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BYU Goes into SEC Country, Beats Arkansas


BYU v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

BYU overcame a terrible start and delivered with clutch possessions late to beat Arkansas 38-31 Saturday night in Fayetteville.

Arkansas jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead 4 minutes into the game on a long run and punt return TD, but BYU tied it back up and kept it close the rest of the way. BYU lost the yardage battle 424-281, but forced turnovers and timely plays on both sides of the ball were the difference.

Arkansas took the lead 31-21 with 11:41 left in the third quarter, but BYU’s defense held the Razorbacks to zero points the rest of the way on the final six possessions. Multiple BYU defenders made key plays, but cornerback Eddie Heckard had a couple that stood out. The 7th-year senior and transfer from Weber State had a big third quarter open field tackle that directly preceded a missed Arkansas field goal, and he forced a strip sack fumble on KJ Jefferson late in the fourth quarter.

BYU’s offense didn’t have its best game, but they largely avoided mistakes and came through in some key moments. Kedon Slovis was 13/25 for 167 yards and 2 TDs, and freshman LJ Martin had 77 rushing yards and 2 TDs in his first career start. Martin did most of his damage in the first half, including a 45-yard TD run. Slovis led the game-winning TD drive, which ended in a spectacular one-handed catch by Chase Roberts in the back of the endzone.

BYU moves to 3-0 on the season and begins its Big 12 slate next week at Kansas.