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Arkansas falls to ULM, 34-31

09/08/2012
Athletic Communications
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The No. 8 University of Arkansas Razorbacks fell 34-31 to the ULM Warhawks in overtime in front of a crowd of 53,089 fans at War Memorial Stadium. Junior kicker Zach Hocker gave the Razorbacks (1-1) the lead in overtime after connecting on a 37-yard field goal. ULM took its shot at the end zone, going for it on a 4th and 1 and was successful with a 16-yard touchdown run to finalize the score.

Arkansas was 3-of-3 in the Red Zone with three touchdowns to remain perfect from inside the 20-yard line this season. The Razorbacks are now 8-of-8 with eight touchdowns in the Red Zone this season.

Senior quarterback Tyler Wilson recorded the 14th multiple-touchdown game of his career with two passing touchdowns in the first half. Wilson would finish the day with 196 yards in the first half. With his first half yardage he moved into sixth on Arkansas’ all-time career passing yards list. He now has 4,941 in his career, passing Brad Taylor (4,802, 1981-84). Freshman quarterback Brandon Allen took over for Wilson in the second half and recorded 85 total yards off six completions.

Senior wide receiver Cobi Hamilton had a breakout game tallying 99 receiving yards and one touchdown. Also recording impressive receiving stats was freshman wide receiver Mekale McKay, who pulled in two catches for 74 total yards. McKay notched career highs in both receptions (2) and yardage (74). Senior tight end Chris Gragg hauled in seven catches for 83 yards.

The Warhawks were the first to get points on the board, after the ULM defense pulled in an interception  and drove the ball 67 yards down the field scoring off a four-yard rushing touchdown.

The Razorbacks were quick to answer, with Wilson connecting with junior receiver Julian Horton on a 20-yard pass for a touchdown. The tying score came off a nine-play, 75-yard drive that took 2:34 off the clock.

In the second quarter, the Razorbacks struck first off a 39-yard pass from Wilson to Hamilton to give UA the 14-7 lead.

Wilson launched a 61-yard rocket to McKay to set up a three-yard touchdown run by Davis. The 61-yard reception was a career-high for McKay. The three-play, 87-yard drive extended the UA lead to 21-7 to close out the half.

The Razorback defense came up big in the third quarter when senior safety Ross Rasner intercepted the Warhawks on the 1-yard line and put together a 32-yard return. The interception was the first of his career.  Freshman quarterback Brandon Allen capitalized on the touchdown when he connected with McKay in the corner of the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown play that marked the first career touchdown for both Allen and McKay. The touchdown capped off a 67-yard drive and extended the Razorbacks’ lead to 28-7.

ULM would score on a three-yard touchdown run with 5:41 remaining in the third quarter. It was the Warhawks’ first score since their first possession of the game and shortened the UA lead to 28-14.

On their next possession, ULM scored off a one-yard pass with 14:08 on the clock in the fourth quarter. The touchdown shortened the Razorback lead to 28-21 and allowed ULM to pull within seven of UA after scoring on a critical fourth and one on the one-yard line.

On the final drive of regulation, the Warhawks would put together the longest drive of the game (90 yards). With 55 seconds on the clock the Warhawks scored on a 23-yard touchdown pass while facing a crucial fourth and 10. The touchdown tied the game 28-28 and would send the two teams into overtime.

Arkansas fell in overtime after ULM scored a touchdown to Arkansas’ field goal.

The Razorbacks return to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium next Saturday to face No. 1 Alabama at 2:30 p.m. on CBS.

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