Hog D rules night in 31-7 win over La.-Monroe
LITTLE ROCK - The No. 14 Razorbacks started slowly Saturday night but exploded in the third quarter of a 31-7 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
The Hogs, who led 7-0 at halftime, eventually piled up 499 yards behind junior quarterback Ryan Mallett's 400 passing yards and three touchdowns.
At the half break, UA surmounted 217 yards to ULM's 58. Mallett was responsible for 181 passing yards, while the Warhawks' quarterback Kolton Browning completed one pass for 4 yards.
The Razorbacks improved to 2-0 off another strong defensive showing. They travel Saturday to Georgia, which failed to score a TD in a 17-6 loss at South Carolina.
"We're 2-0 and that's the main thing," Coach Bobby Petrino said. "I'm really proud of our defense. It's good to see them understanding what they're supposed to do, which allowed us to play very fast and tackle well and make plays. We did give up the one long drive at the end, but for three and a half quarters, we shut them out."
Mallett's outing was the third time in his career he threw for 400 or more yards. He had at least three scoring tosses for the seventh time in his last 14 games. After Arkansas' 7-0 advantage at the end of two quarters of play, Mallett knew it was time to go to business.
"We had to come out in the second half and adjust," Mallett said. "We slid under the man coverage and made more plays coming out of halftime."
The Razorback defense gave up 188 total yards and held an opponent below the 200-yard mark for the second consecutive game. The Warhawks did not cross the 50-yard line into Arkansas territory until 9:13 remaining in the second quarter.
The Arkansas offense proved its productiveness once again in week two action, staying perfect in the Critical Zone (inside the 20-yard line). UA is now 9-for-9 inside the Critical Zone this season after going 4-for-4 against the Warhawks.
Greg Childs was familiar with Mallett by the end of the game, catching 12 passes for 146 yards and two scores. The occasion was a career night for Childs as he set a new best in receiving yards, receptions and tied his high in touchdown grabs. Childs' reception tally is the third highest single-game total in program history and just one away from the record.
UA signal caller Mallett was proud of his teammate's stellar performance.
"They can't cover Childs," Mallett said. "I don't think that anyone in the country can cover Greg Childs one-on-one."
Razorback runner Broderick Green finished the game as UA's leading rusher, gaining 45 yards on the ground.
With 5:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, ULM found the end zone with Warhawk wide receiver Luther Ambrose catching a pass from Browning for the 25-yard touchdown. The scoreboard read 24-7 in favor of Arkansas.
The Razorbacks would have the last say in the night's action after Ronnie Wingo Jr. caught a Mallett pass and rambled to the end zone from 35 yards out. The score was the longest touchdown throw of the night for Mallett, moving the advantage to 31-7, Arkansas.
Previously in the fourth quarter, Mallett found Childs for the duo's second scoring connection from 18 yards out, advancing the Razorback's lead to 24-7.
In earlier third-quarter action, freshman kicker Zach Hocker connected on the first field goal attempt of his Razorback career, nailing a 26-yard field goal to make the score 17-0 in favor of Arkansas.
Arkansas ran its advantage to 14-0 at 6:12 in the third quarter with a Mallett plunge across the goalline for the touchdown. The quarterback sneak play capped a 33-yard drive over seven plays.
The Razorbacks got on the board early when Mallett connected with junior wide receiver Greg Childs in the middle of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown strike at 5:48 in the first quarter. The score ended a seven-play, 74-yard drive to the end zone.
Johnson led the Razorbacks in rushing after two quarters with 23 yards. The Texarkana, Ark., native had a long rush of 15 yards.