The Arkansas defense recorded its first shutout in almost four years as the Razorbacks won for the first time in over a month in a 23-0 shutout of visiting Tulsa in Fayetteville.
True freshman quarterback Connor Noland made his first career start and threw a touchdown pass for Arkansas (2-6), which broke a six-game losing streak in the first meeting between the schools in six years.
Grayson Gunter caught his first TD reception, Maleek Williams ran for a score, and Connor Limpert kicked three field goals in the team’s first win over an FBS opponent this season. Rakeem Boyd rushed for a game-high 99 yards.
The shutout was Arkansas’ first since a Nov. 22, 2014 blanking of Ole Miss — a stretch of 47 straight games.
The frustration continued for the Golden Hurricane (1-6), losers of six straight this season and for the 19 consecutive times to Arkansas dating back to 1976. Shamari Brooks ran for 91 yards for Tulsa, but quarterback Seth Boomer completed only 8 of 25 passes for 127 yards.
The Razorbacks’ win ended a spell of bad play that began back on Sept. 8 when the team blew an 18-point second-half lead and lost 34-27 at Colorado State then dropped the next five contests.
The woes of holding a lead were revisited last Saturday when Arkansas was ahead by 17 against Ole Miss in Little Rock, but the Rebels stormed back and won 37-33 on a 97-yard drive in the game’s final two minutes.
Tulsa’s Logan Walker was wide right on a pair of field goals, from 28 and 42 yards, in the first quarter, with an interception by McKinley Whitfield setting up the first try.
The Razorbacks took possession after Walker’s second miss and scored first on the second quarter’s second play when Limpert lined a 33-yard field goal with 14:14 left to end a nine-play, 60-yard drive.
Arkansas cashed in when Noland rolled right and tossed a 7-yard score to Gunter on third-and-4 for his first career TD pass with 1:25 left for a 10-0 lead.
Randy Ramsey’s fumble recovery led to Limpert’s second field, a 35-yarder at 9:07 for a 13-0 lead in the third, and Williams added a 4-yard TD run with 5:38 to go. Limpert kicked a 24-yard field goal with 1:20 left in the game.
—Field Level Media