FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Kentucky had no answers for either the weather or Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson on Saturday night.
The Wildcats were held to a season-low 170 yards of total offense in a 49-7 loss to the Razorbacks, a game that was shortened by severe weather in the third quarter.
Jalen Whitlow, starting at quarterback for Kentucky because of injuries to Maxwell Smith and Patrick Towles, struggled throughout with 2 of 10 passing for 83 yards. The lone highlight for the Wildcats (1-6, 0-4 Southeastern Conference) was a 61-yard touchdown catch by La'Rod King from Whitlow in the third quarter, a score that kept Kentucky from being shut out.
"It's always bad when a team starts scoring on you like that and your offense can't do anything back to them," Kentucky offensive lineman Matt Smith said. "We take a lot of responsibility for what happened up front. We weren't protecting well enough for the quarterback. Our offense stalled and it's mostly our fault up front."
While the Wildcats' woes continued, Wilson helped Arkansas (3-4, 2-2) take out a season's worth of frustrations. The senior finished 23 of 32 passing for 372 yards and a career-high five touchdowns as the Razorbacks won their second straight after a four-game losing streak.
It was a refreshingly easy win for Arkansas in a season where victories have been anything but a sure thing.
"You feel like you've released a little bit (of frustration)," Wilson said. "You feel like you're back on top. It gives everybody in that locker room confidence moving forward."
Wilson threw a 74-yard touchdown pass to running back Jonathan Williams on the opening play for the Razorbacks, who had 533 yards of total offense before the game was called with 5:08 remaining in the third quarter because of lightning near Razorback Stadium. The second-half play suspension followed an hour and six-minute delay in the first half.
The Wildcats were outgained 444-88 in total yards in the first half.
"Playing a top quarterback like (Wilson) is tough because he's really good," Wildcats coach Joker Phillips said. "They did a great job of throwing and catching it. It's a challenge to play against a top quarterback like Wilson because he is really good, and they also have some really good receivers."
Even before the weather became a factor, Wilson and the Razorbacks had taken complete control against a Kentucky team that has played 14 true freshmen this season. The senior threw four touchdowns in the first half as the Razorbacks built a 42-0 halftime lead. His fifth touchdown pass came in the third quarter on an 18-yard pass to Julian Horton, putting Arkansas up 49-0.