Keon Hatcher

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Arkansas going hog wild on Hokies in Belk Bowl with 24-0 halftime lead

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Few teams in college football have been quite as puzzling to figure out on a week-by-week basis as Arkansas. after one half in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina, it appears the good Razorbacks have shown up against Virginia Tech. Arkansas leads the Hokies 24-0 at halftime of the Belk Bowl.

Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen has thrown for 170 yards and two touchdowns, including one that was the result of an overturned call following an instant replay review in the second quarter to put the Hogs up 24-0 (Keon Hatcher caught the ball near the goal line and was credited with a score following a review).

Virginia Tech has been unable to get anything going on the ground against an Arkansas team that has struggled to stop the run all season long, and it was on the wrong foot right from the first snap of the game. Sam Rogers fumbled away the football to Arkansas on Virginia Tech’s first play of the game, setting the Razorbacks up at the Hokies’ 26-yard line. Arkansas was held to a field goal as the Virginia Tech defense came to the rescue. The Hokies turned the ball over on downs on their next possession when Jerod Evans was sacked by JaMichael Winston and Jeremiah Ledbetter. Evans was intercepted two possessions later, leading to an Arkansas touchdown town plays later.

There was a bit of an officiating meltdown toward the end of the first half on a muffed punt by Virginia Tech. Arkansas, despite never having control of the football during this sequence, was awarded the football following a penalty by Virginia Tech and multiple meetings between the Big 12 officiating crew and separate tongue-lashings by both head coaches Bret Bielema and Justin Fuente.

The Razorbacks are without tight end Jeremy Sprinkle. Sprinkle was suspended after reportedly shoplifting from a Belk department store, despite the Belk Bowl giving players a Belk gift card to spend.

Alabama turns two Arkansas turnovers into 14 points for 34-10 halftime lead

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Turnovers have been the story of the first half as No. 1 Alabama holds the halftime edge on No. 16 Arkansas, 35-17. While Arkansas was unable to capitalize on an Alabama turnover early in the game, the Crimson Tide have turned two first-half turnovers into 14 points.

Arkansas was unable to take advantage of an early Alabama mistake. Joshua Jacobs lost a fumble at the goal line on the game’s opening possession, but Arkansas could only manage to reach the 23-yard line before having to punt the football back to the Crimson Tide. Alabama made sure not to make that mistake again with a short three-play, 73-yard touchdown drive. Jalen Hurts finished the drive with a five-yard run immediately after a 57-yard run by Damien Harris.

Arkansas fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, and Alabama took advantage of the Razorback turnover with a second Hurts touchdown run a few plays later. Arkansas answered with a touchdown drive of their own on the next possession, with Jeremy Sprinkle catching a 24-yard pass for a score from Austin Allen. Arkansas’ next offensive possession would also end with a touchdown, but this one was for Alabama instead. Tim Williams returned a Razorback fumble 23 yards for a score.

Alabama padded their lead with a 56-yard touchdown pass from Hurts to Harris, putting the Tide up 28-7. After Arkansas had a touchdown called off due to a penalty, the Razorbacks had to settle for a field goal, which was no good because Alabama came right back with another touchdown after Bret Bielema exploded on the sideline and drew an unsportsmanlike penalty to push a kickoff back 15 yards. Bo Scarbrough took off for a 21-yard score for the 35-10 lead.

Arkansas did manage to score one more touchdown before the end of the first half with Allen tossing to Keon Hatcher in the end zone.

Trevor Knight runs for 2 TDs but Texas A&M and Arkansas tied 17-17 at Jerry World

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Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight may not be having a very effective evening through the air in AT&T Stadium against Arkansas, but two long touchdown runs by the Aggies quarterback have been enough to give Texas A&M some life at the halftime break. Texas A&M and Arkansas are tied 17-17 at the break, thanks to Knight’s 101 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns to counter a balanced Razorback offense.

Keon Hatcher put Arkansas on the giant scoreboard first in the first quarter with a 15-yard touchdown reception from Austin Allen. Texas A&M missed a field goal on the ensuing possession but would later capitalize on an Arkansas fumble. On 3rd and 1 from the Arkansas 42-yard line, Trevor Knight took off for a 42-yard touchdown run to put the Aggies on the board. Arkansas would respond with a field goal, but not before being stopped by Texas A&M’s stingy defensive front inside the 10-yard line in a key sequence.

The Razorbacks ran seven plays from inside the 10-yard line, including six plays inside the two-yard line. During that sequence, Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen appeared to injure his shoulder, causing backup Ty Storey to start warming up on the sideline. The good news for Arkansas was Allen would return on the next offensive possession. That drive may have ended quickly with a fumble, but the Arkansas defense held the Aggies to a game-tying field goal, 10-10.

Arkansas went back to work the next time they took the field by putting Allen in command through the air once more. Allen helped guide the offense down the field and back into the red zone with a 38-yard completion to Jared Cornelius, and Rawleigh Williams III made up for an earlier fumble with an eight-yard touchdown run for the 17-10 lead.

With the time winding down in the second quarter, Knight once again came to the rescue with a run right up the middle with very little standing in his way of the end zone. The 48-yard run in the final minute of the half may be just the momentum builder Texas A&M needed, but there will still be some work to do in the second half.

Arkansas unravels, rallies to top No. 15 TCU in double OT

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In a game the Hogs at separate times had in hand and let slip away, Arkansas mounted a late rally to tie and then overcome No. 15 TCU as quarterback Austin Allen surged into the end zone for a 41-38 double overtime victory in Fort Worth.

Arkansas was seemingly set Fort Worth and beat No. 15 TCU. Thanks to a red zone fumble and a pick-six the Hogs opened up a 13-0 halftime lead, and the lead was set to move to 23-7 with 11:30 to play in the game. All Arkansas kicker Cole Hedlund needed to do was make a 22-yard field goal.

He missed. That was all TCU needed to awaken from its offensive slumber.

The Frogs moved 80 yards in seven plays to pull within 20-14 with 9:44 remaining and, after forcing a three-and-out, raced from their own 16 to the end zone again, mostly on the legs of lightning bug KaVontae Turpin. He returned the ensuing punt 34 yards to midfield, then immediately snagged a 43-yard catch-and-run, setting up a seven-yard Kyle Hicks go-ahead touchdown run.

Arkansas went three-and-out again on its next possession, and again TCU capitalized. Kenny Hill and Derrick Green took turns dicing the Hogs through the ground and air, with Hill finishing off the 8-play, 50-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring dash. Rather than gamble on a chance to go up nine and put the game away, Gary Patterson kicked an extra point to go up 28-20 with 2:05 remaining.

The ramifications of that decision immediately came into effect as Arkansas glided 58 yards in four snaps to pull within 28-26, and a reverse pass from Keon Hatcher to Allen tied the game at 28-28 with 1:03 remaining.

Arkansas, for some reason, kicked to Turpin on the ensuing kickoff, which he returned 64 yards to the Arkansas 27. Hill found Emmanuel Porter for another go-ahead score on the very next play, but the scor was called back for illegal touching. The Frogs instead settled for a 28-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining, which 6-foot-10 offensive lineman Dan Skipper blocked to send the game to overtime.

The Hogs took the ball at the top of the first overtime, and Austin Allen cashed in with a third down touchdown pass to tight end Jeremy Sprinkle. Hill answered with a third down strike of his own, this one to Taj Williams in the corner of the end zone from 13 yards out.

TCU had to settle for a field goal at the top of the second overtime and, faced with a 3rd-and-goal from the 5-yard line, Allen rushed toward the goal line, was stopped short, then surged again into the end zone for a Razorbacks victory. He closed the day hitting 17-of-29 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, plus the game-winning rushing score. Rawleigh Williams III led all rushers with 28 carries for 137 yards.

Hill hit 36-of-56 passes for 377 yards with a touchdown and a pick-six while also leading the Frogs’ (1-1) ground efforts with 15 carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Turpin notched seven catches for 126 yards, plus another 169 yards in the return game.

Arkansas (2-0) secured a massive win for a program that struggled to secure close games under head coach Bret Bielema. Of the Hogs’ 11 losses over the past two seasons, seven had come in one score games.

TCU (1-1) heads into a rivalry game with SMU facing major questions about its defense as Big 12 play looms around the corner.

Arkansas loses leading WR Keon Hatcher for at least six weeks

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As if losing at home to an unranked Toledo team without its best player was not bad enough for Bret Bielema and the Arkansas Razorbacks, wide receiver Keon Hatcher suffered a foot injury that will keep him out of action for at least the next six weeks.

Bielema announced the injury update Monday, saying Hatcher went in for surgery in the afternoon and is expected to be out for a minimum of six weeks. If that is a best-case scenario, that would leave Arkansas without its top wide receiver for upcoming games against Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Alabama and Auburn. That is a tough stretch to go without the top receiver on the field, especially after going down at home to Toledo. And that is just the best-case scenario. Ole Miss and LSU still linger toward the end of the season, as do Mississippi State and Missouri.

Hatcher leads the Razorbacks with 198 receiving yards and two touchdowns through two weeks. he also led the team with 558 receiving yards and six touchdown receptions last fall. His loss is, of course, significant.

Before the season started the Razorbacks also lost last season’s leading rusher, Jonathan Williams, for the entire season.