Eastern Michigan showed up at the University of Arkansas' Halloween party Saturday night dressed as the perfect Homecoming guest – a winless patsy.
The Eagles played their role to perfection and left with a nice parting gift - a $650,000 check.
Broderick Green set a new UA school record with a 99-yard scoring run - one of six first-half touchdowns – as the Razorbacks routed their winless foe 63-27 before an announced crowd of 62,501 fans at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Arkansas (4-4) rolled up 589 yards total offense – 390 in the first half alone - while racing to a 42-0 lead by intermission.
Eastern Michigan (0-8) had just 39 of its 342 yards of total offense by that point and had no first downs in the opening two quarters before scoring a trio of times in the third quarter and a single time in the final quarter.
"We wanted to come out and be real aggressive and shut their run down," Petrino said. "We hit it pretty well and then the wheels kind of fell off in the second half and we lost a lot of concentration. We basically gave up three huge plays. There was nothing fancy about the plays."
That put a damper on Petrino's night.
"It's good to get everybody out there and get reps, but we certainly didn't execute in the second half like we would like to," Petrino said. "So I had to play them an extra couple of series."
It also took a little luster off of what Eastern Michigan head coach Ron English thought of the host squad.
"They are alright," English said. "I don't think they are that great."
As for the high amount of points Arkansas put on the board, English brushed that off.
The Razorbacks have now scored 287 points this season in eight games. They only scored 263 during the 12-game season in 2008.
"He's going to try and score as much as he can," English said of Petrino. "That's what he does."
He wasn't happy with his team.
"We have a trust issue," noted English, a former Michigan assistant. "They didn't do what they asked to do...We're building a program. We're building trust. When they start trusting then we will have success."
Razorback starting quarterback Ryan Mallett was 14-of-16 passing for 178 yards and 3 TDs - completing his first 11 passes.
"I thought Ryan executed really well," Petrino said. "This is the only game he has gone 10-for-10. He was focused and practiced hard all week."
English, who was on the staff at Michigan when Mallett was there, joked about how well he played.
"He needs to quit staring down his receivers," noted English, who knows that is something that he didn't do. "He also needs to learn how to check down (instead of going deep for the touchdown)."
Green piled up a career-high 131 yards on 8 carries with a pair of scoring runs in a game the Razorbacks played without injured senior starter Michael Smith.
Freshman tailback Knile Davis (7 carries, 59 yards) also had a pair of touchdowns on runs of 36 and 4 yards, Ronnie Wingo 7 carries for 53 yards and Mallett even racked up 42 yards on 5 scrambles.
Arkansas rushed for a season-high 292 yards while rolling up the most points in one half and in a game in Petrino's two years at the helm.
"We blocked well and our running backs did a nice job," Petrino said. "Broderick Green had a nice cut up the middl, Jarius Wright a great hustle play (with a block on the big run."
UA sophomore Joe Adams – playing for the first time since missing three games after a mild stroke – came back strong.
He caught 3 passes for 109 yards, including a 78-yard toss from Mallett on Arkansas' first play after Green ripped off his 99 yard run.
"It was great to have Joe back," Petrino said. "Joe is a great player, is one of our best big-play guys on the team. He certainly executed well and the ball was thrown well to him. To come back, first game back, and get two big touchdowns was a great job. He looked fast and fresh. It's been hard on him not being able to be out there."
Several players made their first starts of the season - Green, cornerback David Gordon, linebackers Bret Harris and Terrell Williams and safety Anthony Leon.
That means that Arkansas has now started six true freshmen this season - tops in the SEC and second nationally.
"We came back and practice hard all week and made it very competitive," Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said. "I think our players understand that we are going to give great effort in practice and the ones that give great effort are going to be the ones that start the game."
Prize cornerback cornerback Darius Winston also was fully healthy and saw his first extensive action of the season.
"Darius needed to play and get some experience," Petrino said. "He has worked hard all year and is gaining knowledge of the defense and getting better."
Arkansas scored on its first four offensive possessions and 5 of its 6 with the only one not being when Mallett was out for a series.
The Razorbacks – coming in off losses to back-to-back road losses over Florida and Ole Miss – needed little time to make the home crowd happy.
That occurred with Davis ripping off his 36-yard scoring dash with 10:42 left in the opening quarter.
Alex Tejada's first of nine PATs on the night made it 7-0.
The Razorbacks jumped ahead 14-0 when Green scored on a 3-yard run at the 6:42 mark.
Freddy Burton's 50-yard interception return soon made it 21-0 with 4:02 still left in the opening quarter.
It was the first interception of his career.
Arkansas also put up three scores in the second quarter, beginning with Adams' 10-yard toss from Mallett less than three minutes in.
The next two Razorback offensive plays covered 177 yards and delivered the knockout blow in sensational fashion.
After having a punt downed at its own 1, Arkansas simply had Mallett turn and hand off to Green, the USC transfer.
He ripped off a 99-yard scoring run, breaking a few tackles, eluding a few others and ending up in the end zone to set a new school record.
The next time Mallett loaded up and threw a pass to Adams, who had gotten behind the defense and easily outraced defenders the rest of the 78 yards covered on the play.
That had it 42-0 with 1:38 left in the second quarter.
"Everything they did we prepared for," Eagles defender Brandon Downs said. "They just executed."
Things didn't get any better early in the third quarter for the visitors when Seth Armbrust blocked a punt and eventually picked it up in the end zone for a 49-0 lead.
Petrino credited special teams coach John L. Smith with a move that made that happen.
"That was something that we had worked on all night long and actually Coach Smith made an adjustment at halftime to change up the block that we had been bringing," Petrino said. "We did a nice job coming off the edge."
The Eagles did break the shutout on their next possession with Ben Thayer catching an 8-yard TD pass from Kyle McMahon.
His next pass was a 77-yarder to Kinsman Thomas, who got behind the Arkansas defense and raced in for a touchdown that cut it to 49-13.
That kept Mallett in the game and Petrino from totalling unloading the bench at that point.
"Our plan was to get the ball back and get our ones out," Petrino said. "Unfortunately our defense did not hold up their end and we had to leave our ones in here."
Mallett hooked up with former Texas High teammate Cobi Hamilton on a 55-yard pass that set up Davis' 4-yard scoring run.
Mallett hit Lucas Miller with a 16-yard TD pass to make it 63-20 with 18 seconds left in the third quarter to cap the Razorbacks' scoring on the night.
Eastern Michigan did get one last touchdown with Dwayne Priest scoring on a 10-yard run midway through the final quarter.
Hamilton had 4 catches for 73 yards.
Back-up quarterback Tyler Wilson - who played one series in the first half and all of the fourth quarter was 5-11 for 49 yards with one interception and one fumble.
Arkansas - winners of just one of five SEC games this season - will now begin preparing for Saturday's 11:21 a.m. game with South Carolina.
Miller, who was named the Crip Hall winner as outstanding senior in the Homecoming game, sayshis team will be ready to jump back into conference play.
"We're ready to get back into SEC play," Miller said. "We know those games are the ones that count and today's games gives us a lot of confidence going into next weekend's game against South Carolina. We know we are going to have to be ready to play next week, but we got over the hump today and it felt great."
Broderick Green heads to the end zone on his 99 yard TD run that set a new school record.
Linebacker Freddy Burton picked off a pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.
Joe Adams had two TD catches in his return after 3 weeks off - this one of 78 yards.
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett completed his first 10 passes and finished the night 14-of-16 for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Arkansas 63, Eastern Michigan 27
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