Jim Harris’ First Take: Texas Tech Hands Hogs Stunning Loss


By Jim Harris

Arkansas’ defense could only stop Texas Tech with two deep-pass interceptions, both in the first half, and its offense could only score three points in the second half in another stunning loss for the Razorbacks, their second in a row, 35-24 to the Red Raiders in Fayetteville.

Patrick Mahomes played pitch-and-catch most of the night against the baffled Arkansas defense, completing 26 of 30 passes for 243 yards, threw for a score and ran for two more. Tech also shocked the Razorback defense in the second quarter with a halfback pass by Jakeem Grant that went for a 72-yard touchdown to Reginald Davis, who was running 10 yards free of Hog safety Josh Liddell. That helped Tech cover 85 yards in two plays after an Arkansas punt.

Meanwhile, Tech never punted. Mahomes was picked early in the second quarter, threw deep in the final minute of the half into the hands of Jared Collins, and the Red Raiders missed a chip-shot field goal inside of two minutes left in the game. Tech’s punter never took a snap.

Other than that, it was an embarrassing performance by Robb Smith’s defense, which seemed to have no clue how to stop the short bubble screen tosses with Tech blocking the play well, or the passes over the middle that were the responsibility of Arkansas’s out-of-position linebackers.

Texas Tech obviously targeted Arkansas’s weakest part of its defense, the linebackers, throughout the game.


Alex Collins had his best day so far this season, rushing 28 times for 170 yards and one touchdown. Freshman Rawleigh Williams III had his moments as well, picking up 31 yards on eight attempts. But Arkansas’s 228 yards was 204 yards less than the Hogs rambled for in Lubbock last year in a 49-28 victory over the Red Raiders.

Collins also fumbled late in the game, as Arkansas found itself down 11 with only 80 seconds or so left.

Brandon Allen threw an interception on his team’s second possession for Arkansas’s other turnover. Arkansas’s inability to convert important field goals under Coach Bret Bielema continued Saturday night when Cole Hedlund missed wide right from 38 yards, a kick that would have brought Arkansas within eight, 35-27 in the fourth quarter.


Arkansas only had the ball for four possessions in the second half and scored just three points, while Texas Tech added two scores to win the game. The teams were tied at 21 at halftime.

Like a 21-play drive last weekend in a loss to Toledo, Arkansas marched 75 yards in 18 plays before having to settle for a 22-yard Cole Hedlund field goal. On third-and-3 from the Tech 3, Rawleigh Williams was dropped for a yard loss when Tech’s left side of its defense beat the Hogs to the point of attack, tight end Hunter Henry missing his block on the UA right side.

Tech, which had scored on its first drive of the half, scored again on the next possession to build the eventual winning margin, 11 points. Arkansas then drove 55 yards in nine plays before Hedlund failed on a field goal from 37 yards. The Hogs didn’t get the ball back again until less than two minutes remained, down 11.


Arkansas lost receiver Jared Cornelius early in the game after a stretching catch by the sophomore on a short throw in the flat by Brandon Allen. As Cornelius was hit going out of bounds, he severely injured his left arm. It appeared to be broken, but no announcement was forthcoming from the UA other than Cornelius was out for the rest of the game.

The redshirt then came off true sophomore Kendrick Edwards, who quickly made his presence felt. The 6-6 wideout had two catches for 32 yards.

Arkansas lost senior receiver Keon Hatcher to a broken bone in his foot during the Toledo game, and receiver Cody Hollister injured his foot as well in Tuesday’s practice.

Arkansas also was without running back Kody Walker, who was in street clothes and with a cast on his hand after injuring his thumb in the Toledo game.

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