Razorbacks Too Much for North Texas 66-7
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas scored on seven of its nine first-half possessions, including the first five, to put away the North Texas Mean Green early in a 66-7 victory Saturday at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The win snapped a two-game skid for the Hogs.
For the fourth time this season, and seventh time in their careers, Felix Jones and Darren McFadden both rushed for over 100 yards in a game. On seven carries, Jones ran for 132 yards on the ground while McFadden gained 138 yards on 19 carries. Each also picked up two touchdowns. Sophomore Brandon Barnett gained 105 yards on the ground to give the Razorbacks three players with 100-plus yards in one game for the first time since 2005 in a game against Missouri State.
Hogs quarterback Casey Dick was 12-for-21 through the air, good for 210 yards and three touchdowns, tying a career high.
On its opening drive, Arkansas punched the ball into the end zone with a 35-yard reverse by junior Felix Jones for a 7-0 lead. The Hogs’ drive appeared to be over earlier when Jeremy Davis punted the ball away, but a North Texas illegal-participation penalty gave the ball back to the Razorbacks.
After holding the Mean Green scoreless on its first possession, the Razorback offense picked up right where it left off with a 4-play, 81-yard drive that ended with a 61-yard play-action touchdown pass from Casey Dick to London Crawford. The completion was a career-long for the junior signal caller. It was also the longest reception for Crawford during his career at UA.
The Razorbacks padded their lead following a 39-yard field goal by Alex Tejada. The freshman improved to 8-for-8 on field goal attempts. The Arkansas lead was 17-0.
Arkansas tacked on another touchdown when McFadden scored on a two-yard rush. The touchdown was McFadden’s 30th of his career, which put him into a tie with Ben Cowins for third place on the UA career rushing touchdowns list.
On the drive, McFadden also moved into second place on the all-time rushing list at Arkansas, moving past Dickey Morton. He finished the game just 153 yards shy of Ben Cowins’ school record of 3,570 yards.
The Hogs led 24-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Razorback defense held North Texas to 26 first-quarter yards while Arkansas racked up 235 yards of offense.
Senior Robert Johnson caught his first career touchdown, a 37-yard reception, at the 14:10 mark of the second quarter. It was also the longest catch of Johnson’s career. The play capped an 8-play, 80-yard drive and gave the Hogs a 31-0 advantage. North Texas moved the ball down to the Arkansas 21-yard line following a 38-yard reception by Casey Fitzgerald, but the Mean Green couldn’t capitalize as Thomas Moreland missed a 38-yard field goal attempt.
On the Hogs’ next offensive possession, Jones took a handoff, tiptoed along the sideline and scampered 71 yards down the field for his second touchdown of the game. The rush put Jones over the 100-yard mark for the 10th time of his career.
McFadden added his second touchdown of the game, a four-yard run, on the Hogs’ next drive to put Arkansas ahead 45-0. On the previous play, McFadden had a 51-yard rush to set up the score. The run put him over 100 yards for the 16th time of his career.
It was the ninth time of his career that McFadden rushed for two touchdowns in one game.
North Texas ended the shutout with a nine-play, 80-yard drive late in the second quarter that ended with a one-yard rush by quarterback Giovanni Vizza. Moreland tacked on the extra point to make the score 45-7.
Tejada missed his first field goal of the season at the end of the half when his 44-yard attempt missed left of the uprights.
Cornerback Michael Grant intercepted a Daniel Meager pass on UNT’s first drive of the second half to give the Razorbacks the ball on the North Texas 19-yard line. Dick eventually connected with Lucas Miller on a 5-yard touchdown pass for a 52-7 Arkansas lead.
The score was the first of Miller’s career and the third touchdown pass of the game for Dick.
Barnett scored his first touchdown as a Razorback with 5:36 remaining in the game. He scored on a five-yard rush and served as the Hogs’ primary ball carrier in the second half.
With North Texas threatening to score in the final minute of the game, Jerell Norton picked off a Vizza pass at the goal line, the first of his career, and returned it 100 yards for the score. The yardage is a school record for an interception return.
Arkansas returns to action Saturday as it hosts Chattanooga at 6 p.m. CT at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.