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Stephens steps up to return

by Bob Holt | November 14, 2021 at 3:26 a.m.

University of Arkansas freshman wide receiver Bryce Stephens might have a future as a punt returner.

Stephens, filling in for Nathan Parodi at LSU on Saturday night, returned the first punt by Avery Atkins 26 yards to the Arkansas 47.

That gave Stephens 53 yards on the first two punt returns of his college career.

Stephens was the Razorbacks' No. 1 returner against LSU because Parodi didn't make the trip for an undisclosed reason.

After Parodi had four returns for 114 yards in Arkansas' 45-3 victory over the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Oct. 23 -- including an 80-yarder for a touchdown -- Stephens got his chance to make a return and gained 27 yards.

Stephens' big return on Saturday night set up a 48-yard field goal by Cam Little that gave the Razorbacks a 3-0 lead.

Parodi, a junior, has 15 returns for 163 yards this season.

Better at catching

Treylon Burks is one of the top receivers in Arkansas history, but maybe the Arkansas coaching staff needs to stop calling track plays where he passes.

Burks was 0 of 7 on career passes after his deep pass intended for A.J. Green fell incomplete on third-and-14 from the Arkansas 13.

The Razorbacks opened their 31-28 victory over Mississippi State last week with a deep pass from Burks intended for De'Vion Warren that missed that mark.

Burks was 0-of-1 passing in 2019 (Western Kentucky), 0 of 4 in 2020 (Georgia, Texas A&M, Missouri and Alabama) and is now 0 of 2 this season. He threw an interception against Georgia last season.

Another long one

Arkansas freshman Cam Little's 48-yard field goal to cap the Razorbacks' opening drive made him 6 of 7 this season on attempts between 40 and 49 yards.

Little hit his season long of 51 yards against Mississippi State last week along with makes of 48 and 46 yards.

For starters

Arkansas went with four defensive linemen in its starting lineup with Eric Gregory joining the usual three-man lineup of John Ridgeway, Tre Williams and Markell Utsey.

Cornerback Hudson Clark made his second start of the season.

Running Reid

Razorbacks punter Reid Bauer ran for a 23-yard gain on a fake field goal attempt in the third quarter.

With Arkansas facing fourth-and-6 from the LSU 36, Bauer -- the holder -- took the snap and took off running for a first down.

The fake set up a shorter field goal attempt for Cam Little, who hit from 27 yards to put the Razorbacks ahead 13-10.

First sack

Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Taurean Carter got his first career sack for the Razorbacks when he took down LSU quarterback Garrett Nussmeier for a 1-yard loss.

Lots of flags

Arkansas was penalized five times for 30 yards in the first quarter. The Razorbacks settled down and didn't have penalties in the second quarter and two for 14 yards in the third quarter.

Hello, Governor

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson was spotted on the field before the game.

Flag bearers

Running back T.J Hammonds carried the Arkansas flag and linebacker Andrew Parker carried the United States flag onto the field for the Razorbacks.


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