Arkansas’ defense earned its first shutout since 2014, and the Razorbacks held Tulsa to 12 yards in the third quarter on their way to a 23-0 victory on Saturday.
The game ended a six-game losing streak for Arkansas (2-6) and marked the first win for freshman quarterback Connor Noland, who started in place of the injured Ty Storey.
After a first-drive interception, the Arkansas native settled down and led the offense alongside running back Rakeem Boyd.
Boyd carried the ball 22 times for 99 yards before he came out of the game early in the third quarter. The Arkansas rushing game racked up 196 yards and opened up the passing game for Arkansas’ inexperienced gunslinger.
Noland went 10-for-16 passing for 124 yards and a score. The touchdown, which was the first of his career, came on a third-and-4 play late in the first half deep in Tulsa (1-6) territory. He found sophomore tight end Grayson Gunter, who had an easy path to the end zone on what was also his first career touchdown.
Tulsa’s offense was stagnant throughout the game, but the inability to effectively move the ball in the second half sealed the game for Arkansas. Freshman quarterback Seth Boomer was 8 for 25 for 127 yards and an interception, which came at the end of the first half.
Although Arkansas’ offense didn’t put up the 476 yards it did against Ole Miss with Storey at the helm, Noland showed his ability to lead a Southeastern Conference offense. Razorback coach Chad Morris stuck with the freshman after an early interception, and he responded well after the mistake. The dual-threat quarterback also made a mark in the ground game, carrying the ball five times for 20 yards. It was his first in-game action since North Texas on Sept. 15.
Arkansas hosts SEC East opponent Vanderbilt next on Saturday.
The Golden Hurricanes will play Tulane on Saturday.
Source: The Associated Press