Archive for November, 2022

College football: Week 13

Monday, November 21st, 2022

It was 34 degrees when the game started. It was 27 degrees when it ended.

Razorback fans, however, managed to relish every moment of their team’s win in Fayetteville on Saturday night over Ole Miss.

The final score was 42-27, though it really wasn’t that close. Arkansas led 42-6 at one point. KJ Jefferson was back, throwing touchdown passes on three consecutive possessions in the first half. Meanwhile, Raheim Sanders had 232 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

At 6-5 overall and 3-4 in Southeastern Conference play, Arkansas is bowl eligible. A win over Missouri on Friday afternoon might just put the Hogs in the Liberty Bowl, which is like another home game for Arkansas.

Ole Miss fell to 8-3 overall and 4-3 in the SEC with the Egg Bowl on tap for Thanksgiving night.

It was the fifth consecutive time for an Arkansas team to beat an Ole Miss team in Fayetteville. Ole Miss’ 703 yards of offense — much of which came after the outcome was no longer in doubt — was the most ever allowed in an Arkansas win.

Jefferson is now 15-7 as a starter the past two seasons. He finished the game 17 of 22 passing for 168 yards. The 35 points Arkansas scored in the first half were the most for a Razorback team in the first half of an SEC game since 2016.

We were 2-2 on the picks last week, making the record 73-22 for the season. Here are the picks for this week’s games involving Arkansas teams:

Arkansas 37, Missouri 28 — Missouri — which has had good luck against the Hogs in Columbia through the years — comes into the contest with a 5-6 record. The Tigers are 2-5 in conference play. The five wins were over Louisiana Tech, Abilene Christian, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and New Mexico State. The six losses were to Kansas State, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Alabama State 42, UAPB 19 — A long season for the Golden Lions, who have failed to win a SWAC game this year, comes to an end Thursday in the Turkey Day Classic at Montgomery, Ala. Alabama State is the host school. It has a 6-4 record with wins over Howard, Miles, Texas Southern, Mississippi Valley State, Alabama A&M and Bethune-Cookman. The losses were to UCLA, Prairie View A&M, Jackson State and Florida A&M.

Troy 30, Arkansas State 20 — It has also been a long season for the Red Wolves, who fell to 3-8 overall and 1-6 in Sun Belt Conference play last Saturday with a 16-13 loss at Texas State. The home team kicked the 29-yard winning field goal with two seconds remaining. ASU had tied the score with a field goal just 29 seconds earlier, but Texas State quarterback Layne Hatcher out of Pulaski Academy in Little Rock hit a couple of 21-yard passes to go along with a roughing-the-passer penalty. Troy rolls into Jonesboro on Saturday with a 9-2 record. The only losses were to Ole Miss and Appalachian State. The wins have come against Alabama A&M, Marshall, Western Kentucky, Southern Mississippi, Texas State, South Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette, Army and Louisiana-Monroe.

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Rex’s rankings: Final edition

Monday, November 21st, 2022

By this point in the season, it’s time to let the teams do all the talking on the field.

Thus these are our final rankings for the fall.

In the game of the year to this point, Little Rock Catholic scored with four seconds left to defeat Little Rock Christian by a final score of 26-23 at War Memorial Stadium on Friday. The stadium this Friday will host the Catholic-Pulaski Academy showdown in Class 6A.

The No. 1 teams in each classification were all victorious last week. In addition to Catholic in Class 6A, No. 1 Bryant in Class 7A beat Rogers 42-7, No. 1 Joe T. Robinson in Class 5A beat Batesville 42-7, No. 1 Arkadelphia in Class 4A beat Ozark 52-21, No. 1 Prescott in Class 3A beat Salem 41-6 and No. 1 Hazen in Class 2A beat Marked Tree 46-6.

Here are the updated rankings:

OVERALL

  1. Bryant
  2. Cabot
  3. Bentonville
  4. Little Rock Catholic
  5. Greenwood
  6. Pulaski Academy
  7. Conway
  8. Joe T. Robinson
  9. Shiloh Christian
  10. Arkadelphia

CLASS 7A

  1. Bryant
  2. Cabot
  3. Bentonville
  4. Conway
  5. Bentonville West

CLASS 6A

  1. Little Rock Catholic
  2. Greenwood
  3. Pulaski Academy
  4. Benton
  5. Little Rock Christian

CLASS 5A

  1. Joe T. Robinson
  2. Shiloh Christian
  3. Little Rock Parkview
  4. Camden Fairview
  5. Valley View

CLASS 4A

  1. Arkadelphia
  2. Warren
  3. Harding Academy
  4. Malvern
  5. Elkins

CLASS 3A

  1. Prescott
  2. Rison
  3. Charleston
  4. Melbourne
  5. Booneville

CLASS 2A

  1. Hazen
  2. Carlisle
  3. East Poinsett County
  4. Mount Ida
  5. Des Arc

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College football: Week 12

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

It was another frustrating Saturday for the Arkansas Razorbacks. The defense played well. The offense, missing quarterback KJ Jefferson, did not.

Arkansas fell on a frigid Saturday to LSU, 13-10. It was a day when the defense held the Tiger offense to just 284 yards. The problem was that the Arkansas offense only managed a season-low 249 yards.

The defensive-oriented game featured a combined 13 punts, 12 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. Arkansas fell to 5-5 overall, needing a win against either Ole Miss this week or Missouri next week to become bowl eligible.

We were 6-1 on the picks last week, making the record 71-20 for the season.

Here are the picks for this weeks games:

Ole Miss 29, Arkansas 24 — The Rebels roll into Fayetteville with an 8-2 record, having lost 45-20 to LSU and 30-24 to Alabama. The wins have come over Troy, UCA, Georgia Tech, Tulsa, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Auburn and Texas A&M. This is a game Arkansas needs to win on what will be yet another cold day in Fayetteville. Do the Razorbacks still have the confidence to do so? That’s yet to be seen.

Ouachita 23, Northwest Missouri State 22 — Ouachita finished the regular season 11-0 with a win for the ages in the Battle of the Ravine. The Tigers trailed by 14 points with less than five minutes remaining in regulation. They tied the score, Henderson missed a field goal attempt that would have won the game on the final play of regulation and then Ouachita won in overtime, converting a fourth-and-one rather than kicking a field goal to send the game to a second overtime. As far as tradition is concerned, Northwest Missouri (9-2 this season) is the Alabama of NCAA Division II with more national championships than any other school. It’s a tough draw for Ouachita, but the Tigers are home at Cliff Harris Stadium.

Texas State 35, Arkansas State 31 — ASU got a stop on a UMass two-point conversion attempt to avoid overtime in Jonesboro last Saturday and defeat Massachusetts by a final score of 35-33. The Red Wolves are 3-7. It says a lot about the strength of this year’s team — or the lack thereof — that it struggled so mightily against a 1-9 squad. This week’s opponent, Texas State, is also 3-7. We’ll give a slight advantage to the home team (the game is in San Marcos) in a battle between two programs that already are looking forward to next season.

Jacksonville State 39, UCA 32 — The Bears cruised to a 34-7 win at Stephen F. Austin last Saturday to even their record at 5-5. They can finish the season with a winning record in Conway on Saturday afternoon by defeating Jacksonville State. That won’t be easy. The Alabama school comes to town with an 8-2 record. The only losses have been to Tulsa and Southeastern Louisiana. The wins have come against Stephen F. Austin, Davidson, Murray State, Nicholls, Kennesaw State, North Alabama, Austin Peay and Eastern Kentucky.

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Rex’s rankings: Playoffs continue

Monday, November 14th, 2022

In the first round of the playoffs, the top six teams in the Top 10 had byes. No. 7 Conway posted a 68-31 win over Springdale Har-Ber.

No. 8 Joe T. Robinson defeated Magnolia, 51-15.

No. 9 Shiloh Christian defeated Nettleton, 55-14.

No. 10 Arkadelphia defeated Clinton, 49-21.

Everybody must take the field this week. Here are the updated rankings:

OVERALL

  1. Bryant
  2. Cabot
  3. Bentonville
  4. Little Rock Catholic
  5. Greenwood
  6. Pulaski Academy
  7. Conway
  8. Joe T. Robinson
  9. Shiloh Christian
  10. Arkadelphia

CLASS 7A

  1. Bryant
  2. Cabot
  3. Bentonville
  4. Conway
  5. Fayetteville

CLASS 6A

  1. Little Rock Catholic
  2. Greenwood
  3. Pulaski Academy
  4. Little Rock Christian
  5. Benton

CLASS 5A

  1. Joe T. Robinson
  2. Shiloh Christian
  3. Little Rock Parkview
  4. Little Rock Mills
  5. Wynne

CLASS 4A

  1. Arkadelphia
  2. Warren
  3. Harding Academy
  4. Star City
  5. Malvern

CLASS 3A

  1. Prescott
  2. Rison
  3. Charleston
  4. Melbourne
  5. Booneville

CLASS 2A

  1. Hazen
  2. Carlisle
  3. East Poinsett County
  4. Des Arc
  5. Mount Ida

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College football: Week 11

Tuesday, November 8th, 2022

One of the greatest rivalries in all of college football will be played in the state this week.

No, not LSU at Arkansas.

It’s Battle of the Ravine week. At Carpenter-Haygood Stadium in Arkadelphia on Saturday afternoon, the No. 4 Tigers of Ouachita Baptist University will take on the No. 24 Reddies of Henderson State University. Having two nationally ranked teams do battle adds to the intrigue of what’s almost always a great game.

Ouachita is 10-0 and has already wrapped up its sixth Great American Conference championship in 11 seasons. Henderson is 8-2 and looking to end a five-game losing streak in the series. Ouachita leads the overall series 45-43-6.

It’s the only college football game in America where the visiting team walks to a road game. Every Arkansan should have the Battle of the Ravine on his/her bucket list. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.

At 11 a.m. in Fayetteville, meanwhile, Arkansas will attempt to bounce back from a 21-19 loss to Liberty that had everyone remembering the Chad Morris era. When KJ Jefferson was stopped just short of the goal line on a two-point try with 1:11 remaining, there were plenty of bad flashbacks at Razorback Stadium.

Arkansas was favored by two touchdowns over a program that has only been in the FBS for five seasons. Liberty moved to 8-1 with its first win ever over a Southeastern Conference team.

In Baton Rouge on Saturday night, LSU stunned Alabama 32-31 in overtime. Jayden Daniels ran for a 25-yard touchdown and then found Mason Taylor for the two-point conversion to give Brian Kelly his first win over Nick Saban. It was the first Alabama loss in Baton Rouge since 2010.

We were 6-3 on the picks last week to bring the season record to 65-19. Here are the predictions for this week’s games:

LSU 35, Arkansas 31 — The Razorbacks will play much better this week. Will it be enough? Probably not. Jefferson was 23 of 37 passing for 284 yards and two touchdowns against Liberty, but he also had the first two-interception game of his career. Arkansas came into the Liberty game as the nation’s No. 6 rushing team but was held to a season-low 144 yards. The Razorbacks were just four of 16 on third down, and Arkansas was held without a touchdown in the first half for the first time this season. The Hogs had 14 negative-yardage plays. Some things must change and change quickly to keep the LSU game from getting ugly.

Ouachita 30, Henderson 24 — These games are almost always close. Ouachita won last year on a late 53-yard field goal. Last Saturday, the Tigers were down 10-0 in the first quarter at Southeastern Oklahoma but clawed back to take a 19-18 lead at halftime. Ouachita then outscored the Savage Storm 21-0 in the second half. The Tigers are going for their fourth undefeated regular season since 2014. Senior T.J. Cole had 143 rushing yards, two touchdowns on the ground and passed for another touchdown in the win. Henderson warmed up for the Battle of the Ravine with a 51-24 thrashing of 1-9 Oklahoma Baptist. Quarterback Andrew Edwards was 17 of 20 passing for 268 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran eight times for 70 yards. Henderson has won four consecutive games.

Arkansas State 39, Massachusetts 28 — It has been a long season for Arkansas State (2-7 overall and 1-5 in Sun Belt Conference play), but there’s hope this week. The Red Wolves had an open date to get healthy and are now at home Saturday afternoon against a 1-8 Massachusetts squad. The only UMass victory was 20-3 over Stony Brook. The losses have been by scores of 42-10 to Tulane, 55-10 to Toledo, 28-0 to Temple, 20-13 to Eastern Michigan, 42-24 to Liberty, 34-7 to Buffalo, 23-13 to New Mexico State and 27-10 to Connecticut.

Stephen F. Austin 23, UCA 22 — UCA fell to 4-5 overall and 3-1 in ASUN play with a 42-14 loss to Eastern Kentucky. The Bears were without running back Darius Hale, who injured a hamstring the previous week against North Alabama. UCA must go on the road this week to take on a 5-4 Stephen F. Austin team. SFA has posted wins of 31-27 over Alcorn State, 98-0 over Warner from Florida, 41-38 over Abilene Christian, 41-24 over Tarleton State and 41-38 over Southern Utah. The losses have been by scores of 42-17 to Jacksonville State, 52-17 to Louisiana Tech, 17-16 to Sam Houston and 47-44 to Utah Tech. In a game between teams that seem evenly matched, we will give a slight edge to the home squad.

Prairie View A&M 19, UAPB 10 — UAPB, in its second game under an interim head coach, fell 36-10 to Grambling on the road last Saturday. The Golden Lions are now 2-7 overall and 0-6 in SWAC play. Prairie View is 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the conference. The wins have been by scores of 40-23 over Texas Southern, 24-15 over Alabama State, 34-14 over Grambling, 54-21 over Lamar and 58-48 over Bethune-Cookman. The losses have come by scores of 21-13 to Abilene Christian, 31-14 to Incarnate Word, 45-13 to Southern and 23-16 to Alcorn State.

Harding 36, Arkansas Tech 27 — Harding improved to 8-2 last Saturday with a 37-29 victory over 3-7 Southwestern Oklahoma. Jhalen Spicer had 108 yards rushing for the Bisons. Tech evened its record at 5-5 with a 45-20 win over 1-9 Northwestern Oklahoma. Devontae Dean carried 20 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns for the Wonder Boys.

Southern Arkansas 34, UAM 33 — Southern Arkansas fell to 4-6 as Southern Nazarene came to Magnolia and escaped with a 49-44 victory. The winning touchdown for Nazarene (also 4-6) came with just seven seconds left in the game. UAM fell to 3-7 with a 16-0 loss to 7-3 East Central Oklahoma. It was the sixth consecutive loss for the Boll Weevils.

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Rex’s rankings: It’s playoff time

Monday, November 7th, 2022

The regular season in high school football came to a conclusion last week with many games played on Thursday, most Friday kickoffs moved up due to the storm system that came through the state and even Saturday games.

To put it mildly, it was an unusual conclusion to the regular season. The playoff brackets are now set.

Bryant stayed at No. 1 overall with a 34-16 victory Saturday night over Conway. The Wampus Cats dropped from No. 5 to No. 7 overall.

The No. 1 teams in each of the classifications as the playoffs begin are Bryant in Class 7A, Little Rock Catholic (no one saw that 10-0 season coming) in Class 6A, Joe T. Robinson in Class 5A, Arkadelphia in Class 4A, Prescott in Class 3A and Hazen in Class 2A.

Here are the updated rankings as the playoffs begin:

OVERALL

  1. Bryant
  2. Cabot
  3. Bentonville
  4. Little Rock Catholic
  5. Greenwood
  6. Pulaski Academy
  7. Conway
  8. Joe T. Robinson
  9. Shiloh Christian
  10. Arkadelphia

CLASS 7A

  1. Bryant
  2. Cabot
  3. Bentonville
  4. Conway
  5. Fayetteville

CLASS 6A

  1. Little Rock Catholic
  2. Greenwood
  3. Pulaski Academy
  4. Little Rock Christian
  5. Benton

CLASS 5A

  1. Joe T. Robinson
  2. Shiloh Christian
  3. Little Rock Parkview
  4. Little Rock Mills
  5. Wynne

CLASS 4A

  1. Arkadelphia
  2. Warren
  3. Harding Academy
  4. Star City
  5. Malvern

CLASS 3A

  1. Prescott
  2. Rison
  3. Charleston
  4. Melbourne
  5. Booneville

CLASS 2A

  1. Hazen
  2. Bigelow
  3. Carlisle
  4. Dierks
  5. East Poinsett County

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