Arkansas defeated Mississippi State 58-42 on Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss.
It was the Hogs’ (7-4, 3-4 SEC) first win over the Bulldogs since 2011. Running back Rawleigh Williams III was the hero for Arkansas with 205 yards, 4 rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown.
Here’s the rundown of what Arkansas coach Bret Bielema had to say following the game:
- Bielema points to Arkansas’ 24-point second quarter as what helped decide the game. “We stayed on track offensively and made some adjustments on defense.”
- Bielema says quarterback Austin Allen “really came around this week” after a rough performance in a loss to LSU a week ago. Bielema adds Allen was “locked in” tonight and that he took too much blame for the loss to LSU.
- Bielema says his team “responds well” to negative situations. “I think our guys took a personal challenge to it. I love this team. I love the way they respond.”
- Bielema on the running game: “Rawleigh, he and Devwah (Whaley) both continue to make stride. Obviously, they’re getting better blocking up front I think our o-line made some strides.” He also credits the wideouts for exceptional blocking downfield.
- Bielema says Williams “played with a chip on his shoulder and a purpose.” He brags on Whaley and T.J. Hammonds as well.
- “We’ve got to be able to run and pass. We’re a team that needs to do both.” Arkansas had over 300 yards both rushing and passing.
- Bielema on where the defense is at: “We’ll make some changes during the out of season just to make sure that we’re a little more solid and can try to put some pressure on the quarterback.” He says football has evolved into an offense game.
- When he was informed they didn’t punt: “We didn’t have to punt? Wow, we had a good game plan.”
- Bielema recapping the game and what’s to come: “It was a fun day. We will hop on this plane and get a chance on the short week to get done what we need to this week.”
- On getting his first win over Mississippi State: “It’s a big deal. We kind of have slowly begun to eliminate teams from that. Obviously we still haven’t gotten a couple that are out there to get next year.”
- Bielema says “I think we’re confident in all (offensive) calls. I don’t think Dan ever calls a call expecting to fail.” He adds the players were very unselfish and just wanted to “get a team win.”
- “I thought (offensive coordinator) Dan (Enos) and (offensive line coach) Kurt (Anderson) really were wired in to some calls that you could see gashed them, especially in the first half.” Bielema adds credit to tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. for his work from the press box.
- Bielema says he never mentions other games to his team in pregame, but he did bring up Florida beating LSU today. “My point to them was if you play the way you’re capable of playing … you can play with anybody in the country.” Arkansas beat Florida 31-10 and lost to LSU 38-10.
- Bielema on how his team handled the cowbell noise so well: “We had cowbell express going on (at practice) all week.” Arkansas only committed one penalty and neither was a false start or delay of game.