FAYETTEVILLE – Brandon Allen threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns in his return at quarterback for the University of Arkansas football team, but the Razorbacks (3-2, 0-1 SEC) came up short in a 45-33 loss to No. 10 Texas A&M (4-1, 1-1 SEC) on Saturday.
Arkansas scored four touchdowns on the night, providing plenty to cheer about for the 72,613 in attendance inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Allen threw two touchdown passes to Jonathan Williams and one to Keon Hatcher, while Alex Collins rushed for another score on the ground.
"I told our guys after the game that nobody can take away the way they prepared and the way they competed," head coach Bret Bielema said. "We knew it was going to be a fourth quarter game. We knew we had to basically score every time we had it and monopolize the football. I thought Brandon Allen was great."
Trailing just 24-20 at halftime and pulling to within 38-33 late in the third quarter, Allen and the Razorbacks were held scoreless in the fourth quarter and unable to complete a comeback bid in their SEC opener against the Aggies.
In his SEC debut, Collins recorded his fourth 100-yard game of the season after rushing for 123 yards on just 14 carries, leaving him just one short of tying the Arkansas freshman record for 100-yard rushing games in a season (five, Darren McFapen).
Fellow freshman Hunter Henry had a career-high 109 yards receiving on four catches, including a career-long reception of 52 yards.
Zach Hocker aped a pair of field goals–39 yards and 28 yards–to round out Razorback scoring, which moved him into 13th on the SEC career-scoring list at 324 points on his career.
Pacing the Razorbacks defensively was Alan Turner, as the junior safety recorded a career-high 12 tackles, including nine solo stops, and aped a pass breakup.&
The game quickly turned into a shootout between the two teams, with a combined 24 points scored in the first quarter and 44 points by halftime. Texas A&M tallied 523 total yards of offense and Arkansas put up 483 total yards of its own in the game, as each team ran more than 65 plays offensively.
The Razorbacks proved opportunistic with their scoring chances, going 5-of-6 on red zone scoring trips. Arkansas has converted eight of its last nine trips to the red zone, improving to 15-for-18 (.833) this season.
"I’m excited about this group," Coach Bielema said. "If they give me the effort they did this week in practice and in this game tonight we’ll win some games."
Arkansas travels to Gainesville, Fla., next weekend for its first SEC road game of the season against Florida, Oct. 5. The game was held by CBS for a six-day window selection, as the game time and network will be announced Sunday.
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