can get out there and play.

"We gave David the opportunity just because he had been there the whole time and felt better with the ball security and everything."

Williams rushed 11 times for 68 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also caught 2 passes for 28 yards and a touchdown. He said he found out he was starting late in the week.

"I was pretty much taking all the reps," he said. "So I had an idea I'd start."

Arkansas junior fullback Kendrick Jackson made his first start of the season and fourth of his career.

Blown call

Arkansas caught a big break with 10:02 to play in the second quarter when a missed call by side judge Chris Conley cost the Aggies a touchdown.

Conley blew a run by Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond dead at the Razorbacks 10.

Conley believed Mond had stepped out of bounds with his left foot, but replays showed he stayed in bounds before reaching the end zone.

The SEC office issued a statement after halftime confirming the blown call.

"The ball carrier was incorrectly ruled out of bounds and the play was whistled dead by the official," the statement said. "Based on NCAA football playing rule 12-3-3-g, 'If the ball carrier is rule out bounds, the play is not reviewable.' "

After the call, the Razorbacks held the Aggies to a field goal by Daniel LaCamera, which cut Arkansas' lead to 21-10.

Offensive line shuffle

Arkansas started the same offensive line of center Frank Ragnow, tackles Johnny Gibson and Colton Jackson, and guards Hjalte Froholdt and Ty Clary, but there was some shuffling.

Paul Ramirez went into the game at left tackle for Jackson, then later moved to right tackle with Gibson taking over for Clary at right guard.

During the fourth quarter and overtime period, the line had Jackson at left tackle, Froholdt at left guard, Ragnow at center, Gibson at right guard and Ramirez at right tackle.

It was the first extended playing time for Ramirez, a junior-college transfer who redshirted last season.

Ending drought

Arkansas finally scored in the second half against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent.

It only took 108 minutes and 36 seconds to do so.

David Williams' 1-yard touchdown run with 1:53 left in the third quarter against Texas A&M was Arkansas' first points in the second half since Devwah Whaley's 5-yard touchdown run with 5:29 left in the fourth quarter of the Razorbacks' 58-42 victory at Mississippi State on Nov. 19 of last year.

Arkansas was held scoreless in the second half after that game by Missouri, Virginia Tech and TCU.

The crowd

The announced attendance for Saturday's game was 64,668, which is the lowest of the teams' seven games at AT&T Stadium.

The largest crowd at the venue for an Arkansas-Texas A&M matchup was 71,872 for their first game in 2009.

Other crowds were 65,622 in 2010, 69,836 in 2011, 68,113 in 2014, 67,339 in 2015 and 67,751 last season.

Limpert kicks

Sophomore walk-on Connor Limpert replaced Cole Hedlund as Arkansas' place-kicker. Limpert hit all five of his extra-point attempts, but he didn't attempt a field goal.

Limpert also is handling kickoffs for the second season.

Flag bearers

Sophomore running back Devwah Whaley carried the United States flag and senior nose guard Bijhon Jackson carried the Arkansas flag when the Razorbacks ran onto the field before the game.

Jersey for Jerry

Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long presented Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones with a framed No. 61 jersey of the Razorbacks' Cowboys-inspired jersey.

Jones wore No. 61 as a guard at Arkansas, where he was a senior starter on the Razorbacks' 1964 team that finished 11-0 and won a share of the national championship.


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Sports on 09/24/2017


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