On Saturday, the Razorbacks put a whooping on Mississippi State in Little Rock in front of a packed house at War Memorial Stadium. Once again, Ryan Mallett put up some great numbers by throwing five touchdown passes for the second time this season. Mallett threw for 313 yards on 34 attempts. In the process he became the first Razorback QB to throw for over 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns in a single season, and he has two more games left. The final score was 42-21.
Besides Mallett, Cobi Hamilton was the other brightest star on offense this week. Hamilton, who was Mallett's high school teammate at Texarkana High, had 3 catches for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. His touchdown catches cam on plays of 58 and 64 yards. One was a fly pattern pass that was right on the money and the other was a screen/slant that he took the distance after finding a seam in the defense.
Unfortunately, the Razorbacks struggled to move the ball on the ground as Mississippi State was prepared and determined to stop the run first. It also hurt having starting tailback out for the remainder of the season (hamstring). The Razorbacks only gained 83 yards on 27 carries with Dennis Johnson leading the way with 50 yards.
On defense, the star was defensive end Jake Bequette. Bequette a Little Rock native from Catholic High showed his comfort for playing in War Memorial. He accounted for 5 takles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery. Linebackers Jerry Franklin and Wendel Davis both led the team with double digit tackles.
Next week the hogs will close out their regular season against LSU in Death Valley in Baton Rouge. The game will be played at 6pm central, Saturday, on CBS. A win will likely send Arkansas back to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl, which is to be played at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. A loss will likely send Arkansas to Memphis for the Liberty Bowl. With LSU losing to Ole Miss over the weekend in a very odd finish, look for Arkansas to be the aggressor in this game. Petrino and the Razorback players want to play in the BIG house, which should provide a significant boost to recruiting efforts in Texas. It should be a great game to watch.