Arkansas Hog-Ties MSU 52-6 - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/22/03

Arkansas Hog-Ties MSU 52-6

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Houston Nutt has talked about his seniors all year and on Saturday just about every one of them played a part in Arkansas' 52-6 victory over Mississippi State. Cedric Cobbs ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns. George Wilson was two yards shy of 100 yards' receiving and caught a touchdown pass. Ryan Sorahan threw one. Linebacker Caleb Miller caused and recovered a fumble. Three senior defensive backs combined for four of the Razorbacks' six interceptions. Four senior offensive linemen helped pave the way for 320 yards rushing and 576 total yards. ``Everybody rallied around each other,'' Nutt said. ``They have an awesome respect for these 25 guys that played today. They really came together and gave all the effort they had.'' Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones completed 11 of 16 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns and added 73 yards rushing. Arkansas (8-3, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) scored on its first five possessions of the second half, and took advantage of Mississippi State's eight turnovers. ``We started the game well and then we started throwing the ball away,'' said Mississippi State coach Jackie Sherrill, who has announced his retirement at the end of this season. He will finish his coaching career 0-9-1 in the state of Arkansas. ``You certainly can't do that and expect to win a ball game. You can't give a team good field position.'' Bulldogs quarterback Kevin Fant threw three interceptions and backup Kyle York had three interceptions and a fumble. Mississippi State (2-9, 1-6) managed just 227 yards on offense.

``Mississippi State can run and they can make plays, but right now they're turning the ball over,'' Nutt said. ``We appreciate the turnovers and the defense did a great job of creating those turnovers. They gave us good field position and gave us easy chances to score.'' Since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992, no team had won by more than 10 points in this tightly contested series. Nutt allowed Cobbs to carry the ball on six straight rushes early in the fourth quarter, pushing the senior over 1,000 yards for the first time. He has 1,010 yards on the season and 2,708 for his career, which puts him fourth on Arkansas' career list. ``I thought it would have been a lot easier than it was,'' Cobbs said. ``I was expecting some big runs, but it took me 30 carries. Mississippi State can play when they want to play and they can also lay down.'' Arkansas' six interceptions were the most since 1970, when it had nine against SMU. Senior defensive back Bo Mosley grabbed two interceptions, sophomore Vickiel Vaughn had two, while seniors Eddie Jackson and Marvin Jackson each snagged one. It's the second time in three games that the Razorbacks defense hasn't given up a touchdown. It held South Carolina to a pair of fields goals on Nov. 6. ``Defensively, we have to step it up each week and today we did that well,'' Eddie Jackson said. ``We are peaking toward the end of the season.'' The offense opened the second half with a 12-play, 80-yard drive capped by Jones' 12-yard touchdown to tight end Jason Peters for a 28-6 lead. The Razorbacks scored on their next four possessions, taking advantage of three turnovers. Cobbs added his second touchdown, Wilson caught a 25-yard touchdown, Sorahan threw a 43-yard touchdown to junior Steven Harris and senior reserve kicker Ryan Gullett kicked a 24-yard field goal. Mississippi State moved the ball against Arkansas' defense and dominated time of possession in the first half, but the Bulldogs only managed Brent Smith's two field goals. On the Bulldog's first drive that ended in a field goal, Fant tried to call time out on first-and-10 from the 19, but center Blake Jones snapped the ball and Fant had to fall on it for a 7-yard loss. On the second one, running back Nick Turner dropped a pitch at the 9 when it looked like Mississippi State had called for an option pass. Receiver Omarr Conner was all alone in the end zone as Turner fell on the ball. The Razorbacks took a 21-6 halftime lead thanks to a pair of turnovers.

Arkansas only had 47 yards after its first two drives, but Miller set up a short drive by stripping the ball from Mississippi State fullback Bryson Davis. The Razorbacks took eight plays to cover 26 yards, taking a 7-3 lead on De'Arrius Howard's 1-yard run with 13:43 left in the second quarter. Jones converted a fourth down with a sneak and he had a 14-yard run to the 1 to set up the touchdown. Two plays later, Justin Jenkins let a pass from Kevin Fant bounce off his fingers and Arkansas senior Bo Mosley made his first interception of the year at the Razorbacks 21. Jones hit George Wilson on a 55-yard pass downfield to set up a hard-fought 7-yard touchdown run By Cedric Cobbs. Arkansas answered the Bulldogs' second field goal with an 11-play, 65-yard drive that ended 25 seconds before the half with right tackle Shaun Andrews running for his second 1-yard touchdown in two weeks. Andrews, a Lombardi Award finalist, hopped over the goal line on his second effort.

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