Arkansas 42, South Florida 3 (Final)

Matt Jones was almost perfect as Arkansas rolled to a big early lead to dominate South Florida for a 2-0 start. The Hogs amassed 547 total yards and 34 first downs, tied for second most in school history.

The first half went the way an Arkansas scriptwriter would have drawn things. The Razorbacks rolled to 280 total yards (against 72 for South Florida) for a 35-0 lead at intermission. The Hogs held a 12-minute edge in time of possession in the first half, 21-9.


Matt Jones completed 7 of 10 passes for 128 yards and rushed for 39 yards on five carries while engineering four of the TD drives. Tarvaris Jackson quarterbacked the Hogs on their other TD march, an 11-play, 94-yard drive.


The defense swarmed USF quarterback Marquell Blackwell, making the Bulls' top player throw almost as soon as he accepted the snap out of the shotgun. He was 9 of 22 with one interception for only 57 yards. Most of his throws were on quick slants, all he had time to throw.


The Hogs got the opening kickoff and made only one first down on a 19-yard Jones throw to George Wilson. But, the Hogs rolled 69 yards in six plays with their second possession to take a 7-0 lead at 9:52 of the first on Mark Pierce's 1-yard run. Jones found Richard Smith for 24 yards and Cedric Cobbs rambled 18 yards on a draw to the 1-yard line for the big plays in the drive.


The Hogs pinned USF on its goal line to generate great field position for their second score. Richard Smith returned a punt 12 to the USF 28. It took the Hogs just three plays to make it 14-0. Jones found Smith over the middle for the final 21 yards after looking to his left to draw the safety out of the center of the field.


The Hogs, after Tony Bua intercepted a pass tipped by Ken Hamlin, failed on downs at the USF 3-yard line on their next drive. Cobbs lost 2 yards on fourth-and-1. However, USF couldn't move off of its goal line, and the resulting punt left the Hogs only 47 yards to cover. It took them four plays to make it 21-0. Cobbs rolled the final 19 yards.


With Jackson taking over at QB, the Hogs rolled 94 yards  in 11 plays. Jackson had passes of 11, 13, 9, 6 and 11. The last one was a lob in the right corner of the end zone that George Wilson hauled in for the TD. It was 28-0 at 10:59 of the second quarter.


Ryan Sorahan took a turn at QB, but he was intercepted. That brought Jones back in the game for the final UA possession, a 14-play, 92-yard TD march that De'Arrius Howard culminated with a 2-yard run to make it 35-0 at 1:13 of the second quarter.


The second half started the same way with a 10-play, 69-yard TD march. It was vintage Jones. The big QB completed both of his passes for 15 and 5 yards and had a 24-yard run on a bootleg keeper. He found Wilson for the final 5 yards after looking for Smith to the left, and then coming back to Smith standing at the goal line in the middle of the field. It was 42-0 at 9:30 of the third quarter. The Hogs had amassed 483 yards through three quarters. Jones did not play in the final quarter, giving way to first Jackson and then Sorahan as Houston Nutt cleared his bench.


USF got on the board with Santiago Gramatica's 32-yard field goal with 38 seconds left. The drive was engineered by the backup USF quarterback against a collection of UA second and third teamers, many of them walkons.



 Gavin Walls


Gavin Walls pressured South Florida quarterback Marquel Blackwell.


Mike Markuson


 Mike Markuson goes over instructions with his backups in the second half as starter Scott Davenport (60) enjoys the rest of the night off.


Tarvaris Jackson


 Tarvaris Jackson delivers a pass against USF.

Tarvaris Jackson


 Tarvaris Jackson scrambles for yardage.


Photos by Clay Henry



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