FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen knew the first play from scrimmage was going for a touchdown when he saw tight end A.J. Derby.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen knew the first play from scrimmage was going for a touchdown when he saw tight end A.J. Derby.


The senior looked left. Then he looked right.


"He had no one to block," Allen said.


So Derby, who was supposed to be the lead blocker for a pitch play designed for wide receiver Keon Hatcher, simply enjoyed a casual trot downfield during his teammate’s 82-yard run.


It was that kind of day for Arkansas, which buried its 10-game losing streak with a 73-7 win against Nicholls State in front of an announced crowd of 63,108 in Razorback Stadium. The Football Championship Subdivision program stood no chance against the Hogs on either side of the ball as Arkansas snapped its long slide, collecting a win for the first time since beating Southern Miss on Sept. 13, 2013.


Allen said before the game the Razorbacks wanted to put together a convincing win to end the slide. They got it Saturday. Arkansas scored eight touchdowns on its first 20 plays in the first half, set the school’s scoring record in Razorback Stadium and finished tied for the third-highest point total in school history.


But Arkansas coach Bret Bielema’s was more ecstatic about a number that wasn’t extended Saturday. A 357-day drought without a win is finally over.


"We lost 10 straight. I’m not ignoring that," Bielema said. "I’m going to wrap my arms around it and kiss it and make it as best I can. It’s nothing I enjoyed. It’s nothing I like. It’s nothing I want to repeat again in my life. But it’s something we had to do. It’s something that we earned.


"To now feel the success of it, to taste that success, especially with young players, I think is critical. It just builds confidence for you in the future."


Arkansas got a number of big plays from a variety of sources in the easy win.


Running back Alex Collins ran for 131 yards and three touchdowns, Hatcher scored twice and Allen was 4-for-5 for 117 yards. His four completions were touchdowns.


Five other Razorbacks reached the end zone as well, including first-time scorers Drew Morgan, Cody Hollister, Jared Cornelius and backup quarterback Austin Allen.


The destruction started on that first snap, when a perfectly executed misdirection play turned into one of the longest runs in school history. With Collins moving left, Allen pitched the ball to Hatcher as he ran right and no one touched the junior.


"I’ve got to give it all to my teammates," Hatcher said. "They were the ones out there executing the plays, blocking for me and stuff like that. I had the easy part. I just had to get the ball and run. So I give my thanks to them for that."


It wasn’t the only easy score Saturday. Arkansas got to the end zone on its next snap when Collins raced 33 yards to the end zone to make it 14-0.


In all, Arkansas had five, one-play scoring drives in the first half. The biggest was Jonathan Williams 90-yard touchdown run — which was tied for the third-longest run in school history — that made it 49-0 in the second quarter.


Arkansas eventually led 56-0 at halftime. The Razorbacks sprinted to 425 yards before the break and averaged 21.3 yards a play.


"They’re, of course, a very good team," Nicholls State coach Charlie Stubbs said. "There were so many mismatches out there unfortunately. We basically had no answer to some of the physical talent out there."


A week after Arkansas struggled in the second half at Auburn, Bielema put his starters back on the field for the opening series of the second half. Then he turned to backups the rest of the game, giving young players a chance to log extensive time.


Austin Allen was one of several to make their Arkansas debuts. The backup quarterback led Arkansas on two scoring drives, including a five-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter that pushed the Hogs above the 70-point mark.


Arkansas outgained Nicholls State 684-242. The Razorbacks got 496 rushing yards on the ground. The defense also collected six sacks, including 2 ½ from defensive tackle Taiwan Johnson. D.J. Dean also added an interception.


It all helped Arkansas enjoy the fifth largest margin of victory in school history.


The 73 points scored was third to only the 100-0 win against Missouri Normal in 1911 and an 82-0 victory against Oklahoma School of Mines in 1916.


"That was on my mind," defensive end Trey Flowers said about getting a convincing win. "We don’t just need a get-by win. We need to win big to get our confidence up. It was an example of executing and doing your job, paying attention to details. A lot of guys did that (Saturday) and we got great results."


There was a reward, too.


Players and coaches jogged over to the student section to sing the fight song. The practice — which is only reserved for wins — hadn’t occurred in nearly a year.


"I’ve got to work on that song, too," Bielema said. "I don’t know it."


Bielema said the good times continued in the locker room. He described the celebration as "awesome" and added there were a "lot of smiles."


There’s no doubt much bigger tests are coming for Arkansas. They travel to play at Texas Tech next week. But the Razorbacks believe Saturday was a good start.


"It was a lot of fun for all of us to get that feeling of a win again," Allen said. "I think it’s just what we needed. I think it couldn’t have been timed any better for us and I think it’s going to turn a lot of things for us."