The Arkansas No.21 (9-4, 4-4 SEC) ended a remarkable recovery season with a 24-10 victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions (7-6, 4-5 Big Ten) in the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. On Saturday.
It was the Razorbacks’ first bowl victory since Kansas State’s loss to the Liberty Bowl in the 2015 season and the first bowl victory against a Big Ten school in program history.
Both defenses made early interceptions and offense was paramount until Arkansas broke through on a three-yard touchdown executed by Raheim sanders to take a 7-0 lead at the end of the allotted time in the first quarter.
Penn State responded with a long touchdown pass from Sean clifford KeAndre Lambert-Smith to equalize and took a 10-7 lead from a 33-yard field goal with just over five minutes left in the second quarter. After muffling a false punt and securing a solid position on the pitch, Arkansas was threatening in the final minute of the half before a rigged play attempt resulted in Warren thompson throwing in a pick that sent the Hogs to the locker room three behind.
Arkansas set the tone in the locker room with a big dose of their powerful running game. The Razorbacks have scored 17 straight runs on 176 rushing yards, including touchdown passes by KJ Jefferson and another from Sanders, to build up a 24-10 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Nittany Lions entered the red zone looking to take the lead over Razorback, but Joe foucha knocked out Clifford in the end zone with 12:39 left to end the threat.
Here’s a look at the injury report and inside numbers from Saturday’s Outback Bowl clash with Penn State:
IN THE NUMBERS
- 0 – Meetings between Arkansas and Penn State before Saturday
- 0 – Bowl wins on Big Ten programs for Arkansas coming into play
- 2 – 42-yard first-half completions for Clifford
- 2 – First-half interceptions thrown by passers-by from Arkansas
- 2 – Hurried touchdowns and 79 yards for Rocket Sanders
- 3 – TD site managed by Raheim sanders did it 7-0 Hogs as time expired in 1Q
- 3 – Punts and an interception for Arkansas offensive in the second quarter
- 3 – And for Penn State in their first practice of the second half
- 5 – Times Jefferson was sacked in the first half
- 5 – Years since Arkansas last bowl appearance (Belk Bowl 2016)
- 6 – Tackles de Foucha led the pigs
- 6 – Penalties for 40 yards by Arkansas, four for 10 yards by Penn State
- seven – Games, 57 yards and an INT for Arkansas on its opening drive
- seven – Suit Joe foucha, who knocked out Clifford in the end zone at the start of 4Q
- 8 – Times Arkansas played in a Florida bowl
- 8 – Yard TD led by Jefferson gave Arkansas a 14-10 lead with 12:42 in 3Q
- 9 – Shirt of Greg Brooks, who deflected Clifford’s first pass and pushed him back to the next drive
- 9 – Games, 43 yards and FG missed on Penn State’s first drive
- 9 – One-season wins for Arkansas for the first time since the 2011 season
- 9 – Tackles for loss by Penn State, four by Arkansas
- ten – First downs for each team in the first half
- 12 – Games and 60 yards on 5:42 for Arkansas first touchdown
- 13 – Works on the first 14 games of the third quarter for the Razorbacks
- 14 – Completions on 19 attempted passes by Jefferson
- 16 – Bowl wins in program history after Saturday’s win over Penn State
- 21 – Jefferson’s pass to Morris gave Arkansas their first 1st down
- 21 – Arkansas’ rushed early tries set Outback Bowl record
- 23 – Yards on 4-12 passing in the second half for Sean clifford
- 25 – Court 1Q managed by Dominique johnson was the longest game of the first half for Hogs
- 32 – Yard QB managed by Malik hornsby set up a 3Q touchdown for the Razorbacks
- 33 – Pinegar’s Yard FG put the Nittany Lions up 10-7 with 5:19 left in the half
- 33 – De’Vion Warren’s three-catching yard reception led the way for Arkansas
- 34 – Jefferson-led 3Q yard was the longest in the game
- 36 – Yard FG by Cam Little put Arkansas in the lead 17-10 with 6:29 left in 3Q
- 42 – The pass from the Yard TD from Clifford to Lambert-Smith tied 7-7 with 10:53 in 2Q
- 46 – rushing yards on four carries for Jefferson during TD practice in Q3
- 50 – Yard FG attempt by Penn State failed when opening the drive
- 59 – First quarter-yarder for Penn State
- 67 – Yards on 10-14 passing for Jefferson in the first half
- 67 – Yards over four races for the backup QB Malik hornsby
- 74 – Diplomas at the start of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa
- 75 – Construction sites, all on the ground, for the TD of Arkansas to open the 3Q
- 85 – Yards on 11 rushes per Dominique johnson led the Razorback running backs
- 97 – rushing yards on 26 first-half attempts for the Hogs
- 117 – First quarter-yarder for Arkansas
- 171 – Passes without interception for KJ Jefferson until the first drive of the game
- 172 – Total offensive yards for Arkansas in the first half
- 172 – Yards on 10-20 passing for Sean clifford in the first half
- 176 – Rushed courses for Arkansas in the third trimester only
- 200 – Multipurpose courses for KJ Jefferson (110 on the ground / 90 on the way)
- 229 – First offensive half-meters for Penn State
- 323 – Total offensive yards for the Nittany Lions on Saturday
- 344 – Yards per game authorized by Penn State this season
- 361 – Arkansas rushing yards second in Outback Bowl history
- 371 – Yards per game authorized by Arkansas this season
- 382 – offensive yards per game for Penn State this season
- 441 – offensive yards per game for Arkansas this season
- 451 – Total offensive yards for the Razorbacks on Saturday
ARKANSAS INJURY REPORT
did not participate: DL Dorian Gerald, DB Jalen catalon, WR Treylon Burks, FROM Tre williams, S Zach Zimos, QB Kade Renfro, FROM Mataio Soli
Injury in play: OL Dalton wagner (1Q, came back), RB Dominique johnson (4Q, right knee, did not return)
PENN STATE INJURY REPORT
did not participate: KG Ellis Brooks, KG Brandon smith, WR Jahan Dotson, S Jaquan Brisker, FROM Arnold ebiketie, DT Derrick Tangelo, OL Itch walker, DT PJ Mustipher
Injuries involved: Comic Joey porter Jr (2Q, ankle, came back), LB Curtis jacobs (3Q, came back), LB Jaylen reed (4Q, shoulder, did not come back)
HAVE YOU NOTICED?
- Saturday competition at Raymond James The stadium – home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – was the second NFL stadium in Arkansas played this season.
- It was also Florida’s first bowl for the Razorbacks since the 2007 Capital One Bowl against Wisconsin.
- The Outback Bowl was Arkansas’ first New Years game since the 2008 Cotton Bowl.
- Arkansas came on as one of two FBS teams with four running backs with over 450 rushing yards this season.
- The Razorbacks wore red helmets, red jerseys, and white pants. Penn State was in all white.
- In the ESPN pre-game photo KJ Jefferson, they used a stock photo of Treylon Burks as its representation in the graph.
- Trelon smith carried the American flag on the field for the Hogs, and Blake kern carried the Arkansas state flag.
- Arkansas won the first draw and carried over to the second half.
- Cam Little took over the kickoff duties for Arkansas and scored a touchback to open the game.
- Tyson morris, De’Vion Warren and Warren thompson were the starting wide receivers for Arkansas.
- KJ Jefferson threw her first interception since Oct. 9 at Ole Miss during Arkansas’ first practice.
- First-year wide catcher Bryce stephens saw early action in the lunge for the Hogs.
- With Dalton wagner exploded in the first trimester, Ty clary came for Arkansas on the right tackle.
- The Hogs were aggressive early on, converting to fourth in the red zone and beating the 1Q horn with a quick snap resulting in a Rocket Sanders touchdown.
- Arkansas have a replacement quarterback Malik hornsby involved in an options game and at the slot receiver during a 2Q series.
- The Razorbacks stifled a false punt attempt from Penn State in the dying minute of the first half.
- In Penn State territory with less than 30 seconds left in the half, Arkansas attempted a double pass with Warren thompson that was intercepted.
- Arkansas led the first half possession time 17:47 to 12:13
- Hornsby gave Jefferson a hard blow late in the third quarter and led the Razorbacks on another key touchdown.
- Jefferson became Arkansas’ first quarterback to run over 100 yards since Matt Jones in 2004.
- Arkansas defeated Penn State, 199-49, in the third quarter and outscored the Nittany Lions 17-0.
- John Daly was an Arkansas celebrity at the Outback Bowl.
- Looking to put things on the ice, the Hogs took advantage of their own 29-yard line and converted early in the fourth quarter.
- Christian Veilleux entered Penn State quarterback with 8:30 left in the game.
- Hornsby has taken over for good with 5:49 to go.
- At the end of the game, Arkansas had four rushers on 500 yards this season for the first time since 1975.
- With the victory, Sam pittman broke his head coaching record in Arkansas to over 0.500 (12-11).