If you want to beat Arkansas, maybe you should try doing it in regulation.
Yes, Arkansas (2-0) surrendered 21 points in the fourth quarter, but the Hogs still had to block a 28-yard field goal late to send the game to extra frames before eventually beating TCU 41-38 in double overtime.
With Saturday’s victory over TCU, which was arguably the most entertaining SEC game of the early season, the Hogs improved to a whopping 12-6 in overtime games.
“The scars of the past are great reminders of what you want to accomplish in the future,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema told reporters. “Our guys have been scarred. We’ve lost some close games, stubbed their toe a little bit early on. But this group’s always said, ‘You know, why not us?’”
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The win was Arkansas’ fifth win — as an unranked team — over a ranked team since the 2014 season.
Arkansas also helped the SEC bounce back after an uninspiring opening weekend. Including the Hogs’ win over the Horned Frogs, the SEC went 10-0 against non-conference opponents (Mississippi State beat South Carolina 27-14; and Florida demolished Kentucky 45-7). Pretty impressive until you consider the opponents were Nicholls State, Prairie View A&M, Western Kentucky, Wofford, Middle Tennessee, TCU, Arkansas State, Jacksonville State, Eastern Michigan and Virginia Tech. Not exactly the greatest weekend ever.
Winner of the Week
Tennessee 45, Virginia Tech 24: Outside of Arkansas’ win, Tennessee-Virginia Tech was the only other matchup that was remotely interesting. The Vols, looking to bounce back after a narrow victory over Appalachian State in their opener, started sluggish and fell behind 14-0. Tennessee (2-0) routed the Hokies the rest of the way, however, in front of a record crowd of 156,990 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
UT QB Josh Dobbs completed 10 of 19 passes for 91 yards, but three of his completions went for touchdowns. He also rushed for 106 yards and another two scores.
Loser of the Week
QB Brandon Harris, LSU: It’s usually not a good sign when you struggle against Jacksonville State. Ask Ole Miss and Auburn. LSU starter Brandon Harris wasn’t getting the job done early against JSU, completing 1 of 4 passes for 8 yards. Replacement Danny Etling didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but he led LSU (1-1) on three straight scoring drives after relieving Harris. Etling completed 6 of 14 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for another touchdown. Coach Les Miles was noncommittal on who will start for the Tigers this week against Mississippi State.
It’s worth noting that all-world running back Leonard Fournette took the night off to rest his left ankle.
QB Austin Allen (Arkansas): The Hogs may have a keeper in Double-A. Allen came up big when his team needed him most Saturday, throwing a 16-yard touchdown and later completing the two-point conversion to tie the game 28-28 with 63 seconds remaining in overtime. He then connected with Jeremy Sprinkle for a 19-yard touchdown to open overtime and gave the Razorbacks the win in the second OT on a 5-yard run. Brandon Allen’s little brother completed 17 of 29 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns.
373: Maybe Nick Fitzgerald just needed to know it was his job. The Mississippi State quarterback led the Bulldogs (1-1) to a 27-14 win over South Carolina on Saturday, completing 19 of 29 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 17 times for a school record 195 yards. Not bad. Not bad at all, young pup. Fitzgerald will really be tested this Saturday when the Bulldogs visit LSU.
Associated Press: No. 1 Alabama, No. 15 Tennessee, No. 16 Georgia, No. 17 Texas A&M, No. 19 Ole Miss, No. 20 LSU, No. 23 Florida, No. 24 Arkansas. Receiving votes: Auburn.
Amway Coaches poll: No. 1 Alabama, No. 13 Georgia, No. 15 Tennessee, No. 17 Ole Miss, No. 20 Texas A&M, No. 22 LSU, No. 23 Florida, No. 24 Arkansas. Receiving votes: Auburn.
1. Alabama (2-0)
2. Tennessee (2-0)
3. Texas A&M (2-0)
14. Vanderbilt (1-1)
13. South Carolina (1-1)
12. Kentucky (0-2)
Game to watch
Alabama at Ole Miss: Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. CBS game will be Ole Miss’ second Top 5 opponent in three weeks. The Rebels (1-1) will welcome Alabama (2-0) to the newly renovated Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Rebels have a two-game winning streak on the line against Alabama but have already suffered some big losses early in the season with cornerback Ken Webster, running back Eric Swinney and receiver D.K. Metcalf all out for the season. That being said, the Rebels beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., last year without left tackle Laremy Tunsil so anything is possible. Alabama opened as an 8 ½ point favorite in Oxford.