Kody Walker

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Arkansas confirms RB Kody Walker broke foot in practice

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Unless it’s of the bad variety, Kody Walker simply has no luck at all when it comes to injuries.

Case in point?  Wednesday, Arkansas confirmed in a press release that the running back sustained a broken right foot during a Tuesday practice session.  Walker underwent surgery on the foot earlier in the day today to repair the damage, and the doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

Arguably the best news is that Walker should be 100-percent healthy for the start of summer camp in a few months.

“It’s a pretty standard foot injury that we’ve dealt with in the past and we expect him to be full-go by June,” head coach Bret Bielema said in a statement, adding, “If anyone knows how to battle adversity it’s Kody Walker.”

That might be a bit of an understatement by Bielema.

In 2011, Walker played in the first three games before the combination of an ankle issue and a stress fracture in his shin knocked him out for the balance of that season. He played in the first two games of the following season before a broken leg sidelined him for the remainder of the year.  In July of last year, he was granted a sixth season of eligibility because of those issues, and it was confirmed in January that he would utilize that additional season in 2016.

In 2015, Walker ran for 394 yards, second on the team behind Alex Collins’ 1,577.  His six touchdowns were second to Collins’ 20.

Provided he gets and stays healthy, Walker is viewed as the likely replacement for Collins as the bellcow of the Razorbacks’ running game.

Arkansas chugs past K-State in Liberty Bowl blowout

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With a pair of first-half rushing touchdowns, Alex Collins had already done his part to stake Arkansas to a 31-23 lead over Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl.

But then he did this, and that was basically that.

The junior’s 14-yard touchdown charge staked the Razorbacks to a 38-23 lead with 12 minutes remaining, effectively putting Kansas State away for good en route to a 45-23 victory.

Collins closed the day, and possibly his collegiate career, with 23 carries for 185 yards and three touchdowns. His three scores gave him 20 on the season, an Arkansas single-season record, and his 3,703 career rushing yards are the second-most in Hogs history. Brandon Allen added 315 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception, Kody Walker rushed 11 times for 56 yards and a score, and Jared Cornelius produced 62 yards and a score on four total touchdowns. The only negative of the afternoon came when Dominique Reed left the game on a stretcher after corralling a 15-yard reception, but ESPN reported Reed could speak and had feeling in his fingers while leaving the Liberty Bowl floor on a stretcher.

The Wildcats started strong, intercepting Allen on the first possession of the game and turning the pick into a 27-yard touchdown drive and an early 7-0 lead, but K-State quickly fell in a whole when the Razorbacks’ next three possessions turned into scoring marches of 72, 24 and 64 yards.

After trailing 24-13 at the half, Kansas State produced a nifty touchdown when Kody Cook found fullback Winston Dimel wide open for a 48-yard touchdown scamper, pulling the deficit to 24-20, but Arkansas again answered with two straight touchdown drives — this time traveling 82 and 78 yards — the last of which was capped by Collins’ bowling ball impression.

Arkansas put the exclamation point on the win when nine consecutive running plays turned into an 80-yard touchdown drive.

The Razorbacks out-gained Kansas State 569-242 and held a 30-13 edge in first downs. Cook hit 12-of-24 passes for 163 yards with a score and a pick, and Charles Jones led the Kansas State rushing attack with six carries for 40 yards — 35 of which came on one run.

The win allows Arkansas to close on a high note for the second consecutive season. After a 2-4 start, the Hogs won six of their final seven games, the one loss being a 51-50 setback to Mississippi State, for an 8-5 record. The loss dropped Kansas State to 6-7 for the season.