FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas dispatched underdog Texas State in dominating fashion by throttling its up-tempo attack and scoring another defensive touchdown en route to a 42-3 victory Saturday.
The No. 24 Razorbacks (3-0) outgained the Bobcats (1-1) 467-105 in total yards and received touchdowns from five different players before a crowd of 72,114 at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Playing as a ranked team for the first time since Week Two last season, the Razorbacks were favored by 30½ points and took charge from the opening kickoff.
Arkansas scored first on Keon Hatcher's 9-yard touchdown catch from Austin Allen to cap an 82-yard drive on the opening series, then the Hogs went to work constricting a Texas State offense that racked up 546 yards in its season-opening victory.
The Razorbacks, who were coming off a 41-38 upset of No. 15 TCU in double overtime last week, won for the ninth time in their past 10 games.
"I knew that our guys were going to hear about how well they played last week," Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema said. "I really put the screws to them about turning the page.
"I thought they did a pretty good job of that. In this league, if you worry too much about what happened yesterday, tomorrow hits you in the face."
Arkansas cornerback Ryan Pulley took an interception back 25 yards for Arkansas' second defensive score in as many weeks and Rawleigh Williams rushed for 121 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Austin Allen was efficient, hitting 16 of 21 passes for 241 yards and 2 touchdowns.
"I feel like we executed on all fronts," Allen said. "I just think that goes back to our preparation. We didn't have a lackadaisical approach this week.
"We came in like we were going to play the best team we were going to play all year. That's the kind of approach we've got to have every week."
Arkansas improved to 24-1 against the current Sun Belt lineup.
Texas State wanted to run 80-plus plays, but constant harassment from Arkansas' defensive front limited the Bobcats to just eight first downs and 52 offensive snaps.
Arkansas rushed for a season-high 226 yards and passed for 241 yards.
"Hats off to a really good Arkansas team," Texas State Coach Everett Withers said. "They were big and physical, just like we thought they would be. They ran the ball well. They're deserving of a top 25 spot, I believe.
"I attribute this to youth, Arkansas and lack of execution. All three of those."
Arkansas racked up four sacks -- including 1½ by Jeremiah Ledbetter -- and held the Bobcats to 22 rushing yards.
The teams agreed to play a 10-minute fourth quarter because of a storm front heading toward Fayetteville. Arkansas dominated time of possession by a count of 34:29 to 20:31.
Arkansas had the answer for Texas State's hurry-up offense by attacking with vigor in the Bobcats' backfield and forcing quarterback Tyler Jones into rushed throws and one huge mistake. McTelvin Agim had pressure in Jones' face, which led to his forced throw toward the sideline on the Pulley interception early in the second quarter.
Pulley made the pick, steadied himself and had free sailing into the end zone for his first career touchdown and a 21-0 Arkansas lead.
"Ryan is a very athletic corner, very gifted, and he's got really good ball skills," Bielema said.
Jones, who passed for 418 yards in the opener, was 11 of 26 for 83 yards.
Allen played into the fourth quarter before yielding to freshman Ty Storey in the fourth quarter. Allen lost a fumble on a sack and strip with Arkansas leading 28-0 in the second quarter, but the defense stopped Texas State in its tracks after the turnover.
Jones overthrew a deep pass on first down, linebacker Brooks Ellis broke up a second-down pass, then Ledbetter hit Jones as he tried to pass on third down. The last play was initially ruled a fumble and a scoop-and-score touchdown by JaMichael Winston, but the replay booth ruled Jones' arm was coming forward, nullifying the touchdown.
Williams posted his second 100-yard game of the season and the third of his career. The sophomore scored on runs of 1 and 15 yards. Kody Walker added a 1-yard touchdown for the Razorbacks.
Texas State gained 9 yards on its first snap -- a pass from Jones to Eric Luna over the middle -- and notched a first down on the next play.
But Arkansas forced six consecutive three and outs the rest of the half and held the Bobcats to 8 yards of total offense on their final six possessions of the half.
Arkansas established a tempo to its liking on its opening possession, grinding out a 10-play, 82-yard drive to take the lead. Allen went 4 for 4 on the drive for 43 yards, and the Bobcats chipped in with a 15-yard face mask penalty.
Hatcher caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Allen while being hit by safety Javante O'Roy to cap the drive.
Allen found Hatcher for a 73-yard pass on Arkansas' second possession. The play was originally ruled a 74-yard touchdown, but the replay official spotted Hatcher on the 1 and Walker bulled in for a 1-yard touchdown on the next snap.
Hatcher finished with three receptions for 96 yards.
Arkansas won the clock battle 20:20 to 9:37 in the first half, holding the Bobcats to one first down and 26 yards total offense on 24 plays.
Freshman Devwah Whaley saw the most significant playing time of his career, rushing 11 times for 50 yards.
The Razorbacks divided their sacks, with Deatrich Wise, Winston, Austin Capps, Bijhon Jackson and Brandon Lewis all being credited for half-sacks to go along with Ledbetter's total.
Jeremy Sprinkle's 10-yard touchdown catch on play-action and Williams' 1-yard scoring run gave Arkansas a comfortable 35-0 lead at the half.
Sports on 09/18/2016
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