Arkansas struggles but wins opener against old Southwest Conference rival Rice


Arkansas running back Trelon Smith (22) runs the ball against Rice during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Trelon Smith’s 2-yard touchdown run with 12:44 left in the fourth quarter was the game-winner, and Arkansas rallied to beat Rice 38-17 in both teams’ season opener.

Smith  finished with 102 yards on 22 carries with the score.

The Razorbacks opened the scoring on a 34-yard touchdown run by first-year starter KJ Jefferson, but gave up the next three scores and trailed 17-7 midway through the third.

Jefferson scored again on the ground, from 5 yards, and Cam Little’s 34-yard field goal tied the game at the end of the quarter.

Rice’s Wiley Green was 12-for-25 passing for 152 yards with a touchdown and the three picks.

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