Hogs Roll Past Miners, 48-13

Arkansas rode Brandon Allen's passing in the first half, then took advantage of turnovers early in the third quarter to blow out Texas-El Paso in the SEC season opener Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

FAYETTEVILLE - Brandon Allen threw four touchdowns before halftime, helping No. 18 Arkansas to a 48-13 win over UTEP on Saturday.

Allen completed 14 of 18 passes for 308 yards, setting a career-high for passing yards and tying a career-high with four touchdown passes.

He became the first Razorbacks quarterback to throw for 300 yards since Tyler Wilson did it against LSU in 2012. Allen's previous best for passing yards was 282 last season against Georgia.

"Our offense came out humming," said Bret Bielema, Arkansas head coach. "I told everyone all along our passing game was better. They brought a lot of pressure, but our offensive line stood up and protected and BA didn't get hit.

"I'm excited. This was a good one to build on.

"I thought Brandon was extremey accurate, especially on the move."

Bielema praised the first game of play calling for new offensive coordinator Dan Enos.

"Dan is aggressive," Bielema said. "He called a good first one, especially not knowing a lot about what UTEP might change or bring. He made good in-game adjustments."

Allen had touchdown passes of 26 and 20 yards to Drew Morgan and Keon Hatcher in the first quarter, giving Arkansas a 14-0 lead.

After UTEP pulled within 14-3 on a Jay Mattox field goal early in the second quarter, Allen threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Jared Cornelius to extend the Razorbacks' lead. Cornelius caught the ball near the line of scrimmage and made a defender miss before racing to the end zone.

After Autrey Golden scored UTEP's only touchdown midway through the second quarter, Allen and Hatcher connected for a 38-yard touchdown to extend Arkansas' lead to 28-10 with 5:17 to play before halftime.

Hatcher caught six passes for 106 yards. He has at least one touchdown catch in four consecutive games.

The Razorbacks scored touchdowns on their first two offensive plays of the second half. Henre' Toliver intercepted UTEP quarterback Mack Leftwich at the Miners' 3 on the first play of the half, setting up a 3-yard touchdown run by Alex Collins.

Collins finished the game with 127 yards on 12 carries, most of which came on a 70-yard run as time expired in the second quarter.

Arkansas had a 300-yard passer and 100-yard receiver and rusher in the same game for the first time in four years.

UTEP punter Alan Luna bobbled a snap the Miners' second possession of the third quarter. Arkansas again recovered at the 3, setting up a touchdown run by Kody Walker on the next play to give the Razorbacks a 42-10 lead.

Allen hit tight end Jeremy Sprinkle for a 42-yard gain to the UTEP 7 later in the quarter, but Arkansas had to settle for a 19-yard field goal by Cole Hedlund to extend the Razorbacks' lead to 45-10.

Hedlund added a 27-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring after Mattox's 44-yard field goal cut into the lead late in the third quarter.

Bielema was praised by UTEP coach Sean Kugler.

"They have a heckuva coach," Kugler said. "I admire what they do. We really try to do a lot of the same things they do. They have a heckuva team. I'll root for Arkansas. I like the way they do things."

Kugler was asked about the Arkansas defense.

"They looked like the same guys to me. They can fly around. They have a good scheme. They're well coached. They're physical on both sides of the ball. I told our team, you'll be seeing some of these guys at the end of the year, and they might be standing there at the end of the year. That's a good football team we played today. Excellent team."

Arkansas won its home opener for the ninth consecutive season. The Razorbacks are scheduled to play Toledo next Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

Alex Collins looks for yardage.

Brooks Ellis makes a tackle.

Keon Hatcher hauls in a touchdown pass.

Brandon Allen sets the formation.

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