Kentucky's defense had no luck.
Tyler Wilson tossed a school-record tying five touchdown passes and tailbacks Dennis Johnson and Jonathan Williams combined for five scores en route to a 49-7 hammering of the Wildcats before 67,153 fans at Razorback Stadium.
"We had great practices and our coaches deserve a pat on the back for keeping these guys coming, keeping them practicing hard, keeping them getting better and growing," Arkansas head coach John L. Smith said. "They have grown by leaps and bounds the last two weeks.
"It's fun to watch," Smith added. "It's fun as a coach to see young guys just keep climbing that ladder and getting better and better…They have been awesome."
In turn, Smith's players awarded him a game ball for staying so positive with them during a four-game losing streak.
"I'm not amazed, I'm just proud," Arkansas tailback Knile Davis said. "I'm glad that he [stayed positive]. "It's kind of contagious. He kept us all positive. He was positive through that little storm we went through. We're one more step toward resurrecting the season. Now let's see if we can win out."
Arkansas (3-4, 2-2) - sporting its new anthracite jerseys - scored on its first six possessions of the game, led 42-0 at halftime and already had 444 of its 533 yards total offense by then.
The defense also did its part by limiting Kentucky (1-6, 0-4) to only 88 yards total offense before intermission and just 170 during the contest.
"We came out, we scored early, we played great on defense early, we maintained our focus at the break (the first weather delay) - as you might call it - and we came back and just continued right on where we were," Smith said. "I am proud of our guys."
The defense had its second straight great effort after a lousy first five outings to start the season.
"Everybody embraced the game plan that (Arkansas defensive coordinator) Coach (Paul) Haynes put in along with the defensive staff," linebacker Terrell Willams said. "We went out there and executed."
The game was stopped at 6:40 p.m. in the first quarter for 65 minutes due to lightning with the Razorbacks already up 14-0 and setting off on a third straight scoring jaunt.
A second delay came at 9:26 p.m. and the game was officially called 41 minutes later at 10:07.
SEC spokesman Charles Bloom issued a statement from league commissioner Mike Slive after the game.
"Given the extended weather forecast and out of concern for the health and safety for both the team and fans, the Commissioner, after consultation with both institutions, has terminated the game," Bloom's statement read. "For official purposes, the game will conclude with 5:08 remain in the third quarter with Arkansas winning, 49-7."
The win was the second in a row for the Razorbacks, ending their losing streak with last Saturday's 24-7 win at Auburn.
Arkansas has an open date next Saturday before hosting Ole Miss Oct. 27 in Little Rock while trying to get back to the .500 mark. Ole Miss also has a bye this week.
"We have to take this week – the bye week – and just continue to grow," Smith said. "We need to get better this week. I think we can do that. We have to do that."
Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips tried to build up Arkansas despite its subpar season so far.
"They are a really good football team," Phillips said. "With a quarterback like that, they have the opportunity to score some points. When they got up, their defense got even more confident. They played very confidently tonight."
Wilson started the game 11-of-12 passing and finished the night 23-of-31 for 372 yards and the five scores.
"(It was) Tyler's best game," Smith said. "His best game statistically. Tyler could have had two more (touchdowns) and he is going to kick himself in the tail and we will as well."
Two of those scores were drop offs to Williams, who raced 74 and 77 yards to pay dirt for the first two scores of his career.
Williams had three catches for 150 yards on the night.
"Jonathan Williams is a tremendous football player," Smith said. "We like using him a lot because he can run down the field and catch passes plus he is a real good running back. He has got tremendous vision. He does things that you don't teach."
Johnson rushed 12 times for 82 yards and Davis had 13 carries for 68 yards.
"It was fun," Davis said. "It's fun having a lead because you get comfortable with the play calls and playing. It all starts to click."
Williams and wideout MeKale McKay were freshmen who started on offense while linebacker A.J. Turner, cornerbacks Will Hines and Davyon McKinney and safety Rohan Gaines were all true freshmen or redshirt freshmen that started on defense. The Hogs also welcomed back cornerback Tevin Mitchel, out since the second week. Mitchel got extensive time at corner and also played on special teams.
"Lot of those freshmen are playing hard and doing a good job for us," Smith said.
In the first start of his career, Turner was one of four players that led the defense with five tackles.
"He makes some mistakes, but that's what is going to happen with freshmen," Smith said. "He is going to get better. But what is so doggone satisfying as a coach is just to watch him – and he is not the only guy – just get better, better and better. He made some big tackles tonight."
The Razorback staff also took the redshirt off wide receiver D'Arthur Cowan while safety Defonta Lowe also saw some increased action.
"Cowan has tremendous explosion and we wanted to get him in last Saturday in certain packages, but we just didn't get to it," Smith said. "So we wanted to use him, it just hasn't transpired to this point. But he has got to step in and help us. We have a lot of games left and we talked to him a week ago and he said ‘I want to play.'"
Arkansas opened the scoring on its first offensive snap of the game.
Wilson hit Williams in the flats and he broke one tackle, got a great block from Davis and zig-zagged his way 74 yards into the end zone.
"Jonathan Williams scoring on that first play of the game was big," Wilson said. "It was exactly how we drew it up. Early in the week he made a move in practice similar to the one he made tonight, cut back across the field and scored TD so it was good to get him going."
Davis was thrilled to see Williams make the play.
"I had to get a block for my little brother," Davis said. "I enjoy seeing him make plays. He made two big plays. I think he had over 100 yards receiving. It's nice to see him doing good out there."
Johnson said the Arkansas coaches knew the first play would be a big one.
"That first play was something I expected us to do," Johnson said. "They told Jonathon all week that he would be wide open on that play and he was. All he had to do was make guys miss and he did."
Williams' first career touchdown and Zach Hocker's PAT gave the Razorbacks a quick 7-0 lead with 13:18 left in the opening quarter.
Arkansas made it two touchdowns in as many possessions by marching 75 yards in 11 plays with Johnson following Morgan Linton's block in for a three-yard scoring run.
Arkansas was off and running on its third possession, moving from its own 14 to the 42 before the lightning strike forced the delay.
"The delays gave us a chance to make some adjustments," Phillips said. "But it gave them a chance to make adjustments also. We just had to get back out there and get back at it."
Soon after the delay was over, Wilson sandwiched passes to McKay and Brandon Mitchell around a 10-yard run by Davis.
That led to Johnson doing the honors again, this time with a 5-yard TD pass from Wilson.
The lead grew to 28-0 when Wilson tossed another one to Williams, who caught it in stride, avoided a defender and raced 77 yards for the score on the last play of the first quarter.
"It's always bad when a team starts scoring on you like that and your offense can't do anything back to them," Kentucky offensive lineman Matt Smith said. "We didn't protect the quarterback so it's on us."
The Razorbacks added two more touchdowns in the second quarter when Wilson hit Jevontee Herndon with an 8-yard scoring toss and Johnson added a 2-yard TD run.
Arkansas pushed it to 49-0 on its first possession of the third quarter when Wilson fired a bullet to Julian Horton for an 18-yard scoring connection.
That also ended Wilson's night with his five touchdowns tying the mark of former Razorback Ryan Mallett, who did it four times.
"Tyler had a big game tonight," Johnson said. "…He came out big, completed a lot of passes for us that really helped us in the run game."
Kentucky finally got on the board when quarterback Jalen Whitlow hit La'Rod King for a 61-yard yard touchdown pass with 6:46 left in the third quarter.
"I wanted so bad to get a shutout," Smith said. "It would have been nice for these guys. That didn't happen. We gave one up there…We made some mistakes, but we are growing, we are getting better. I have to give credit to our defensive coaches for giving them a package that we can handle and they don't make too many mistakes."
Wilson noted the off week comes at a good time.
"It feels really good," Wilson said. "You can smile a little bit going into the bye week. We have to stay focused throughout the week and come in hot for the back half of the season."
Defender Ross Ranser echoed those sentiments.
"We have to have another good week of preparation," Rasner said. "We can't take this week lightly. The bye week is something that you can really work on the things you haven't all season. To have two wins like this going into the bye week is something that you can build off of. I think we will."
Jonathan Williams takes off on his 74-yard catch and dash for t a touchdown on Arkansas' first offensive play of the night.
Tyler Wilson tosses a pass on the Razorbacks' second possession of the night.
Ross Rasner sacks Kentucky quarterback Jalen Whitlow.
Dennis Johnson looks for yardage in the first quarter of Saturday night's game.
Fans try to stick it out through a thunderstorm.
Williams finished off his first career TD with a dive into the end zone.
Mekale McKay couldn't hold this pass in the first quarter when the Wildcats hit him too soon.
Johnson rolls for one of his three first-half touchdowns.
Jared Green closes in on a sack against UK quarterback Morgan Newton.
Williams sets sail on a 77-yard touchdown reception.
All photos by Marc F. Henning