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Arkansas comes back to beat Petrino-led Missouri State

The Hogs overcame a sloppy start to down the Bears, 38-27.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — Well, let's start with the final score. Look at that, 38-27 Arkansas. If that's all you saw (and considering this was a streaming-only game, that might actually be the case), you'd be satisfied.

Arkansas beat Missouri State, the Hogs are 3-0, and maybe we should just stop there. Because how this actually looked...not great!

Missouri State, in case you are just now tuning in, is coached by former Razorback coach Bobby Petrino. We all know what happened there, no need to belabor the point.

Petrino made his return to Fayetteville after a decade looking for a win, and the Bears came out swinging against #10 Arkansas.

After the teams traded punts, Arkansas looked to start the offense rolling, starting their second. drive with a big Jefferson to Landers completion. But then KJ fumbled, and Missouri State scored to take a 7-0 lead on the ensuing drive.

Arkansas followed with a long drive, but once again the turnover bug bit, with Rocket Sanders fumbling at the goal line.

That lead to a Bears field goal and a 10-0 deficit. Next drive, Arkansas punt. Next Missouri State drive, next Missouri State TD, and all of a sudden the Hogs trailed an FCS team 17-0 inside their own building. 

That woke the Hogs up. They drove 75 yards on 8 plays, finally getting some push against the Bears' defense and capping things with a short TD run for Sanders.

After a defensive stop, here came the explosive Arkansas offense. It took just two plays to go 85 yards, capped by a 38-yard TD strike from Jefferson to Haselwood, and Arkansas went into the locker room trailing 17-14.

The second half though started much like the first, another Arkansas turnover, as this time a KJ pass bounced off the hands of Trey Knox and was picked off by the Bears. 

The Hogs settled, forced a punt, then drove down for a field goal to tie the game at 17-17. 

But Missouri State wasn't done. On a play straight out of the Petrino playbook, the Bears went play action on 4th and one, leading to a wide-open touchdown. 

Their defense forced another Arkansas punt, and Missouri State drove for a field goal and a 10-point lead on Arkansas with just 12 minutes left to play in the game.

But the quick-strike Hog offense wasn't done. On the second play of the next drive, Jefferson flipped the ball to Rocket Sanders, who took it 73 yards to the house. 

Then came the special teams, as Bryce Stephens returned a punt for a touchdown, giving Arkansas their first lead of the game with nine minutes left to play. 

From there, the Arkansas defense stepped up, the offense put together one last touchdown drive. Arkansas walked away with a win, they'll be 3-0 headed into Dallas next week to take on Texas A&M.

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