Archive for October, 2021

College football: Week 7

Monday, October 11th, 2021

KJ Jefferson completed the nine-yard touchdown pass as time expired in Oxford, Razorback head coach Sam Pittman decided to go for two rather than going into overtime with a PAT, and you know the rest of the story.

Ole Miss 52, Arkansas 51.

Had the Razorbacks completed the two-point conversion pass, the final score would have been 53-52, the same score as the 2015 Henry Heave game.

Wild things happen in Oxford, don’t they?

I predicted Arkansas to win by one. So close yet so far.

Arkansas outgained Ole Miss 676-611. The combined 1,287 yards were the 10th most ever in a Southeastern Conference game. Arkansas’ 676 yards were the fourth most yards in school history and the school’s most ever in an SEC game.

Arkansas had 39 first downs, a school record. The previous high was 37 against TCU in 1980.

Arkansas’ 350 rushing yards were the most since 359 against Mississippi State in 2016.

And yet the Hogs lost. Still, Arkansas football is relevant on the national stage again, the Razorbacks remain ranked and a good bowl game remains a possibility. What a difference a year or two can make.

I was 6-3 on the picks last week, making the record 39-11 for the year.

Let’s get to this week’s games:

Arkansas 35, Auburn 34 — Why not just pick Arkansas by a point again in what figures to be a close game? Auburn is 4-2 overall — the same record as the Razorbacks — following a 34-10 loss to Georgia. The Bulldogs’ Stetson Bennett passed for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Auburn’s Bo Nix was 21 of 38 passing for 217 yards. Auburn’s four victories have come by scores of 60-10 over Akron, 62-0 over Alabama State, 34-24 over Georgia State and 24-19 over LSU. The win at Baton Rouge is the only one that can be classified as a “quality victory,” and that might even be called into question given that LSU is 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the SEC following last Saturday’s loss to Kentucky. The other Auburn loss came at Penn State by a final score of 28-20.

Eastern Kentucky 29, UCA 27 — With a record of 2-3, the Bears have had two weeks to prepare for this home game against a team that comes in on a three-game winning streak. Eastern Kentucky won its opener 31-28 over Western Carolina, lost back-to-back games to Louisville and Indiana State and has since posted victories of 35-27 over Austin Peay, 20-3 over Tarleton and 30-15 over Abilene Christian. The Bears beat Abilene Christian 42-21 on Oct. 2. These two teams appear evenly matched.

Southern University 25, UAPB 15 — The struggles continue for the Golden Lions. UAPB fell to 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the SWAC last Saturday with its fourth consecutive loss, 35-15 to Alabama State in a game played at Montgomery. There were two blocked field goal attempts, a lost fumble and an interception in a first half in which UAPB didn’t score. Southern is 2-3 with victories of 41-24 over Miles College and 38-25 over Mississippi Valley State. Its losses have come by scores of 55-3 to Troy, 31-24 to McNeese State and 35-31 to Texas Southern.

Henderson 31, Harding 28 — This is the biggest game to this point in the season in the Great American Conference. The Reddies are 6-0 and ranked ninth nationally in the American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division II poll. Harding is 5-1 and ranked No. 20. Henderson cruised to a 59-24 victory last Saturday in Arkadelphia against an East Central Oklahoma team that had entered the game with a 4-1 record. Reddie quarterback Adam Morse passed for 357 yards and six touchdowns. L’liott Curry (who will play in the NFL; he’s that good) caught eight of those passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns. Henderson outgained East Central 559-399. Harding moved to 5-1 with a 49-10 victory over Southern Nazarene. The Bisons had 310 rushing yards. Harding led 14-0 after one quarter, 28-3 at the half and 42-10 after the third quarter. It should be a fun Saturday afternoon in Arkadelphia.

Ouachita 41, UAM 30 — Ouachita is ranked No. 11 nationally this week in NCAA Division II. The Tigers improved to 5-1 with a 30-10 win at Southwestern Oklahoma. Freshman Kendel Givens from Little Rock Christian had three rushing touchdowns, giving him 15 in just six games. Givens finished the game with 109 yards on 18 carries. T.J. Cole rushed for 193 yards on 28 carries for Ouachita. The Tigers finished with 345 rushing yards. UAM is off to a surprising 4-2 start following a 42-23 victory over Northwestern Oklahoma. Boll Weevil quarterback Demilon Brown completed 13 of 23 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for another 66 yards.

Southern Arkansas 24, Arkansas Tech 22 — A couple of 2-4 teams will square off in the Murphy USA Classic at El Dorado on Saturday afternoon. Southern Arkansas started the season 2-0 but has since lost four consecutive games. The Muleriders fell 38-24 Saturday to 5-1 Southeastern Oklahoma. Southeastern outgained SAU 457-372. Mulerider quarterback Hayden Mallory was 17 of 32 passing for 276 yards and two touchdowns. Arkansas Tech has gone just the opposite direction, losing its first four games and then winning two. The Wonders Boys posted a 38-35 victory last Saturday over 3-3 Oklahoma Baptist. The winning score came with just 42 seconds left on the clock. Oklahoma Baptist had taken a 35-31 lead with 2:22 remaining. Tech quarterback Jack Lindsey was 31 of 43 passing for 382 yards and three touchdowns.

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Rex’s Rankings: After seven weeks

Monday, October 11th, 2021

Cabot was No. 2 overall and Conway was No. 3 coming into last week’s games.

I wasn’t surprised that Conway won. What was surprising was how easily the Wampus Cats did it, winning by a final score of 57-21.

Conway is up to No. 2 in this week’s rankings, and Cabot falls to No. 7.

No. 1 Bryant won 63-0 over Little Rock Central.

Lake Hamilton stays at No. 1 in Class 6A following a 42-32 victory over Russellville.

Pulaski Academy is still No. 1 in Class 5A after a 63-28 victory over White Hall.

Shiloh Christian remains on top in Class 4A after its 42-14 win over Prairie Grove.

Prescott is still No. 1 in Class 3A following its 50-41 victory over Centerpoint.

And Bigelow remains on top of Class 2A after a 49-22 thrashing of Mountainburg.

Here are the updated rankings:

OVERALL

  1. Bryant
  2. Conway
  3. Bentonville
  4. Lake Hamilton
  5. Fort Smith Northside
  6. Pulaski Academy
  7. Cabot
  8. Camden Fairview
  9. Shiloh Christian
  10. North Little Rock

CLASS 7A

  1. Bryant
  2. Conway
  3. Bentonville
  4. Fort Smith Northside
  5. Cabot

CLASS 6A

  1. Lake Hamilton
  2. Benton
  3. Greenwood
  4. Jonesboro
  5. Little Rock Parkview

CLASS 5A

  1. Pulaski Academy
  2. Camden Fairview
  3. Greenbrier
  4. Vilonia
  5. Little Rock Christian

CLASS 4A

  1. Shiloh Christian
  2. Joe T. Robinson
  3. Warren
  4. Ashdown
  5. Stuttgart

CLASS 3A

  1. Prescott
  2. McGehee
  3. Booneville
  4. Osceola
  5. Centerpoint

CLASS 2A

  1. Bigelow
  2. Des Arc
  3. Clarendon
  4. McCrory
  5. Fordyce

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College football: Week 6

Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

It was a September to remember for Razorback fans.

It’s starting out to be an October to forget.

No. 2 Georgia scored three first-quarter touchdowns and took the suspense out of the game early last Saturday en route to a 37-0 victory at Athens.

But I think most Arkansas fans would have taken 4-1 after five games had they been offered that record before the season.

It was a men vs. boys affair between the hedges. Arkansas just doesn’t have the athletes yet to compete with a team like Georgia. The Bulldogs outgained the Razorbacks 345-162 (with 273 of those yards coming on the ground) and had no turnovers.

Saturday’s game marked the first back-to-back shutouts of Southeastern Conference opponents by a Georgia team since the Bulldogs’ national championship squad of 1980.

Arkansas’ 87 passing yards were the fewest for a Razorback team since 2019. The Hogs had 13 penalties for 101 yards, the seventh most in school history.

Arkansas is back on its level this week with a chance to win at Ole Miss.

I was 7-3 on the picks last week, making the season record 33-8.

Here are the predictions for this week’s games:

Arkansas 30, Ole Miss 29 — Yes, I’m going to do it. I’m predicting that the Razorbacks will bounce back and come away with a victory in Oxford. Like Arkansas, Ole Miss was simply outclassed last Saturday. Alabama roared to a 28-0 halftime lead, put in the subs and wound up winning 42-21. Brian Robinson Jr. rushed for 171 yards and scored four touchdowns for the Tide. Bryce Young completed 21 of 27 passes for 241 yards. Nick Saban is now 24-0 against his former assistants. Admit it. Georgia and Alabama are just on a different level from other college football teams across the country.

Coastal Carolina 42, Arkansas State 21 — It doesn’t get any easier this week for the struggling Red Wolves. Nationally ranked Coastal Carolina comes to Jonesboro fresh off a 59-6 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. Grayson McCall was 13 of 13 passing for 212 yards. The Chanticleers are 5-0 for a second consecutive season and have won 16 of their past 17 games. McCall is the FBS leader in completion percentage. ASU, meanwhile, fell to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the Sun Belt Conference with a 59-33 loss to a Georgia Southern team (2-3, 1-1) that had just fired its head coach. Georgia Southern outgained the Red Wolves 503-91 on the ground with two running backs combining for 365 rushing yards. ASU has allowed more than 50 points in three of its five games.

UAPB 19, Alabama State 17 — On national television last Thursday night, UAPB fell to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the SWAC with a 27-17 loss at Prairie View. The Golden Lions have now lost three consecutive games and must go to Montgomery, Ala., on Saturday to take on Alabama State. Alabama State is 2-2 with wins of 14-13 over Miles and 38-24 over Bethune-Cookman to go along with losses of 62-0 to Auburn and 28-0 to Florida A&M. The teams appear to be evenly matched in this one from a talent standpoint.

Henderson 41, East Central Oklahoma 22 — There’s only one undefeated team remaining in the Great American Conference. It’s Henderson at 5-0. The Reddies went to Durant, Okla., last Saturday and knocked Southeastern Oklahoma from the ranks of the undefeated with a 27-24 victory. The winning points came on a Temo Martinez field goal with 9:25 remaining. Adam Morse was 22 of 27 passing for the Reddies for 195 yards and two touchdowns. East Central is a surprising 4-1, but its four victories have all come against teams with losing records.

Ouachita 35, Southwestern Oklahoma 25 — Ouachita had its 30-game GAC winning streak broken at Harding the final weekend in September. The Tigers bounced back Saturday with a 64-17 homecoming victory over Northwestern Oklahoma at Cliff Harris Stadium in Arkadelphia. Three freshman running backs had two touchdowns each on the ground for the Tigers. A freshman quarterback also scored on a running play. And a freshman returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Tiger backs scored on runs of 72, 71, 42, 25, 11, eight and three yards as Ouachita improved to 4-1. This week’s opponent, Southwestern Oklahoma, fell to 0-5 with an 18-16 loss at UAM.

Harding 50, Southern Nazarene 11 — Harding went on the road and made it look easy with a 31-7 win against a talented Oklahoma Baptist squad. The 4-1 Bisons controlled the ball for 40 or more minutes for a third consecutive week with their option offense. Cole Chancey rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns. This week’s opponent is Southern Nazarene, which fell to 0-5 with a 51-41 loss to Arkansas Tech.

Southeastern Oklahoma 31, Southern Arkansas 28 — The Muleriders played poorly in a 38-17 loss to East Central Oklahoma. SAU senior quarterback Hayden Mallory was 21 of 36 passing for 210 yards in the loss. SAU is 2-3 and must play far better this week to have a chance against 4-1 Southeastern Oklahoma.

UAM 33, Northwestern Oklahoma 26 — The Boll Weevils are off to a 3-2 start following their 18-16 victory at home last Saturday against Southwestern Oklahoma. UAM stopped a two-point conversion attempt with 6:49 remaining. UAM sophomore quarterback Demilon Brown passed for 150 yards and ran for 127 yards. The Weevils should move to 4-2 this week as they travel to 0-5 Northwestern Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Baptist 40, Arkansas Tech 27 — The 1-4 Wonder Boys picked up their first victory of the season with that 51-41 win at Southern Nazarene. Tech quarterback Jack Lindsey passed for 247 yards and three touchdowns.

 

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Rex’s Rankings: After six weeks

Monday, October 4th, 2021

It wasn’t all that surprising that Conway defeated North Little Rock last Friday night. After all, North Little Rock was No. 3 and Conway was No. 4 overall coming into the game. They’re both good.

What was surprising was the 28-point margin of victory as Conway won 38-10.

The Wampus Cats move to No. 3 and North Little Rock drops to No. 10.

The biggest upset of the evening occurred when the No. 1 team in Class 5A, Little Rock Christian, fell to White Hall by a final score of 14-10.

Here are the updated rankings:

OVERALL

  1. Bryant
  2. Cabot
  3. Conway
  4. Lake Hamilton
  5. Bentonville
  6. Fort Smith Northside
  7. Pulaski Academy
  8. Camden Fairview
  9. Shiloh Christian
  10. North Little Rock

CLASS 7A

  1. Bryant
  2. Cabot
  3. Conway
  4. Bentonville
  5. Fort Smith Northside

CLASS 6A

  1. Lake Hamilton
  2. Benton
  3. Greenwood
  4. Little Rock Parkview
  5. Jonesboro

CLASS 5A

  1. Pulaski Academy
  2. Camden Fairview
  3. Greenbrier
  4. Vilonia
  5. White Hall

CLASS 4A

  1. Shiloh Christian
  2. Joe T. Robinson
  3. Warren
  4. Ashdown
  5. Stuttgart

CLASS 3A

  1. Prescott
  2. McGehee
  3. Booneville
  4. Osceola
  5. Centerpoint

CLASS 2A

  1. Bigelow
  2. Des Arc
  3. Clarendon
  4. McCrory
  5. Fordyce

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