College football: Week 9

Razorback fans finally had a reason to celebrate.

Granted, this is a bad Auburn team. But it was a victory that had to occur if Arkansas was to have any hope of getting to six victories and making it to a minor bowl game.

Razorback teams have now played in four games of four overtimes or more. It was shades of the Houston Nutt era. Arkansas won in seven overtimes at Ole Miss in 2001, lost in six overtimes at Tennessee in 2002, won in seven overtimes at Kentucky in 2003 and won in three overtimes at LSU in 2007 in Nutt’s last game as Arkansas’ coach.

The previous overtime win at Fayetteville prior to last Saturday was against Alabama in 2006. Arkansas defeated Mississippi State in two overtimes at Starkville in 2010. In the Bielema era, the Hogs had lost twice to Texas A&M and once to Mississippi State in overtime.

Brandon Allen moved past Barry Lunney Jr. into sixth on the school’s career passing list as the Arkansas offense went 11 of 18 on third and fourth downs. Kody Walker and Drew Morgan scored two touchdowns each in overtime,

Now, it’s on to Tennessee-Martin. The recipe for Saturday afternoon in Fayetteville: Get the starters some good repetitions and don’t get anyone hurt.

We were 7-1 on the picks last week, going 7-0 on Saturday. The record for the season is now 51-13.

Let’s get to the picks for Week 9:

Arkansas 49, Tennessee-Martin 17 — Martin started its season with a 76-3 loss at Ole Miss. It won’t be that bad for the Skyhawks this week. The goal for them is to make sure Jeff Long hands over that big check. Martin is 5-2. Its other loss was 48-41 to Jacksonville State (which took Auburn to overtime). The victories were by scores of 72-10 over Bethel (an NAIA school), 31-17 over Tennessee Tech, 28-14 over Tennessee State, 44-14 over Austin Peay and 52-45 over Murray State. There’s not much more to say about this one as the Razorbacks tune up for the final stretch of four Southeastern Conference games.

Arkansas State 38, Georgia State 19 — The Red Wolves will have had 11 days to prepare for Saturday’s game in Jonesboro. They remained undefeated in conference play on Tuesday night of last week with a 37-27 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette at Jonesboro. ASU improved to 4-3 overall and 3-0 in the Sun Belt Conference, jumping out to a 27-0 lead in the second quarter against Louisiana-Lafayette. Georgia State has won only one game against a Sun Belt Conference opponent since joining the conference in 2013. Of the 16 losses, 10 have come by two touchdowns or more. This year the Panthers are 2-4 overall and 1-1 in Sun Belt play. The wins were by scores of 34-32 over New Mexico State and 31-19 over Ball State. The losses were by scores of 23-20 to Charlotte, 61-28 to Oregon, 41-33 to Liberty and 37-3 to Appalachian State.

UCA 28, Southeastern Louisiana 24 — It’s a Halloween homecoming at Conway as the Bears host Southeastern Louisiana. UCA improved its record to 4-3 overall and 4-1 in the Southland Conference last Saturday with a 35-17 win at Lamar. Blake Veasley rushed 49 times for 292 yards for the Bears, both single-game school records. He scored four touchdowns. The 49 rushes were the most for a player in an FCS game this season and the third most for any NCAA player in 2015. No. 1 on the list is a player from another Conway school — Dayton Winn of Division III Hendrix College with 52 carries. Southeastern has been up and down, bringing records of 4-3 overall and 3-2 in conference to Conway. The victories were by scores of 34-20 over Northwestern State, 28-17 over the Florida Institute of Technology, 30-27 over Lamar and 22-7 over Houston Baptist. The losses were by scores of 35-14 to Ohio, 21-7 to McNeese State and 28-27 to Stephen F. Austin.

Prairie View A&M 29, UAPB 6 — Things just keep getting worse for the Golden Lions, who are 1-6 overall and 0-5 in the SWAC. UAPB was listless last Saturday in a 37-3 loss at Jackson State. The Golden Lions were limited to 175 yards of offense in that one. The leading rusher for UAPB had only 27 yards. There’s not much hope against a Prairie View A&M team that is 4-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play.

Henderson 51, Southern Nazarene 13 — The Reddies remain alone atop the Great American Conference at 7-1 following a 29-28 win over Southern Arkansas last Saturday at Arkadelphia. Reddie quarterback Dallas Hardison from Bentonville ran six yards and dived into the end zone as time expired for the homecoming victory. The Reddies drove 94 yards for that score after stopping the Muleriders on fourth down. SAU decided not to kick the short field goal that would have given the visitors an eight-point lead. Hardison was 21 of 36 passing for 229 yards. This week, the Reddies will be able to toy with an 0-8 Southern Nazarene team as Henderson plays a second consecutive home game.

Ouachita 30, Oklahoma Baptist 23 — Ouachita is 9-0 in GAC play at Cliff Harris Stadium since the facility opened at the start of the 2014 season. The defending conference champions have struggled on the road this year, though. They’re 1-3 on the road and 5-3 overall. The good news for Ouachita is that Saturday’s game is at the place students like to call The Cliff. Ouachita won at home last week over UAM, 20-17, as freshman tailback Kris Oliver from Arkadelphia rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Junior running back Brandon Marks of Prescott is out for the season, but Ouachita counters with two talented freshmen in Oliver and Donelle Hoof out of Texas. It’s OBU vs. OBU this week as Oklahoma Baptist has made the move up to NCAA Division II from the NAIA and joined the GAC. Oklahoma Baptist is 2-6 in its first year in the conference. The two schools last played each other in football in 1940.

Arkansas Tech 31, Northwestern Oklahoma 26 — The Wonder Boys have won six games for the first time since 2009. Tech went to 6-2 last Saturday with a 57-37 victory in Russellville over 3-5 Southeastern Oklahoma. The  Wonder Boys scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions. Northwestern is 3-5 but has the talent to pull the upset at home. Tech will try to remain one game behind Henderson while hoping that one of the two OBUs upsets Henderson in the final two weeks of the season.

Harding 37, Southwestern Oklahoma 27 — Harding is also 6-2 following an impressive 62-20 victory over East Central Oklahoma. The Bisons, with their double-slot offense, scored touchdowns on their first five possessions. Harding had 557 rushing yards, just 10 short of a school record. Harding has lost only to the two Arkadelphia schools, Ouachita and Henderson. Southwestern is 5-3 and capable of beating Harding at home. The Bulldogs upset Ouachita in Weatherford when the Tigers were ranked No. 9 nationally and later beat a good East Central Oklahoma team at home.

Southern Arkansas 22, Southeastern Oklahoma 16 — The 5-3 Muleriders are just one play away from being tied for the conference lead. Of course, they’re also only a couple of plays away from being 3-5 after narrow victories over Ouachita and Southwestern Oklahoma. Southeastern’s season has been one of streaks. It started with close losses to Henderson and Ouachita. That was followed by victories over Oklahoma Baptist, Southern Nazarene and Southwestern Oklahoma. The Savage Storm has lost the past three games to Northwestern Oklahoma, Harding and Arkansas Tech. Expect Saturday’s game in Durant to be close.

East Central Oklahoma 32, UAM 21 — The Boll Weevils travel to Ada, Okla., with a 1-8 record, having only defeated winless Southern Nazarene. East Central is 5-3, having given Henderson its only loss and Arkansas Tech one of its two losses.


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