(Saturday, October 29th)
Final Score: (8) Arkansas 31, Vanderbilt 28
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Zach Hocker's 42-yard field goal with under seven minutes remaining proved to be the difference, as the eighth-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks rallied past the Vanderbilt Commodores, 31-28.
Vanderbilt kicker Carey Spear had a chance to tie the game with 12 seconds showing on the clock, but he missed a 27-yard chip shot.
Tyler Wilson completed 27-of-43 passes for 316 yards and a touchdown for the Razorbacks (7-1, 3-1 SEC), who are off to their best start under head coach Bobby Petrino.
"It's been a tough go for our football team when you look at going on the road at Alabama, in Dallas against Texas A&M, one home game at Auburn, two more on the road. I'm proud that we're coming home 7-1," Petrino said.
Dennis Johnson carried the ball nine times for 52 yards for Arkansas, which has won five straight games against opponents from the SEC's Eastern Division, the longest winning streak against Eastern Division foes in school history.
Jarius Wright caught 10 passes for 135 yards and a score for the Razorbacks, who have won four in a row.
Jordan Rodgers completed 15-of-27 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown for the Commodores (4-4, 1-4), who have lost four of five since starting the season with three straight wins. Rodgers also carried the ball 18 times for 66 yards and two scores.
Zac Stacy rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries to go along with three catches for 51 yards. Jordan Matthews hauled in six passes for 151 yards and a touchdown.
Trailing 28-17 late in the third quarter, Arkansas came roaring back. Hocker got things going with a 50-yard field goal to make it an eight-point game with over a minute left.
The Razorbacks' defense then came up with a big play early in the fourth. Jerry Franklin picked up a Stacy fumble and sprinted 94 yards the other way for a touchdown. A successful two-point conversion made it 28-28.
On the third play of Vanderbilt's ensuing possession, Chris Boyd fumbled the football after catching a pass. Jerico Nelson made his way inside the five- yard line before jumping and trying to reach the ball over the goal line. The football came loose prior to crossing the line, and Vanderbilt recovered in the end zone for a touchback.
The Commodores were forced to punt after moving the ball to their own 25. On 3rd-and-5, Ronnie Wingo Jr. caught a 21-yard pass for a fresh set of downs. Arkansas settled for a Hocker 42-yard field goal to take a 31-28 edge.
Following a pair of punts, Vanderbilt took over at its own 10 with three minutes to play. On the second play of the drive, Matthews caught a 48- yard pass. Matthews added a 14-yard catch a few plays later to move the ball to the 14. Stacy rushed for four yards before two incomplete passes from Rodgers. Just eight seconds were left on the clock after Spear failed to send the game into overtime.
"That was a very, very tough loss," Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin said. "This is not the same old Vanderbilt. We're going to find ways to finish games like this."
Matthews caught a 21-yard TD pass on Vanderbilt's first possession of the game, but Brandon Mitchell responded with a four-yard TD run to make it 7-7.
Rodgers' 19-yard rushing TD early in the second quarter gave the Commodores a 14-7 margin. He added a three-yard rushing touchdown later in the frame to give Vanderbilt a 21-7 lead.
Jarius Wright's 11-yard TD catch before the half got Arkansas within seven, 21-14.
Hocker's 36-yard field goal made it a 21-17 game early in the third quarter. But Stacy broke off a 62-yard TD run later in the frame to give the home team a 28-17 edge.
Arkansas owns a 7-2 series advantage over Vanderbilt, which includes a 49-14 romp over the Commodores last season...Arkansas hosts South Carolina next Saturday.
10/29 23:10:36 ET