FAYETTEVILLE — Zach Hocker’s 34-yard field goal to end the first half against Louisiana-Lafayette made the senior Arkansas’ all-time leading scorer for the Razorbacks with 295 points. The Russellville product has handled Arkansas’ placekicking duties since his freshman year. The record of 294 points had been held by running back Bill Burnett, who played from 1968-70.
Every kickoff by Hocker against the Ragin’ Cajuns resulted in a touchback.
Hocker kicked off to begin the second half, but was relieved by junior John Henson after Arkansas scored on Jonathan Williams’ 75-yard TD run. Henson’s PAT was good and he kicked off following the score.
Hocker did not handle punting duties on Saturday. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said Hocker wasn't 100 percent because of a groin injury, but he kicked the extra point after the opening-drive TD and kicked off after that. When the Razorbacks’ second drive stalled after three plays, junior Sam Irwin-Hill punted 45 yards. His second punt was 37 yards.
Third down ‘woo’
The new “abbreviated Hog call” made its debut Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette. It happened for the first time when ULL had the ball at its 31 with 7:21 to go in the first quarter. The crowd began the “Woo” part of the yell and held it until the ball was snapped, followed by a “Pig, Sooie.” The impact was not what Coach Bret Bielema had in mind; the Ragin’ Cajuns made six yards for a first down. The call got the desired results later in the drive when Will Hines broke up a pass in the end zone on third-and-goal from the 10. An ensuing field goal attempt was no good and Arkansas got the ball at the 20 with 4:18 to go in the opening quarter. For the game, the yell was “successful,” as Arkansas held the Ragin’ Cajuns on eight of 12 third-down plays.
The yell has been part of Razorback kickoffs for years. Intended to rattle the opposition’s offense on third down, the yell was encouraged by Bielema.
Other new things
The abbreviated Hog call on third down was one of several things added to the game-day experience Saturday. The team entered the field through the “A” formed by the band just after a Hog call led by cheerleaders and the band. A new kickoff video on the big board was played just as the band cleared the field. The video included an appearance by longtime coach and athletic director Frank Broyles quoting from the Razorback fight song by saying “Hit That Line.”
Also, “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath blared from the speakers at Reynolds Razorback Stadium just prior to kickoff. The 1980s hit has been a favorite of students for years and is often recommended for playing during pregame. Saturday was the first time the song has been part of pregame activities.
ULL Red Zone
The Ragin’ Cajuns’ were second in the nation in Red Zone efficiency last season and entered the 2013 campaign having scored the last 31 times they had the ball inside opponents’ 20. The streak ended Saturday when Louisiana-Lafayette drove to the Arkansas 10 on its first possession, but eventually missed a 27-yard field goal. Last season, the Ragin’ Cajuns scored 55 of 58 times. Clemson led the nation, scoring 56 of 59 times in the Red Zone.
Collins debuts at 100-plus
Heralded freshman Alex Collins is in good company at Arkansas. He became the first freshman to rush for 100 yards since Felix Jones did it in 2005 in the season opener against Missouri State. Collins and Jonathan Williams both eclipsed the 100-yard mark — the first time two Razorbacks have rushed for 100 yards or more since Darren McFadden and Jones against South Carolina in 2007.
A T-shirt gun apparently exploded in the first quarter of Saturday’s Arkansas-ULL game, injuring an intern in the University of Arkansas’ athletics marketing department. He was placed on a stretcher, but neither his name nor the extent of his injuries were not released by the university or Washington Regional Medical Center. Everyone in the stadium heard the loud boom and what sounded like the release of air pressure about midway through the first quarter.
The big play
Arkansas went 75 yards in five plays, thanks to a 49-yard pass from Brandon Allen to Javontee Herndon to put Arkansas up 14-7 with 11:30 left in the half. The first-down bomb was not the kind of play many Arkansas fans were expecting from a Bret Bielema-coached team. In the first half against Louisiana-Lafayette, the Razorbacks passed 15 times and ran 23.
After an impressive opening drive for 80 yards and a touchdown, including a 3-for-3 passing performance by Brandon Allen, the Hogs went three and out on their second offensive series. Two runs by Jonathan netted four yards and a pass from Allen to Julian Horton on the left sideline was incomplete.
No SEC success
The Ragin’ Cajuns are now winless in 37 games against opponents from the Southeastern Conference, including 0-5 against Arkansas. Prior to Saturday, the Razorbacks defeated Louisiana-Lafayette in 1991, 1992, 1995, 1998 and 2002.
New signs in the southeastern and southwestern corners of Reynolds Razorback Stadium mark the 75th anniversary of the stadium. The stadium, which was named Bailey Stadium after the state’s governor, Carl Bailey, from 1938-1940, was renamed in 2001 for Donald W. Reynolds, whose foundation funded renovations.
Allen makes 7
Under Coach Bret Bielema, Brandon Allen became the seventh quarterback to start an opening game and upped Beilema’s record in season-opening games to 7-0.