FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.-Lawrence Richardson returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown to spark the Arkansas Razorbacks to a 42-19 victory over the Weber State Wildcats Saturday night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Richardson's return marked the first kick return for a touchdown since Cedric Cobbs' 95 yard score against Middle Tennessee State in 1999.
"Lawrence set the tempo of the game," Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. "He followed his blocks, hit the crease and flew down the sidelines."
The Hogs (2-3, 0-3 SEC) increased their lead to 14-0 midway through the first quarter when tailback Brandon Holmes scored from one yard out. The score capped a four-play, 24-yard Razorback drive.
The score remained 14-0 until late in the second quarter when Zak Clark connected with George Wilson for a 33-yard touchdown pass to put the Razorbacks up 21-0.
The Hogs dominated the first half of play, rolling up 227 yards of total offense including 127 on the ground. Fred Talley led all rushers in the half gaining 92 yards on 15 carries, while Holmes had 31 yards on five carries.
The Razorbacks picked up where they left off offensively in the second half, scoring on their first two possessions to increase their lead to 35-7.
After recovering a Weber State fumble on the opening possession of the half, Talley scampered 35 yards to pay dirt to put the Hogs up 28-0.
Weber State cut the lead to 28-7 with a 7:21 left in the third quarter with a 13-play, 80-yard drive capped by Mark Larsen's five-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Tyler Gladwell.
Arkansas, however, answered that score with a 65-yard drive that culminated in Decori Birmingham's 10-yard touchdown run to put the Hogs up 35-7 with 4:24 remaining in the third quarter.
The Wildcats found the end zone again, this time on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Gladwell to Damon Greenberry to make the score 35-13 midway through the fourth quarter. The extra point attempt was no good.
Arkansas freshman Matt Jones added the final Razorback highlight of the night when he busted loose on a 59-yard touchdown run with 6:21 left in the game to put the Hogs up 42-13. The Wildcats added a late touchdown with less than a minute remaining for the final 42-19 margin.
"It's always good to get a win," Nutt said. "We have not had the taste of victory in a long time. It was a good dose of medicine that the team needed."