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October 24, 2020

Arkansas upsets No. 16 Mississippi State, snapping 20-game SEC skid

Feleipe Franks threw two touchdown passes and Arkansas intercepted K.J. Costello three times as the Razorbacks broke a 20-game SEC losing streak by upsetting No. 16 Mississippi State 21-14 on Saturday night.

A week after a record-breaking and stunning upset against LSU, the Bulldogs (1-1) and new coach Mike Leach hardly looked like the same team. Costello was 43 of 59 for 313 yards and one touchdown. Costello and the Air Raid shredded LSU for a Southeastern Conference record 623 yards passing, but the Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs in the red zone twice in the fourth quarter and also lost a fumble against Arkansas.

Greg Brooks Jr. returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown to put Arkansas (1-1) on top early and the Razorbacks led 14-7 at the half.

Arkansas managed only 275 yards of total offense and 24 minutes of possession. That turned out to be enough.

Franks was 20-of-28 for 212 yards.

Arkansas had not won an SEC game since beating Mississippi Oct. 28, 2017. That was two coaches ago for the Razorbacks, who are in their first year under Sam Pittman.

THE TAKEAWAY

Arkansas: Defensive coordinator Barry Odom had gone up against Leach’s Air Raid when both were in the Big 12. Unlike LSU, which played lots of man-to-man, Arkansas used plenty of zone defense. The Razorbacks allowed plenty of yards but made Mississippi State settle for small chunks.

Mississippi State: The loud voices of praise Leach will be quiet this week. Bulldogs fans have gone though the full Leach experience in two weeks, puling a stunning upset and tossing out a clunker as a favorite.

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Mississippi State could be a one-week wonder.

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Arkansas will travel to face Auburn next Saturday.

Mississippi State will head to Kentucky.

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