Razorback Rewind

Injured Hogs expected to be OK

Arkansas running back Rakeem Boyd carries the ball during a game against Mississippi State on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman said he believes none of the injuries suffered by three starters – running back Rakeem Boyd, wide receiver Treylon Burks and cornerback Montaric Brown – in the Razorbacks’ 21-14 victory at Mississippi State will end their seasons.

“I don’t have any idea when the guys are going to be able to come back,” Pittman said on his postgame media video call. “To be honest with you, I don’t think any of them were bad.

“I think they were injuries where they couldn’t play, but I’m [not] talking about season-ending.”

Burks posted on his Instagram account that his injury was on the outside of his knee and he was getting an MRI on Sunday.

Boyd limped off the field after running the ball in the second quarter and didn’t return. Burks was hurt in the second quarter and Brown early in the third quarter. Pittman said Brown “got dinged up a little bit.”

Arkansas also was missing starting defensive end Dorian Gerald because of an ankle injury he sustained in the opener against Georgia.

“I think we’re going to be OK,” Pittman said of the injuries. “It might be a week, it might be two, but I don’t think any of them are season-ending, at least from what I was told.”

Warren’s big game

De’Vion Warren is known primarily for his kickoff returning skills – including a 100-yard touchdown against Auburn in 2017 – but against Mississippi State the senior had the best game of his career as a receiver.

Warren had career-highs of four receptions for 100 yards. He had a career-long 53-yard reception and caught a 19-yard touchdown pass. It was his first touchdown reception since a 17-yarder against Alabama in 2018.

“He’s had good practices, so it’s not shocking or surprising to see him do well,” Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman said. “It’s just fun to watch him. because he’s a hard-practicer and a really great kid.”

Warren also had an 11-yard catch on third and 8 on Arkansas’ final possession to help the Razorbacks continue to eat up the clock.

“De’Vion does a great job of communicating with me, just like the other receivers,” Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks said. “I was able to get him the ball and he did a great job after the catch, getting the ball down the field. … That was wonderful. I’m happy for him.”

Tackling twosome

Arkansas linebackers Bumper Pool and Grant Morgan combined for 35 tackles.

“Bumper, he’s tough, physical, around the ball,” Coach Sam Pittman said. “Grant was too. I mean, 35 tackles between the two of them, that’s a pretty good night.”

Pool, a junior who has started 18 games, had a career-high 20 tackles, which is tied for the 10th most in a single game in school history. The last Razorback to have 20 tackles was linebacker Jerry Franklin against Mississippi State on Nov 10, 2010.

Morgan’s 15 tackles also were a career high for the senior and former walk-on.

“Grant’s a warrior, he’s very tough,” Pool said. “[Saturday night] he showed it. He had a tough little injury, but he said ‘Screw it, I’m going to get tougher, I’m going to go out there and make plays.’

“Playing with Grant, it’s just so great. We can feed off of each other and we can talk without having to say words. We fly around, find the ball and know where each other’s going to be.”

Pool also briefly left the game.

“Got a little stinger, but I felt fine after that,” he said. “I took a few plays off, got back in there, knew we needed it, and nothing was going to stop me from getting on the field and trying to get this win.”

3 Mississippi

Arkansas’ last three SEC victories have come in the state of Mississippi.

Prior to Saturday night, the Razorbacks last had won an SEC game, 38-37, at Ole Miss on Oct. 28, 2017. Their last SEC victory before beating Ole Miss was 58-42 at Mississippi State on Nov. 19, 2016.

One for the road

Sam Pittman became the first Arkansas coach since Houston Nutt in 1998 to win his first SEC road game. Nutt led the Razorbacks to victories at South Carolina and Auburn in his first two SEC road games.

Not close to 50

Arkansas held Mississippi to 14 points after the Bulldogs pounded the Razorbacks 51-6 and 54-24 the previous two seasons.

“We’re a completely different team,” said linebacker Bumper Pool, who was among the Razorbacks to endure both blowout losses to Mississippi State. “We’ve got the same guys, but the mentality, the type of work we put in throughout the week, we’re grinding throughout the week to get this win. The fact that all paid off, I’m so excited.”

Ice bath

Sam Pittman had a bucket of ice dumped on him by players after the victory.

“It was cold,” Pittman said. “But by golly, I’d like them to douse me every week if that’s the reason they’re doing it.”

Clark plays

Hudson Clark, a redshirt freshman walk-on, was among the cornerbacks the Razorbacks used against the Bulldogs. He had two tackles.

“I loved him,” Sam Pittman said. “He played a really good game.”

Pittman said that in a coaches’ meeting Saturday morning, defensive coordinator Barry Odom and cornerbacks coach Sam Carter said they were going to play Clark regardless of the team’s injury situation.

“He had earned playing time and he was looking really good, and I agreed with them,” Pittman said. “It was nice to see him do some special things and be a huge part of a big win.”

Ranked no more

Arkansas’ victory over No. 16 Mississippi State ended the Razorbacks’ 16-game losing streak against nationally ranked teams.

The Razorbacks’ last victory over a ranked team had been 31-10 over No. 11 Florida on Nov. 5, 2016 in Fayetteville. Arkansas last had beaten a ranked team on the road with a 41-38 victory in double overtime at No. 15 TCU on Sept. 10, 2016.

The last SEC road victory over a ranked team for the Razorbacks was 31-14 at No. 9 LSU on Nov. 14, 2015.

Smith’s solid effort

Backup running back Trelon Smith came through for the Razorbacks with starter Rakeem Boyd sidelined for the rest of the game after being injured in the second quarter.

Smith, who redshirted last season after transferring from Arizona State, had 14 carries for 48 yards and 5 receptions for 22 yards.

Different team, same result

Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks, a senior graduate transfer from Florida, is 2-0 as a starter at Mississippi State. Franks started for the Gators when they won 13-6 at Mississippi State in 2018.

Odom and Leach

Dave Matter, a long-time Missouri beat writer who works for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, tweeted Saturday night that Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom’s success against Mississippi State Coach Leach shouldn’t have been a surprise considering Odom was on Missouri’s coaching staffs when the Tigers went 3-0 against Leach’s Texas Tech teams in Big 12 matchups.

Odom was a graduate assistant in 2003 when Missouri beat Texas Tech 62-31 and was director of football operations when the Tigers beat the Red Raiders 38-21 in 2006 and 41-10 in 2007.

Receiving votes

Arkansas was among the teams “receiving votes” in The Associated Press poll released on Sunday. The Razorbacks were No. 43 among 49 teams that received votes.

It’s the first time Arkansas received any votes in the AP poll since beating Florida on Nov. 5, 2016.

Series history

Arkansas improved to 17-13-1 against Mississippi State, including 8-7 in Starkville. Since the Razorbacks joined the SEC, they’re 17-11-1 against the Bulldogs.