October 18, 2021

Arkansas 38, Rice 17: Inside the Numbers & Injury Report – 247Sports


It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world, but the Arkansas Razorbacks overcame a 10-point third quarter deficit with 31 unanswered to defeat Rice, 38-17, in Saturday’s season opener from Donald W. Reynold Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville (Ark.).

Arkansas went on top 7-0 when KJ Jefferson broke free for a 34 yard touchdown scamper with 8:23 remaining in the first quarter, but the offense was largely dormant the rest of the half. Meanwhile, special teams and penalties reared their ugly heads for the Razorbacks.

Rice scored the next 10 points and took a 10-7 lead into the half, and the Owls built more momentum in the third quarter when Wiley Green connected with August Pitre III for a 41-yard touchdown pass to take a 17-7 lead at the 10:28 mark.

Arkansas answered quickly with a 6-play, 57-yard drive capped by a 5-yard touchdown run from Jefferson to bring the Hogs back within three, 17-14. The Razorbacks tied the game, 17-17, when Cam Little connected on a 34-yard field goal with 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

A Jalen Catalon interception and 39-yard return set up Trelon Smith for a two-yard touchdown run that put Arkansas on top 24-17 with 12:44 remaining. The Razorbacks effectively put the game away when Jefferson found Tyson Morris in the end zone to make it 31-17 with just over four minutes remaining, and Dominique Johnson added the icing on the cake with a 3-yard touchdown run with 58 seconds remaining to make the final score 38-17.

Here’s a look at the injury report and inside the numbers from Saturday’s contest:


  • 0 – Number of 1Q points allowed by Rice last season
  • 1 – Yard TD run by Jordan Myers put the Owls on top 10-7 with 4:19 left in half
  • 2 – Drops and two receptions (15 yards) by Treylon Burks in the first half
  • 2 – Interceptions on the afternoon for Jalen Catalon
  • 2 – Plays, 46 yards for Rice on its first scoring drive of the second half to go ahead 17-7
  • 2 – Yard TD run by Trelon Smith put Arkansas on top 24-17 with 12:44 to play
  • 2 – Starting Arkansas linebackers (Morgan/Pool) disqualified for targeting
  • 3 – Yard reception by Burks on the final play of 1Q, his first of season
  • 3 – Play, 40-yard TD drive for Arkansas put the game on ice for Arkansas in 4Q
  • 3 – Third-down conversions on 11 attempts for Arkansas
  • 4 – Yards on Jefferson’s first completion of the day to De’Vion Warren late in 1Q
  • 5 – Yard loss and a sack of KJ Jefferson on Arkansas’ first play from scrimmage
  • 5 – Plays, 28 yards and a punt for Rice on its first possession
  • 5 – Yard TD run by Jefferson brought Arkansas within 17-14 in 3Q
  • 5 – for 5 in red zone opportunities for Arkansas on Saturday
  • 6 – QB hurries and a pair of sacks by the Arkansas defense Saturday
  • 6 – Plays, 57 yards in 2:10 for Arkansas on its second TD drive of the afternoon
  • 6 – Solo tackles (11 total) for Jalen Catalon was tops for the Razorbacks
  • 7 – Yard scramble by Jefferson on his first run to convert a third-down
  • 7 – Tackles for loss by the Arkansas defense Saturday
  • 8 – Plays, 41 yards on Rice’s go-ahead TD drive late in first half
  • 8 – Penalties for 66 yards against Arkansas in first half
  • 8 – Carries for 51 yards on the afternoon for Jefferson
  • 9 – Yard TD connection from Jefferson to Morris put the Hogs up 31-17 with 4:07 to play
  • 10 – Jersey worn by Rice’s Kenneth Orji, who blocked a Reid Bauer punt to start 2Q
  • 10 – Penalties for 59 yards against Rice
  • 11 – Yard rush by Trelon Smith on his first carry of the game
  • 12 – Yard run for Raheim Sanders on his first career carry as a Hog
  • 12 – Yard catch by Burks in 2Q was longest of the first half
  • 13 – Penalties for 117 yards for the Razorbacks
  • 14 – Tackles by Bumper Pool led the way for Arkansas
  • 16 – Yards on Ketron Jackson’s first career reception in 4Q
  • 17 – (Own) average starting field position for Arkansas in first half
  • 17 – Points for each team as we went into the fourth quarter tied
  • 17 – Completions on 35 attempts by Rice quarterbacks Saturday
  • 19 – Returning starters for the Razorbacks
  • 20 – Yard completion from Rice’s Wiley Green to Bradley Rozner for the game’s first 1st down
  • 20 – Yard run by Trelon Smith for Arkansas’ first 1st down of the afternoon
  • 20 – Jersey worn by Dominique Johnson, who had his first carry, reception and TD in the 4Q
  • 21 – Passing yards on 4-of-11 attempts in first half for Jefferson
  • 21 – Jersey worn by Montaric Brown, who came up with a key fourth quarter interception of his own
  • 25 – Yard field goal by Rice’s Collin Riccitelli made it 7-3 with 11:55 remaining in half
  • 25 – Years since Arkansas lost home opener to non-Power 5 team (SMU in 1996)
  • 28 – Jersey worn by Andrew Parker, who replaced Morgan following his 1Q targeting call
  • 29 – Jersey worn by Rice’s Sean Fresch, who picked off Jefferson with 9:45 remaining in half
  • 31 – Yard reception by Tyson Morris in 3Q put Arkansas in red zone
  • 31 – Unanswered points by Arkansas after falling behind 17-7
  • 34 – Yard FG by Cam Little tied the game, 17-17, with 0:30 in 3Q
  • 34 – Yard TD run by Jefferson gave Arkansas a 7-0 lead with 8:23 left in 1Q
  • 36 – Yard FG attempt by Rice missed with 1:21 remaining in 1Q
  • 39 – Yard interception return by Jalen Catalon in 4Q set up go-ahead score for Hogs
  • 41 – Yard TD pass from Green to August Pitre III put Rice up 17-7 with 10:28 in 3Q
  • 42 – Yard kickoff return by LaDarrius Bishop gave Arkansas much-needed 3Q momentum
  • 42 – Receiving yards each for Burks and Morris led Arkansas on the day
  • 43 – Yard punt by Reid Bauer on his first attempt of the day
  • 44 – Yards on seven carries in Rocket Sanders’ debut for the Hogs
  • 47 – Yard line starting field position for Arkansas on first drive of second half
  • 50 – Yard line was average starting field position for Rice in first half
  • 55 – Total yards for Rice in 1Q
  • 68 – All-time meetings between Arkansas and Rice
  • 72 – Seconds and a 3-and-out for Arkansas on its first offensive possession
  • 75 – Yards on 13 first half carries for Trelon Smith
  • 80 – Yards on 8 plays for Arkansas’ first TD drive of the season (2:32)
  • 81 – Rushing yards allowed by Arkansas Saturday
  • 86 – Percent of starters returning for Rice
  • 90 – Degrees at kickoff
  • 102 – Total yards in 1Q for Arkansas (7 passing)
  • 102 – Rushing yards on 22 carries for Trelon Smith
  • 109 – Yards allowed by Arkansas defense in first half
  • 128 – Passing yards for Jefferson on the day (12-of-21)
  • 146 – Total yards of offense in first half for Arkansas
  • 207 – Rushing yards for Arkansas on the afternoon
  • 227 – Passing yards by Rice on the afternoon
  • 308 – Total yards of offense for Rice on the day
  • 317 – Average weight across the Arkansas O-line
  • 335 – Yards of total offense for the Razorbacks on the day
  • 10,877 – Days since Arkansas-Rice last played (11/23/91)
  • 11,262 – Days since Arkansas last lost to Rice (11/3/90)
  • 64, 065 – Announced attendance at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium




  • Grant Morgan represented Arkansas for the coin toss while fellow captains Myron Cunningham, Jalen Catalon, Joe Foucha and KJ Jefferson stood behind him near the sideline
  • Jake Yurachek carried the American flag and Ty Clary carried the Arkansas flag as the Razorbacks took the field prior to the game
  • Rice won the coin toss and deferred to the second half
  • LaDarrius Bishop was the deep man back to receive the opening kickoff for Arkansas, which was fumbled, but recovered by the Hogs
  • Wiley Green took the opening series at QB for Rice. He was listed as “OR” with Luke McCaffrey
  • Nate Parodi was back to at punt return to start things off for Arkansas. Greg Brooks got the second attempt
  • Razorback basketball players JD Notae and Connor Vanover fired up the crowd following Arkansas’ first scoring drive
  • With 8:16 remaining in the 1Q, Grant Morgan was hit with a targeting call on Rice QB Wiley Green. He was disqualified for the remainder of the contest
  • Luke McCaffrey entered at QB for Rice with 4:30 remaining in the 1Q, and the two continued to split time throughout
  • Rice blocked an Arkansas punt on first play of 2Q, giving them starting field position at the Razorback 21 yard line, resulting in a field goal for the Owls
  • Penalties stung the Hogs late in first half. Catalon received a personal foul and Bishop was hit with pass interference to help set up the go-ahead TD for Rice in 2Q
  • Hayden Henry entered at linebacker for Arkansas to start the second half. He was serving time after his targeting call in the 2020 season finale against Alabama
  • Arkansas failed to convert a 4th-and-2 on a QB sneak on its first possession of the second half but came up with a fourth-down stop of its own later in the quarter
  • KJ Jefferson is the first Arkansas quarterback to rush for two touchdowns in a game since Tyler Wilson in 2011
  • With 8:15 remaining in the game, Arkansas’ Bumper Pool was disqualified for targeting, making it a short day for both starting linebackers
  • KJ Jefferson had a 68-yard fourth quarter touchdown run called back on a holding penalty by Ketron Jackson
  • Trelon Smith went over the century mark in rushing yards with his five yard carry later in the fourth quarter


  • Arkansas will be back inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium next Saturday, September 11 when they welcome the Texas Longhorns to Fayetteville for a 6 p.m. CDT kickoff. The game is currently scheduled to be televised on ESPN.
  • The following weekend, September 18, the Razorbacks will wrap up their early home stand when they host Georgia Southern in the final non-conference test before the start of SEC play. Kickoff from DWRRS is scheduled for 3 p.m. CDT with the game set to air on SEC Network.