LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The University of Arkansas football team (3-8, 0-7 SEC) ran for 200-plus yards for the seventh time this season, including two rushing touchdowns, but was topped by Mississippi State (5-6, 2-5 SEC) in overtime, 24-17, Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
Jonathan Williams led all Razorbacks rushers with 59 yards on eight carries, while Alex Collins set the Arkansas freshman record for carries (179) and finished the game with 52 yards. Receivers Javontee Herndon and Julian Horton each recorded the first rushing touchdowns of their careers in the game.
“Mississippi State obviously did enough to win,” head coach Bret Bielema said. “I thought the growing point for our team was when Jared Collins had a nice interception. I also thought offensively in the first quarter with the way our guys took off, they did a nice job of picking up our offense.”
The Razorbacks scored on the game’s opening drive, going 56 yards in eight plays and converting both third-down attempts on the drive. Herndon capped off the drive by taking the end-around and scoring on the left side from eight yards out to give UA the early 7-0 lead.
Zach Hocker helped UA extend its lead to 10-0 midway through the second quarter, converting on a 54-yard field goal. The kick marked the eighth-longest in school history and the longest since Kendall Trainor converted from 58 yards against Miami in 1988.
The Bulldogs responded with 10 unanswered points of their own in the second quarter, first converting a 24-yard field goal and then scoring again on a 30-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 10-10.
Following a kickoff fumble by Mitchell Loewen, the Razorback defense stood firm while backed up in its own territory, holding the Bulldogs to a 28-yard field goal attempt just before halftime. Dan Skipper made it an empty opportunity for MSU, as the freshman recorded his third field-goal block of the season.
After Collins recorded his first career interception, the Razorbacks reached the end zone once again in the third quarter. UA capitalized on the MSU miscue, driving 57 yards in six plays and regaining a 17-10 lead on a 20-yard rushing touchdown by Horton.
An early fourth-quarter drive helped the Bulldogs equalize, as Tyler Russell rolled out and found Jameon Lewis for a 5-yard touchdown pass that knotted the game back at 17 and ultimately forced overtime.
Damian Williams scored on the first play of overtime and effectively finished the game off with his 25-yard touchdown run. On the ensuing offensive possession, Brandon Allen threw a fourth-down interception to end the game.
Arkansas has a quick turnaround before playing its final regular-season game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., on Nov. 29. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. with the game televised nationally on CBS.
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