Losing to Toledo in Week 2, all the talk was about Arkansas playing angry this week. How did Arkansas respond and was Texas Tech able to leave Fayetteville with a victory? Let's find out...
The game couldn't have started any better for Texas Tech. Forcing Arkansas to their first 3 and out of the season to start the game. Tech would take the opportunity and march down the field for a 8 play 77 yard TD drive capped by a TD pass from Mahomes to Davis. The following possession would result in an interception by Tevin Madison and giving Tech fans a glimpse of a 14-0 lead. It would be a fleeting glimpse at Mahomes would throw a deep wheel route to Stockton that would be intercepted as well giving momentum back to Arkansas.
Arkansas would respond with 7 play 60 yard drive for a TD by Alex Collins to tie the game 7-7. Texas Tech would respond with a 8 play 75 yard TD drive capped by a 1 yard Mahomes TD run.
End of 1st: Tech 14.... Arkansas 7
Arkansas opens the second quarter with an 12 play 81 yard TD drive that took 7:03 off the clock, capped by a Brandon Allen pass to Hunter Henry. Arkansas is executing the game plan UTEP wanted to last week. Control the clock and keep Tech's offense off the field and Tech's defense on.
Tech answers with a Jakeem Grant TD pass to Reginald Davis. Grant lines up in the backfield, gets the toss from Mahomes and Grant hits Davis who had gotten behind the Arkansas defense for 72 yards. Tech's scoring drive takes all of 0:26 off the clock. Tech leads 21-14.
Arkansas goes back to ground and pound and eating clock, with a 11 play 75 yard TD drive, capped by the 2nd TD pass by Allen. The drive takes 6:49 off the clock. Arkansas time of possession this quarter is 13:52 to 0:26 for Tech. Game tied 21-21. With 1:03 left in the half, Tech is unable to end the half with points as Mahomes throws an interception.
Halftime: Texas Tech 21... Arkansas 21
Texas Tech gets the ball to start the 3rd and drives 77 yards on 11 plays to put Tech up 28-21. Mahomes takes it in from 2 yards out for another rushing touchdown. The drive takes 4:29 off the clock. The real question is how would Tech's D respond? On a 3rd and 3 from the Texas Tech 4, Tech holds to force Arkansas to a FG. Arkansas has to be frustrated going 75 yards on 15 plays and taking over 8 minutes off the clock to only come away with three. Tech leads 28-24.
End of 3rd: Texas Tech 28... Arkansas 24
A Tech drive that started in the 3rd quarter, would end in the 4th quarter with a 22 yard TD run by Justin Stockton. The drive covers 83 yards, takes 9 plays and takes 3:51 off the clock. Tech leads 35-24.
Arkansas goes back to ground and pound, but a would be TD pass from Allen to Henry is called back because of offensive pass interference. Kingsbury tells his defense "This is it!" as Arkansas faces a 3rd and 17 with 8:20 left in the game, deep in Texas Tech territory. Allen drops back, has a man wide open, but under throws him for an incomplete pass. Arkansas' FG attempt misses wide right and Tech still leads 35-24 with 8:03 left. In a crucial drive for Tech, Kingsbury works the clock as Tech drives down inside the 10 to set up First and Goal with under 3 minutes left to go in the game. Arkansas would force a Tech FG attempt, but Michael Barden pulls it left keeping Arkansas hopes alive with 1:44 left and no timeouts.
As Arkansas starts their drive, true freshman Jah'Shawn Johnson rips the ball from Alex Collins to get the ball back to Tech and seal the victory!
FINAL: Texas Tech 35... Arkansas 24
Texas Tech's had 486 yards total offense to Arkansas 424
Tech holds Arkansas to just 228 yards rushing
Tech doesn't win the turnover battle, but it doesn't lose it either 2-2
Arkansas won Time of Possession 36:43 to 23:17
Texas Tech was converted 70% on 3rd down
Reginald Davis had 115 yards receiving
Jakeem Grant threw a 72 yard TD pass
Texas Tech did not punt all game
Prediction vs. Reality
My Prediction: Texas Tech 34 - Arkansas 31
My prediction summary:
Last year, Texas Tech didn't looked outmatched by Arkansas until some untimely turnovers in the second half and the realization that Arkansas's OL was much more physical and dominant than Tech's smaller DL. This year, Arkansas gets out in front, not by running, but by deep play action passes, catching Tech's safetys playing up. Tech answers with a screen to Washington that he takes to the house. This game is lower in score than most people might think. Arkansas is able to run, but not as freely as they did in 2014, but Tech's D holds in the 4th to give the offense a chance to drive for the winning score. Mahomes/Webb hit Grant on an out-n-up, wide open for the TD and the win. Kingsbury gets his first signature win since 2013.
You can find my full season predictions here. Spoiler, I predict a TCU win too!
No postgame quotes this week. Tech being on the road, they don't have it streaming. We'll get it next week! I will update with a link to the transcript as soon as it's available. There was some stuff that went down during the press conference and I've updated it to include the full press conference video. Check it out!
Next Week: vs. TCU at AT&T Jones, 3:45pm kickoff.
As always, tell us what you thought of the game. The good and the bad and what needs to happen going into next week against TCU. You can send questions for the mailbag to me on twitter @avcoachsmith or in the comments below, titled Mailbag.