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#18 Arkansas Torches UTEP's secondary in 48-13 romp

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UTEP played tough in the first half, but things got away real quick in the opening moments of the second half.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas Senior Quarterback Brandon Allen threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns, as the Hogs racked up 490 yards of total offense to put UTEP away 48-13 to open the season.

Allen completed nine of his first eleven passes in his first three drives of the game, and gave Arkansas an early 21-3 second quarter lead with 11:17 left in the half after he and Jared Cornelius hooked up on a screen play for a 53-yard score which was Allen's third touchdown pass of the half.

Mack Leftwich and the Miners would answer with an impressive six play, 75 yard drive finished off with a 10-yard  touchdown run off a reverse by Autrey Golden to pull the Miners within two scores at 21-10 with 8:56 left until halftime.

Leftwich was an efficient 2/2 for 49 yards on UTEP's lone touchdown drive of the game.

Arkansas scored on four of their five first half possessions, and went into the half with a 28-10 lead after Allen tossed his fourth touchdown of the half, and second to Keon Hatcher on 38-yard deep strike to end the half.

UTEP was out gained 384 to 140 in the first half, as the Hogs averaged 13.7 yards per play in the first 30 minutes of action.

Despite starting the second half with possession and a chance to make things close again, things would unravel quickly for the Miners in the first five minutes of the second frame.

Arkansas' Henre' Toliver coming off a blitz tipped-and-picked Leftwich on the first play from scrimmage in the second half giving Arkansas the ball back at  the UTEP seven yard line.

Alex Collins would pound it in for a score on the very next play to put the Hogs up 35-10 just 18 seconds into the second half.

UTEP's next two drives would result in negative-10 yards on 9 plays, both ending with botched snaps on punt attempts leading to points and major major momentum in Arkansas' direction.

The second special teams miscue came on a failed fake punt direct snap which would help Arkansas stretch their lead to 45-10 after Cole Hedlund banged home a 19-yard field goal with 8:38  left in the third quarter.

Jay Mattox booted a 44-yard field goal on the ensuing UTEP drive after the Miners moved the rock 55 yards on eleven plays with 3:01 left in the third quarter.

Keon Hatcher finished the afternoon with six catches for 106 yards, Alex Collins rushed for 127 yards and averaged 10.6 yards per carry for Arkansas.

The Arkansas defense produced eleven tackles for loss, holding UTEP to just 4.8 yards per play, and 204 total yards of offense.

Aaron Jones had 70 yards rushing on 15 carries, and a career high 83 yards receiving on six catches.

Mack Lefwtich played soundly with the costly interception as his lone mistake of the game, finishing 9/14 for 120 yards passing on the day.

Three UTEP quarterbacks completed passes today.  True freshman Kavika Johnson was 2/2 for 7 yards, rushing for another seven yards out of the Wild Miner.

Freshman Ryan Metz led UTEP's last series of the game and was 3/3 for 19 yards passing.

UTEP's young secondary was exposed early in the game.  Arkansas opened up with an efficient passing game plan and kept UTEP's eyes in man-to-man coverage off balanced for the entire first half.

Minus the two special teams turnovers, UTEP held their own despite the struggles in man coverage, and the first seven minutes of the second half in where the turnovers put this one away early for the Hogs.

UTEP was 7/14 on third downs and were penalized twice compared to six by Arkansas, but UTEP only averaged 1.7 yards per carry, and 58 total yards of rushing.

Up next is Texas Tech Red Raiders next week in Lubbock at 1:00 p.m. Mountain Time.