Bo Mosley recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for Arkansas' first touchdown and then capped the victory by returning a pass interception 50 yards with 3:38 left as the Hogs blanked Troy State's Trojans before 42,814 rain-soaked fans in chilly War Memorial Stadium.
Mosley also blocked a punt, but the Hogs couldn't convert that oppotunity into points.
The Hogs played well on defense and on special teams, but were sluggish on offense. They made just six first downs and 125 yards in total offense. Troy State did slightly better with 14 first downs and 142 total yards, but they at least held a solid edge in minutes of possession time, 37 to 23.
The Hogs shot themselves in the foot with 132 penalties for 112 yards, including a handful of holding penalties. One of those holds erased a touchdown pass to Jason Peters. DeCori Birmingham dropped a touchdown pass as well.
Arkansas was 2 of 13 on third down conversions, but Troy State was no better with three first downs on 19 third downs.
Matt Jones was 7 of 16 passing for just 60 yards. He did have a 10-yard scoring pass to George Wilson with 1:05 left in the half after Jeb Huckeba recovered an errant option pitch at the TSU 32-yard line. The Hogs then marched that 32 yards in four plays for their only offensive touchdown of the day.
Arkansas' only other offensive score came on David Carlton's 27-yard field goal with 9:44 left in the third quarter. The Hogs drove 40 yards in nine plays for that field goal after DeCori Birmingham's 10-yard punt return to midfield.
Arkansas quarterback coach David Lee was complimentary of the TSU defense, but thought the Hogs could perform much better.
"We got the NCAA stats on Sunday and saw where they were ranked No. 9 in the country, and we looked to see who they'd played. It was Iowa State, Marshall, Nebraska, Mississippi State and Missouri," Lee said. "Yes, they played Southern Utah, but they didn't get all of their stats in one game. Nebraska scored two times on punt returns to get 31, so we knew they were good even before we saw the film. Then, when we saw the film, we understood. They can play.
"We talked to our players all week, but I don't think it ever soaked in that they were for real. I didn't think we played like we thought they were for real. They were. They have a very good defense. We didn't play.
"But, we did some things right. We played Arkansas football. We didn't turn it over but once, and made a lot of plays on defense and on special teams. Arkansas has won a lot of games playing that way, and that was what we had to do today. Our offense couldn't do much today."
Troy State was shut out for the first time since it joined Division IA three years ago. The Trojans hadn't been shutout since 1983, a span of 230 games.
"In this day and time, you don't get many shutouts," said Dave Wommack, UA defensive coordinator. "I'm proud of our guys. Troy State had run the ball on some good teams, so we knew they were good in that area. We came ready to play on defense, I think. I'm proud of our guys. Kacy Rodgers has done a great job with our defensive line, patching it together. He is to be commended.
"I thought Ken Hamlin did a nice job of playing center field today. He made some plays, and stayed back and made sure they didn't hit us with anything. We've been working with him on doing that.
"As for Bo Mosley, he makes plays, it seems like every week. He gets on our bonus production board almost every week. He started the season with a play on special teams and he made two more great ones today.
"On the interception for the last touchdown, we had worked hard on that play this week in practice and I thought our linebackers did a good job of flying out there into coverage. Our corners did a good job of getting depth to show the quarterback that the play was there, and then Bo got there just like we wanted. It was solid play on our part all the way around. We knew it was short yardage and they were going to go into the flat like that, and we were there."
Jeb Huckeba closes in on the quarterback.
George Wilson scored the Hogs' lone offensive touchdown against TSU.
Hog fans huddle to stay warm during the Troy State game.
Matt Jones zeroes in on George Wilson for a touchdown pass.
Fred Talley (20) found no room to run against Troy State.