FAYETTEVILLE With quarterback Brandon Allen sidelined for most of the game, Arkansas rode its run game and a sound defensive effort to beat Southern Miss 24-3 Saturday at Razorback Stadium.
Running backs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams each rushed for more than 100 yards for the third straight game, and each scored a touchdown in the second half to help the Razorbacks put the game away. Southern Miss (0-3) lost its NCAA-leading 15th consecutive game.
Allen injured his shoulder on a 5-yard touchdown run with 5:47 remaining in the first quarter, which gave Arkansas a 7-0 lead. Backup A.J. Derby played the final three-plus quarters for the Razorbacks at quarterback.
Derby, who transferred from junior college, completed 4 of 6 pass attempts for 36 yards. Arkansas ran the ball almost exclusively with him in the game, finishing with 258 yards on 56 carries as a team.
Southern Miss kicker Corey Acosta pulled the Golden Eagles within 7-3 with a 27-yard field goal early in the second quarter, but Arkansas extended its lead to 10-3 at halftime when Zach Hocker connected on a 42-yard attempt shortly before the break.
Arkansas put the game away in the second half with its run game and a pair of defensive stops. Acosta missed a field goal attempt in the third quarter and Southern Miss was stopped on a fake field goal attempt on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Williams' 45-yard touchdown run in the third quarter extended Arkansas' lead to 17-3 and Collins added a 7-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter to cap the scoring. Williams led the Razorbacks with 116 yards on the ground, while Collins rushed for 115 yards.
Collins became the first freshman in Southeastern Conference history to rush for at least 100 yards in his first three games. Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson (2004) was the last freshman to accomplish the feat in college football prior to Collins.
Arkansas improved to 3-0 with the win. The Razorbacks will travel to Rutgers next Saturday.