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Finally, a first quarter breakout for Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. | Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino was happy with his team's offensive start last weekend.

The Razorbacks scored the first 17 points of the game in the first quarter of their 30-23 win over Tulsa on Saturday. Prior to that, they'd scored 10 points all season in the first quarter.

"Offensively, I was excited about the first quarter — we drove the ball mixing the run and the pass," Petrino said Monday. "There were some breakdowns in our running game and some of that was because we have new guys in there ... from the injuries the week before."

Arkansas scored 17 points before Tulsa made a first down.

Petrino was hoping the team would run the ball better, but Michael Smith was held to 67 yards on the ground. Casey Dick made up for that by throwing for 385 yards.

Dick was named Southeastern Conference offensive player of the week.

"Great for him. He had a very, very good game," Petrino said. "He showed a lot of poise, made great decisions, his footwork and accuracy were the best they have been all year."

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STAND:@ The Razorbacks were pleased to get a win after back-to-back close losses to Kentucky and Ole Miss. Those defeats were by a combined three points.

Of course, for all the talk of close losses recently, Arkansas (4-5, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) has shown plenty of toughness this season. The Razorbacks' four wins were by a combined 15 points, including a 25-22 win over Auburn.

Against Tulsa, the Hogs allowed the Golden Hurricane to reach the Arkansas 4-yard line at the end before the defense held.

"We should have crumbled a bunch of times this season, at Auburn and against Tulsa when they came back in the fourth quarter," safety Matt Harris said. "We fought hard against Kentucky and Ole Miss. We're a resilient bunch and we're ready to fight whoever comes to our yard."

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BOWL?:@ Arkansas has a realistic chance at a bowl, but this week's game is critical. The Razorbacks play at South Carolina this weekend, then travel to Mississippi State before hosting LSU in Little Rock.

Arkansas needs to win two of the three to become bowl eligible. The Razorbacks haven't missed a bowl since 2005.

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LEADERS:@ Despite his struggles against Tulsa, Smith still leads the SEC in rushing at 123 yards a game.

Dick is second in the conference at 241 yards passing per game, and D.J. Williams is tied for the league lead with 4.9 catches per game.

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Pig points ... Smith will have a hard time topping Darren McFadden's performance against South Carolina last year. That was the game McFadden rushed for 321 yards for Arkansas. ... Dick made his first career start when he was a freshman against South Carolina in 2005. ... South Carolina leads the SEC in total defense.

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