BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Following the largest comeback win in program history at Ole Miss this past Saturday, Arkansas quarterback Cole Kelley has been named the SEC Freshman of the Week and dynamic rookie returner De’Vion Warren earned SEC Special Teams Player of the Week, announced by the league office Monday morning.
Kelley is the third quarterback in Arkansas history to be named the SEC Freshman of the Week, joining Casey Dick (2005) and Mitch Mustain (2006). Warren is the first Arkansas kickoff returner to win SEC Special Teams Player of the Week since Dennis Johnson in 2011.
Trailing 31-7 in the second quarter, the Razorbacks began chipping away at the Ole Miss lead behind the arm and legs of Kelley. With 2:44 left in the first half, Kelley rumbled into the end zone on a 15-yard run before finding wide out Deon Stewart for a 23-yard score with 13 seconds left to cut the deficit to 31-21 at the half. Kelley’s 15-yard run was the longest rushing TD of the season by a Razorback.
Kelley’s third TD pass of the game came on Arkansas’ second drive of the second half, as he became just the second Arkansas quarterback in the SEC era (1992-current) to throw for three TDs and rush for another in a conference game.
Arkansas’ game-winning drive started with 4:04 on the clock and ended with a game-winning field goal with four seconds remaining after Kelley orchestrated a 12-play, 62-yard drive that took 4:04 off the clock.
A week after becoming the first Razorback to take back a kickoff for a touchdown since 2014, Warren totaled 141 yards of kickoff returns, good for the 11th-most in program single-game history. The Monroe, La., native broke his second-longest return of the season in the fourth quarter at Ole Miss, going for 45 yards to set up Arkansas with good field position. Over the last two games, Warren is averaging over 40 yards per return.
– Completed 19 of 30 passes for 190 yards and 3 TDs, while adding 22 rush yards and a score.
– Only FBS freshman QB to throw for three TDs and rush for a TD in a conference game this season.
– First freshman quarterback in Razorback history to defeat an SEC team on the road as a starter since Mitch Mustain in 2006 (W, 21-19 at Vanderbilt).
– Has a kickoff return of 39 or more yards in four of five SEC games this season. Arkansas previous four kickoff returns of 39 or more yards in an SEC contest came over a 43-game span.
– Leads the SEC with a kickoff return average of 29.1, good for eighth nationally.
– His 100-yard kickoff return in the third quarter against No. 21 Auburn is tied for the longest scoring play in the FBS this season and equaled the longest TD in Arkansas history.