10 Things To Know: Arkansas vs. New Mexico State
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas will return home to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium to take on New Mexico State of the Sun Belt Conference at 11 a.m. CT Saturday.
The game will be broadcast live on SEC Network with Taylor Zarzour (pxp), Andre Ware (analyst) and Olivia Harlan (reporter) on the call.
Here’s 10 things to know heading into Saturday’s game:
1. Saturday’s game will be the sixth meeting between the Razorbacks and Aggies with Arkansas holding a 5-0 edge in the all-time series. The Razorbacks hosted New Mexico State in Fayetteville in 2003 and 2004, while the other three meetings (1977, 85, 86) were in Little Rock.
2. Arkansas rushed for 226 yards last Saturday against Texas A&M, including scores from senior tailback David Williams (2) and freshman tailback Chase Hayden (1). It marked the second time in 2017 and 27th time under Bret Bielema that Arkansas has topped the 200-yard rushing mark.
3. With several new offensive wrinkles, Arkansas used eight rushers to combine for the 226 yards and three scores. Four of the eight had gains of 20 or more yards, including redshirt freshman wide receiver Jordan Jones, who turned a pair of jet sweeps into 50 rushing yards, while five of the eight moved the chains at least once on the ground. Twelve of Arkansas’ 21 first downs were rushing. Among the new wrinkles introduced last Saturday, was the “steamboat package” with redshirt freshman quarterback Cole Kelley taking shotgun snaps in short-yardage situations. Kelley rushed four times for four first downs, including a 13-yard gain on his first attempt on a drive that culminated with him throwing his second career touchdown pass early in the second quarter.
4. Williams and Hayden have combined for six of Arkansas’ seven rushing touchdowns this season. Williams’ four rushing TDs are tied for ninth-most in the SEC, while Hayden is the only freshman in the conference with multiple scores on the ground.
5. Williams has not only scored by rushing. He hauled in a 2-yard TD pass from Kelley last Saturday. Williams is one of 10 FBS players and the only in the SEC with at least four rushing touchdowns and a receiving TD. Williams has scored a team-best five TDs through three games this season. He scored five TDs in his 30 games played over three seasons at South Carolina.
6. With two touchdown passes against Texas A&M, senior quarterback Austin Allen moved into sole possession of eighth place on Arkansas’ all-time passing touchdowns list (30), surpassing Quinn Grovey and Bill Montgomery. Since the start of the 2016 season, Allen has thrown multiple TD passes in 10 games, which is tied for the SEC lead and tied for 11th most in the FBS among active players.
7. Arkansas has scored 40+ points 12 times under offensive coordinator Dan Enos (2015-Present), including twice this season. The Hogs’ 12 games of 40 or more points during that span is tied for second most in the SEC.
8. After being named the highest-graded center a year ago by Pro Football Focus, senior Frank Ragnow boasts the top grade once again at 92.9 overall through four weeks. Ragnow will make his 30th consecutive start on the offensive line against New Mexico State on Saturday. Dating back to 2015, Ragnow’s stretch of 29 consecutive starts (15 at center and 14 at right guard) is the longest active streak on the team.
9. Junior linebacker and Butkus Award candidate Dre Greenlaw’s combined 31 tackles against TCU and Texas A&M are the most by a Razorback over a two-game span since Tony Bua had a combined 34 against Kentucky and South Carolina in 2003. They’re also tied for the most over any two-game span by an FBS player this season. Greenlaw has posted double-digit tackles in seven games since his freshman season in 2015, tied for the third most by a Razorback since the 2000 season.
10. The Hogs’ leading receiver through three games, Jonathan Nance has nine receptions on 11 targets for 200 yards and two TD catches. He turned in his first 100-yard receiving effort last Saturday with 100 yards and a score on three receptions. Nance ranks fifth in the SEC in yards per catch (22.2). He is one of five players in the SEC and 22 in the FBS with three 40-yard receptions, while two of those were touchdowns (49 and 44 yards).