The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Fayetteville, AR

Allen's career day leads Arkansas past UTEP

2490 days ago
Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Brandon Allen threw for a career-high 308 yards and matched his best with four touchdown passes as No. 18 Arkansas opened its season with a 48-13 win over UTEP on Saturday.

The senior, beginning his third year as the starter for the Razorbacks, threw for 256 yards and all four touchdowns in the first half -- including a pair of scores to Keon Hatcher, who finished with six catches for 106 yards.

Allen's previous best was 296 yards passing against Georgia last season, and he also had four touchdowns against Nicholls State a year ago.

Alex Collins added 127 yards rushing on 12 carries for Arkansas, including a 70-yard burst to end the first half.

Aaron Jones led the Miners with 15 carries for 70 yards rushing.

The game was the first for the Razorbacks with Dan Enos, the former head coach at Central Michigan, as offensive coordinator.

Allen threw for 20 touchdowns and only five interceptions last season, but he was at his best -- and most efficient -- in his first start following a spring and offseason under Enos' watch.

The senior finished 14-of-18 passing and threw for touchdowns on each of Arkansas' first four drives of the game, including a perfectly placed 38-yard pass to Hatcher to put the Razorbacks up 28-10 in the second quarter. He has now attempted 108 straight passes without an interception, none in Arkansas' last five games.

That's the second-best streak of his career, following a stretch of 116 passes without an interception last season.

Arkansas led 28-10 at halftime, with UTEP's lone touchdown coming on a 10-yard run by Autrey Golden.

The Razorbacks quickly ended any suspense early in the second half, thanks to a serious of miscues by the Miners -- who had one drive end with an interception and two more with poor snaps on punt attempts.

Following the interception and first of the bad snaps, Arkansas only needed two plays to score a pair of touchdowns to open the second half. Collins had the first from 7 yards out, while Kody Walker ran in from 3 yards out to put the Razorbacks up 42-10.

UTEP reached the New Mexico Bowl last season, but it struggled to move the ball against an Arkansas team that finished 10th in the country in total defense last season. The Miners were outgained 490-204 in total yardage, with sophomore quarterback Mack Leftwich finishing 9-of-14 passing for 120 yards.