Arkansas, Arkansas State and UCA all won on the same Saturday.
It was, in other words, a good Saturday for most college football fans in the state.
Alex Collins stole the show before a sparse homecoming crowd in Fayetteville as he rushed for 173 yards and a career-best five touchdowns in Arkansas’ 63-28 victory over Tennessee-Martin. Collins averaged 10.8 yards per carry and became only the third Razorback to score five touchdowns in a game. He became the fifth Hog to reach 3,000 career rushing yards. And apparently he wasn’t in hot water with his coach for being late to breakfast this time around. Maybe he borrowed an alarm clock from Ryan Mallett.
Quarterback Brandon Allen moved past Casey Dick and Matt Jones into fourth on the school’s career passing list. Allen now how 6,057 passing yards. He received the Crip Hall Award as the outstanding senior in the homecoming game as he went 14 of 19 through the air for 265 yards and two touchdowns. Little brother Austin Allen threw his first college touchdown pass, which went for 35 yards to Jeremy Sprinkle.
One cause for concern going into Saturday’s game against Ole Miss at Oxford is that the Hogs gave up 519 yards to the FCS opponent.
We were 8-2 on the picks last week. The record for the season is now 59-15.
Let’s get to the picks for Week 10:
Ole Miss 35, Arkansas 31 — The Rebels improved to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the Southeastern Conference with a 27-19 victory at Auburn. The Gus Bus has a flat. The Tigers fell to 4-4 overall and 1-4 in the SEC. Ole Miss, the only team to beat Alabama thus far this season, can still capture the SEC West by winning out. If you’re wondering, Ole Miss and LSU play in Oxford on Nov. 21. The Hogs’ game at Oxford is the CBS afternoon game, the appetizer for LSU’s visit to Alabama that will be shown in prime time on the network. Ole Miss started the season 4-0, including that 43-37 victory in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 19. Reality hit with a 38-10 loss at Florida on Oct. 3 and a 37-24 loss at Memphis on Oct. 17 (an easy victory over New Mexico State was sandwiched between those two games). After the nonconference loss to Memphis, the Rebels have bounced back with SEC wins over Texas A&M (23-3) and Auburn. Expect this to be a close game. We’ll give the slight edge to the home team.
Appalachian State 30, Arkansas State 28 — The Red Wolves get more national television exposure — this time on ESPNU — with a Thursday night game at Appalachian State. It’s a battle for the Sun Belt Conference lead. Both teams are 4-0 in conference play. ASU improved to 5-3 overall in Jonesboro on Saturday night with a 48-34 victory over a Georgia State team that has won just one conference game in three seasons. Georgia State came into the game at 2-4 but led 27-20 at the half. The Red Wolves woke up in the second half and outscored their opponent 21-0 in the fourth quarter. Fredi Knighten was 21 of 29 passing for ASU for a season-high 224 yards. The Mountaineers beat Troy in triple overtime Saturday, 44-41, for their 10th consecutive Sun Belt win. They are 10-2 in conference play since joining the Sun Belt last season. Appalachian State is 7-1 overall this season.
UCA 27, Stephen F. Austin 24 — The Bears stayed alive in the Southland Conference race with a 21-16 homecoming victory over Southeastern Louisiana to go to 5-3 overall and 5-1 in conference play. Unfortunately for UCA, McNeese survived a scare against Abilene Christian and won 15-13 to stay alone atop the conference standings at 7-0. Blake Veasley and Dominique Thomas combined for 272 rushing yards for the Bears. Veasley, who has emerged as a star for UCA the past two weeks, had 192 of those yards. This Saturday afternoon sees the Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin come to Conway. The visitors, led by former Bear head coach Clint Conque, are 3-5 overall and 3-3 in conference play. UCA needs to win its final three games to have a chance at making the FCS playoffs.
Southern University 23, UAPB 10 — Things are going from bad to worse for the Golden Lions. UAPB fell to 1-7 overall and 0-6 in the SWAC last Saturday with a 54-29 loss at Prairie View A&M. The Golden Lions jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but the score was tied at 14-14 by halftime. Prairie View then ran off 26 consecutive points coming out of the break. UAPB, which has three conference games remaining, has not gone winless in conference play since 1997. Southern University comes into Pine Bluff this Saturday afternoon with a record of 4-4. Southern’s victories have come by scores of 50-13 over Mississippi Valley State, 50-31 over Jackson State, 45-34 over Alabama State and 40-21 over Texas Southern. The losses have been by scores of 62-15 to Louisiana Tech, 48-6 to Georgia, 47-42 to Prairie View and 48-7 to Alcorn State.
Henderson 29, Oklahoma Baptist 18 — The Reddies remain alone atop the Great American Conference with an 8-1 record following a 76-7 victory last Saturday in Arkadelphia over Southern Nazarene, which has lost 31 consecutive games. Henderson led 63-0 at halftime as junior quarterback Dallas Hardison out of Bentonville completed 10 of 13 passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns. The Reddies had 408 yards of offense in the first half, and Southern Nazarene had 31. Henderson defenders came up with three interceptions during the game. The Reddies lead NCAA Division II with 22 interceptions on the season. Oklahoma Baptist, in its first year in the conference, is 2-7 but has been competitive at times. The Bison took Harding into overtime, in fact, before losing the first game of the season.
Ouachita 48, Southern Nazarene 22 — Ouachita went to 6-3 on the season Saturday with a 31-20 victory at home against Oklahoma Baptist. The Tigers are 10-0 in conference games at Cliff Harris Stadium since the stadium opened last year and will use this week’s road trip to Oklahoma to warm up for the Nov. 14 Battle of the Ravine at the stadium students like to call The Cliff. Against Oklahoma Baptist, redshirt freshman Kris Oliver from Arkadelphia had 193 rushing yards and 84 yards receiving. He was named the GAC offensive player of the week.
East Central Oklahoma 26, Southern Arkansas 25 — On Oct. 24, Southern Arkansas came within a play of beating Henderson (the Reddies scored on the final play of the game) and being tied for the conference lead. On Halloween, the Muleriders lost their second consecutive game to fall to 5-4 on the season. It was a listless performance as SAU fell by a score of 35-13 to 4-5 Southeastern Oklahoma. The Savage Storm held the Muleriders to a negative two rushing yards. SAU quarterback Barrett Renner was sacked eight times. East Central comes to Magnolia with a 6-3 record after a 21-18 win over UAM. East Central handed Henderson its only loss in September.
Harding 40, Northwestern Oklahoma 19 — The Bisons fell to 6-3 with a 21-13 loss at Southwestern Oklahoma. Southwestern became the first team to outrush Harding in more than four years. The Bisons are usually strong at home and should roll against a Northwestern Oklahoma team that fell to 3-6 with a loss at home last week to Arkansas Tech.
Arkansas Tech 34, Southwestern Oklahoma 33 — The Wonder Boys are alone in second in the GAC at 7-2 following their 53-21 victory at Northwestern Oklahoma. Tech was led on the ground last week by Brayden Stringer and Bryan Allen, who had 155 and 148 yards respectively. The Wonders Boys finished the game with 535 yards of offense. Southwestern is 6-3 and has its best team in a number of years. This should be a fun game with the edge going to the home team.
Southeastern Oklahoma 32, UAM 17 — The Savage Storm has its confidence back following the impressive victory over SAU. UAM, meanwhile, is 1-8 after its loss at East Central. The Boll Weevils scored 15 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to put a scare into East Central, but Jamie McGee missed a 51-yard field goal attempt at the end that would have sent the game to overtime.