Georgia Southern blown out at No. 20 Arkansas


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (WSAV) – Georgia Southern’s road matchup with the Arkansas Razorbacks followed a script similar to the rest of their young season: brief moments of optimism broken up by long stretches of penalties, blown coverages and missed opportunities.

Arkansas exploited Georgia Southern’s beleaguered secondary for 364 passing yards and 14.6 yards per pass as the Eagles fell in Reynolds Stadium, 45-10, to the No. 20 Razorbacks. Georgia Southern is now 1-2 on the season.

The Razorbacks struck quickly in the first quarter with a 47-yard pass from K.J. Jefferson to Tyson Morris on their first play from scrimmage. Running back Trelon Smith followed that up with a 13-yard TD run three plays later to give Arkansas a 7-0 lead.

After a Georgia Southern three-and-out, Arkansas drove 94 yards on 15 plays during its next possession, punctuating it with a Dominique Johnson 11-yard run to double the lead to 14-0.

Johnson added a 48-yard run in the second quarter to set up a 14-yard touchdown strike from Jefferson to Tyson Morris to make it 21-0 Arkansas.

Georgia Southern gained -1 yard during the first quarter, but awoke in the second quarter. On a third down and 11, starting QB Justin Tomlin evaded an Arkansas blitz and sped around right end, where there was nobody home on Arkansas’ defense to stop him. Seventy-six yards later, Tomlin was in the end zone for the Eagles’ first touchdown in more than four quarters.

Both sides would tack on a field goal before halftime to make the Razorback advantage 24-10 going into the locker room.

Any hope of a comeback evaporated on Arkansas’ first drive of the second half, which ended in a 60-yard touchdown strike from KJ Jefferson to Warren Thompson. On the Razorbacks’ next possession, Jefferson tacked on a 91-yard TD pass to Treylon Burks, which was nearly all yards after catch on an RB swing pass.

Tomlin played most of the game, going 11-of-23 for 65 yards passing and 65 yards rushing. True freshman quarterback Cam Ransom entered the game for one possession to start the second half.

Running back Amare Jones left the game in the first quarter with a leg injury and did not return. The SEC Network broadcast later showed him on the sidelines using crutches.

Penalties were a major issue for the Eagles; they were penalized eight times for 50 yards.

Georgia Southern begins conference play next Saturday in Paulson Stadium against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.

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