Allen leads Arkansas past La-Lafayette 34-14

Brandon Allen made sure his new head coach made a solid first

impression at Arkansas.

Allen was 15-of-22 passing for 230 yards and three touchdowns as

Arkansas opened the Bret Bielema era with a 34-14 win over

Louisiana-Lafayette.

Allen, taking over as the starting quarterback for the

Razorbacks, threw a pair of touchdown passes to Javontee Herndon

and helped improve Bielema to 8-0 in his career in season

openers

Sophomore Jonathan Williams rushed for 151 yards and freshman

Alex Collins added 131 of his own for Arkansas (1-0), which

outgained the Ragin’ Cajuns (0-1) 522-274 in total yardage.

Williams did so on 18 carries while Collins had 21.

Terrance Broadway was 15-of-28 passing for 171 yards and a

touchdown for Louisiana-Lafayette, which fell to 0-37 against

Southeastern Conference opponents.

The Ragin’ Cajuns entered Saturday full of confidence, coming

off back-to-back 9-4 seasons that included a pair of wins in the

New Orleans Bowl and a near upset of Florida last season.

However, they quickly discovered that the Razorbacks had plenty

of confidence of their own under Bielema – who has spent much of

the offseason ridding Arkansas of the memories of last season’s 4-8

disaster and instilling a new breed of physical football.

The power game was evident on the Razorbacks opening drive,

during which they ran the ball eight times and threw it only three

on their way to a touchdown. Allen capped the 11-play, 75-yard

touchdown drive with a 6-yard scoring pass to Herndon, who was open

after a play-action fake to the other side of the field.

Arkansas finished with 292 yard rushing, surpassing the team’s

highest total on the ground from all of last season – a 167-yard

effort in a loss to Mississippi.

The rushing output was a mirror of the teams Bielema fielded

while at Wisconsin, where he led the school to three Rose

Bowls.

Williams, who left the game briefly in the first half with an

apparent shoulder injury, had the highlight of the game – in a game

full of highlights – for the Razorbacks. The sophomore put Arkansas

ahead 34-14 midway through the third quarter when he took a handoff

to the right and then cut back to the left, scampering 75 yards

down the sideline for the score.

While the running attack controlled the action for much of the

game for the Razorbacks, it was Allen who shined equally as bright

in his first game as Tyler Wilson’s heir at quarterback. Allen, who

struggled in limited action last season while Wilson was injured –

including a start in a 52-0 loss to eventual national champion

Alabama – was 11-of-15 passing in the first half for 193 yards and

a pair of touchdowns.

Allen’s second touchdown was a 49-yard strike to Herndon to put

Arkansas up 14-7 early in the second quarter. The pass came after a

play-action fake on first down, and Herndon made a spectacular play

on the ball – making a one-handed catch with his left hand and

cradling it next to his body while falling into the end zone.

Louisiana-Lafayette trailed 20-7 at halftime and appeared to

grab the momentum after recovering an Arkansas fumble early in the

second half. However, the Razorbacks forced a fumble on the Ragin’

Cajuns first play following the turnover.

Allen followed five plays later with his third touchdown pass of

the game, a 10-yard pass in the flat to fullback Kiero Small – who

avoided one defender and barreled over two more on his way into the

end zone.