Without Sanders, Hogs struggle with Kent State

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson threw for 136 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Razorbacks to a 28-6 win over Kent State on Saturday.

Arkansas’ offense was not especially sharp most of the game, finishing with a modest 308 yards of total offense against the team picked to finish last in the Mid-American Conference. Jefferson threw for Arkansas’ first touchdown with 2:20 left in the first half on a five-yard pass to Andrew Armstrong in the back of the end zone.

The Razorbacks (2-0) had trailed 3-0 before Antonio Grier scored a 25-yard pick-six on his first snap in an Arkansas uniform after transferring from South Florida.

Rashod Dubinion added a one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Jefferson threw his second touchdown, a 12-yard completion to Armstrong, in the fourth. Armstrong, a transfer from FCS-member Texas A&M-Commerce, led the Razorbacks with four catches for 21 yards and two scores.

Arkansas linebacker Jaheim Thomas and the defense kept Kent State (0-2) from any significant damage. Thomas led the team with 12 tackles, including two for-loss, and the Razorbacks sacked Mike Alaimo seven times, resulting in 26 total rushing yards on 36 carries.

Kent State had its best chance at a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter by going on a 10-play, 70-yard drive. The Golden Flashes had four tries from inside the Arkansas 2, but were stuffed each play.

ROCKET GROUNDED

Arkansas’ Raheim Sanders did not play against Kent State because of a knee injury. Coach Sam Pittman said earlier in the week that Sanders, a preseason second-team All-American, could miss Week 3, as well.

Sanders had 1,443 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns last year.

THE TAKEAWAY

Kent State: After losing by 50 points in their opener to Central Florida, the Golden Flashes looked better against an SEC opponent. Still, Kent State’s bowl hopes will hinge on how it handles MAC play.

Arkansas: The Razorbacks have won twice by large margins, but the margins belie some offensive issues and with a possible bowl team visiting in Week 3, Arkansas will have to improve, especially in the running game.

UP NEXT

Kent State: Hosts Central Connecticut State from the FCS on Saturday.

Arkansas: Hosts Brigham Young on Saturday.

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