Senior defensive end Chris Smith sacked Southern Miss quarterback Allan Bridgford three times Saturday on his way to tying for seventh place with Jamaal Anderson on the Arkansas career sacks list with 17 1/2. Wayne Martin, who played in 1985-88, holds the Arkansas record with 25 1/2. One additional sack will put Smith ahead of Scott Long (1989-92) and at number six on the career list.
Brandon Allen looked for the pass, but pulled it down and ran for a 5-yard touchdown with 3:52 left in the first quarter. His dive across the goal line landed him on his right shoulder and he left the field immediately for an X-ray. Coach Bret Bielema said it appeared the injury was a bruise and that Allen said he planned to return next week. During the second quarter Allen came out and walked the length of the field along the Arkansas sideline to the dressing room. When he came out for the second half, his arm was in a sling.
Keep on running
Arkansas ran the ball 19 times out of 20 plays in the fourth quarter. For the game, Arkansas ran the ball 56 times and passed 11 times.
Outside reports said Arkansas players and jerseys looked blue in the latter part of the first half of the Southeastern Conference Network telecast of the game. Stations carrying the game switched to the Nebraska-UCLA game as the second half began in Fayetteville. When the network switched back to the Arkansas game, the color was corrected but there was no sound. Eventually, all was fixed.
No first-possession TD
Against Southern Mississippi, Arkansas was unable to continue its streak of scoring a touchdown on its first possession. Starting on its 21, Arkansas made a first down, then punted four plays later. Arkansas still has scored in the first quarter in all three games. The Razorbacks still have a record of keeping opponents off the board on first possessions.
A.J. Derby saw his first action of the season at quarterback following Brandon Allen’s first-quarter shoulder injury. Derby’s biggest contribution was handing the ball to Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins, but he passed six times, completing four for 36 yards.
Turning it over
A third down interception of Bridgford’s pass on Southern Mississippi’s first possession was immediately returned in kind by Arkansas’ Brandon Allen. It’s the only time this season for back-to-back turnovers in a game.
Swanson as starter
Saturday marked the 41st straight time Travis Swanson has started for Arkansas. The Rimington Trophy candidate at center went into the Southern Mississippi game tied for third in the country among active players for consecutive starts. Swanson, a senior, has started every game of his Arkansas career.
End of streak
Allen had thrown multiple touchdowns in the first two games this season. He started the year with three against Louisiana-Lafayette and threw two against Samford. Against the Golden Eagles, Allen was 2-of-5 and no TDs, other the one he ran resulting in his injured shoulder.
Same old line
Arkansas has juggled starters on defense, but the offensive line has been constant this season. Anchored by Travis Swanson, the starters include Brey Cook and Mitch Smothers at the guards and with Grady Ollison and David Hurd at the tackles. Hurd and Swanson were both on the preseason All-SEC team — Swanson on the first team and Hurd on the third. Ollison was injured in the first half and replaced by freshman Denver Kirkland.
As Arkansas celebrates the 75th anniversary of Reynolds Razorback Stadium, fans are voting on the Top 5 Razorback moments inside the stadium. Those plays are being displayed on the stadium’s video board throughout the 2013 season. Arkansas’ video board is the second largest in the country. Texas is No. 1 in that category.
Eagles in Arkansas
Southern Mississippi had never played at Fayetteville until Saturday, but went into the game with a 3-1 mark in games played in Arkansas — all against Arkansas State. The Golden Eagles were 9-2 against opponents from Arkansas until Saturday, with all but one of those games against Arkansas State. Southern Miss also defeated Arkansas-Monticello in the only meeting between the schools.