Mahomes' 3 TDs lift Texas Tech past reeling Arkansas 35-24
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Kliff Kingsbury takes great pride of the fact he's the son of a Texas high school football coach.
The Texas Tech coach is also a dedicated proponent of the spread offense, which he says is run by ''90 percent'' of Texas high schools along with the up-tempo and high-flying Red Raiders.
It's that belief in the spread that prompted Kingsbury to make it clear he had a point to prove in Texas Tech's 35-24 win over reeling Arkansas on Saturday night.
Not only did the Red Raiders (3-0) make amends for a 49-28 drubbing last season at the hands of the power-based Razorbacks (1-2), but they did so with the exact offense Kingsbury said Arkansas coach Bret Bielema disparaged during a summer convention in front of Texas high school coaches.
And Kingsbury made sure to let that fact be well known following the win, in which Texas Tech averaged 8.4 yards per play against an Arkansas team in disarray following losses to Toledo and on Saturday night.
''(Bielema) stood up and said if you don't throw to the fullback, we'll kick your (butt), and if you throw it 70 times a game, we'll kick you (butt),'' Kingsbury said. ''(Bielema) just got his (butt) kicked twice in a row and probably next week by (Texas) A&M as well.
''That did feel good.''
While Kingsbury's spread offense decimated a Razorbacks defense that finished 10th in the nation a year ago, it did so led by a quarterback who watched from the sidelines a year ago during Arkansas' win in Lubbock.
Patrick Mahomes took over as Texas Tech's starter during the second half of last season, and he accounted for three touchdowns in Saturday's win - which improved the Red Raiders to 9-1 in nonconference play under Kingsbury.
Mahomes finished 26-of-30 passing for 243 yards and a score, and he also rushed for 58 yards and a pair of touchdowns - leading a Texas Tech offense that finished with 486 total yards. Reginald Davis caught a pair of touchdowns, finishing with five catches for 115 yards.
''We knew what we could do, and we practiced it all through the summer, through fall camp,'' Davis said. ''... (Mahomes) was great; he's been great every game so far for us.''
Alex Collins had 170 yards rushing on 28 carries to lead Arkansas, which is now 0-9 under Bielema in games decided by fewer than 10 points.
The Razorbacks gained 424 yards of total offense, including a 16-of-21 passing performance for 196 yards from quarterback Brandon Allen, but they were unable to rebound from last week's crushing loss to Toledo.
Texas Tech, meanwhile, never punted while scoring touchdowns on five of its nine possessions. Its only four non-scoring drives ended with a pair of interceptions thrown by Mahomes, a missed 22-yard field goal and the game-ending series of kneel downs.
''I wish I could say something to make everybody feel better - our fans, our players,'' Bielema said. ''We're just not at the point yet where we can not play a perfect game and win.''
Arkansas rushed 68 times for 438 yards in a dominating 49-28 win at Texas Tech a year ago, but the Razorbacks entered Saturday struggling to establish their once-dominant running attack - particularly in a shocking 16-12 loss to Toledo a week ago.
Led by Collins, Arkansas once again had its way with the Red Raiders 120th-ranked rushing defense in the first half. Collins had 92 of the Razorbacks 130 yards rushing in the half, helping a short-handed Arkansas offense hold the ball for 22:35 compared to just 7:25 for Texas Tech.
The Razorbacks entered the game without injured wide receiver Keon Hatcher and Cody Hollister with foot injuries, and they lost another starter in the first quarter when Jared Cornelius appeared to break his left arm during a 34-yard catch and run.
Despite the attrition, Allen threw a pair of touchdowns in the half - including a 24-yard strike to Drew Morgan late in the half to tie the game at 21-all.
Texas Tech, meanwhile, made the most of its limited possession.
The Red Raiders gained nearly 10 yards per play in the half - 243 on 25 plays - including a 72-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Jakeem Grant to Davis to go up 21-14 in the second quarter.
It was precisely the outcome Kingsbury had hoped and waited for following the outspoken Bielema's summer comments.
''To walk in there and say those (things), it definitely rubbed me the wrong way,'' Kingsbury said. ''He's a prideful guy, and he says what's on his mind, but it just hasn't worked out for him.''
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