FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas played a Football Championship Subdivision opponent for the 10th straight season Saturday.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas played a Football Championship Subdivision opponent for the 10th straight season Saturday.


But scheduling FCS teams like Nicholls State may not be a frequent occurrence much longer, according to athletic director Jeff Long.


Long said Arkansas, much like other power conference schools, are cutting back on regular dates with FCS opponents because of the creation of the four-team College Football Playoff. Arkansas reportedly has one more game set against Tennessee-Martin next season, but Long said scheduling plans are changing.


"We may have another," Long said Friday. "But again, as we build our team, as we strengthen our team, you’ll see even less of them on our schedule in the future."


Long is the chairman of the 13-member selection committee that will weigh, evaluate and select teams to play in the four-team playoff each year. He said the committee won’t penalize teams for playing FCS opponents, but described it a "neutral game" for teams that are being considered for the playoff.


"It doesn’t hurt you. It doesn’t help you," Long said.


Arkansas was one of five SEC teams to play an FCS opponent the first two weeks, joining Texas A&M (Lamar), LSU (Sam Houston State), Kentucky (UT-Martin) and Missouri (South Dakota State). Every SEC team plays an FCS foe this season.


The Razorbacks also played Samford last season and have had games against FCS opponents Jacksonville State, Missouri State, Tennessee Tech, Western Illinois, Chattanooga and Southeast Missouri State since 2005.


Long said Arkansas intends to steer clear of scheduling FCS opponents as much as possible in the future. But it may not be avoided altogether.


"The sheer mathematics of football scheduling, there may be years where there isn’t another option," Long said. "There’s still times when that will occur."


Career Firsts


Arkansas receiver Drew Morgan had to wait a long time to make his first catch as a Razorback. But Morgan made it count when he got it Saturday.


Morgan pulled in a 22-yard touchdown from quarterback Brandon Allen to give the Razorbacks a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. The sophomore’s catch came in his 12th game at Arkansas after contributing in a reserve role last season.


Teammate Cody Hollister also scored his first touchdown as a Razorback a few minutes later on his 7-yard touchdown catch. Freshman Jared Cornelius added his first touchdown catch, too, on a 38-yard flip from Allen in the third quarter.


"I think they were excited," Allen said. "Any time a guy scores his first touchdown, they come to the sideline and everyone is getting on them. It’s a good time. I was proud of all of them. It was going to happen eventually, but it’s good to be a part of it."


Long Run, Longer Run


Arkansas receiver Keon Hatcher started Saturday’s fireworks with an 82-yard touchdown run on the Razorbacks’ first play from scrimmage. The run was the longest of the season and was tied for the 9th longest in school history.


"We just went out there and executed our play, the play coach called," Hatcher said. "And it happened. We scored a touchdown. Good play call coach."


But it moved down the school’s rushing chart a little later. Running back Jonathan Williams ripped off a 90-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to make it 49-0.


Williams’ run was tied with Billy Moore’s 90-yarder against Tulsa in 1962 as the third-longest in school history. Broderick Green has the longest run (99 yards against Eastern Michigan in 2009), while Joe Adams’ 92-yarder against Auburn in 2011 is the second-longest in school history.


Wise, Marshall Sit


The Razorbacks played without two key players — defensive end Deatrich Wise and running back Korliss Marshall — on Saturday. But it didn’t matter in the blowout.


Wise suffered a sprained knee injury in preseason camp, but played at Auburn. He watched Saturday’s game from the sideline with his teammates.


Marshall suffered a bruised arm in the first half at Auburn and went to the locker room for X-rays. The results were negative and he finished with 45 rushing yards.


"Korliss, obviously, wasn’t out there, but he will be full go next week," Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said. "Got no issues or concerns there."


Arkansas also played without cornerback Tevin Mitchel (hamstring), safety De’Andre Coley (lower leg injury) and receiver Jojo Robinson on Saturday.


Hog Pen’s Debut


Arkansas unveiled a few new gameday features in Razorback Stadium.


One of the most visible was the team running out of a Hog pen as it took the field.


Long said Arkansas was "looking for something different" to replace the inflatable Hog snout the team had used as its entryway in previous years. Long said the Hog pen was built by L&L Metals, a Springdale business.


"I think it’s something different and something that our student athletes like and are excited about," Long said. "We have an unusual entry there … So it’s something we wanted to do there to kind of accentuate coming out of the building."


— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau