FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – It was a career night for the dynamic Arkansas backfield as Darren McFadden and Felix Jones both rushed for a career-high totals, 321 and 166 yards, respectively, in the Hogs’ 48-36 win over No. 23 South Carolina Saturday in front of 70,742 fans at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The Arkansas running game produced 542 rushing yards against the Gamecocks, the second-most in school history and the most for an SEC team against another SEC member.
McFadden’s total tied the SEC single-game record of 321 yards by Vanderbilt’s Frank Mordica in 1978. The junior tailback’s rushing total and all-purpose total, 355 yards, are both school records.
McFadden’s 80-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter iced the game for the Razorbacks, giving the team a three-game winning streak heading into next week’s game at Tennessee.
Arkansas jumped out to a 21-3 lead behind two touchdown runs by Felix Jones in the first quarter. The junior tailback scored on runs of 40 and 72 yards en route to 119 first-quarter rushing yards. The scores were Jones’ ninth and 10th touchdowns on the ground this season.
The Hogs opened the scoring with a four-yard touchdown reception by Marcus Monk, his second score in as many weeks. The play capped a nine-play, 66-yard opening drive for Arkansas. On the drive, McFadden eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season with a 14-yard run.
McFadden has reached the mark in all three seasons as a Razorback becoming the second player in Southeastern Conference history, joining Georgia’s Herschel Walker, to rush for 1,000 yards as a freshman, sophomore and junior. He joins Ben Cowins as the only UA players to earn 1,000 yards in three different seasons.
The Razorbacks led 21-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Jones’ second touchdown run pushed his season rushing yards total over the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season. Jones and McFadden became the first combo in SEC history to each surpass the 1,000-yard mark in back-to-back seasons.
South Carolina cut into the Arkansas lead when quarterback Blake Mitchell scored on a one-yard rush to cap a 10-play, 76-yard drive in the second quarter. The UA lead was 21-10.
On the ensuing drive, Arkansas dipped into its bag of tricks with a reverse pass from Dick to Lucas Miller on a 35-yard touchdown play. With McFadden lined up at quarterback, Jones took the handoff off-tackle and flipped the ball back to Dick. Dick connected with Miller who was open down the middle of the field to extend the Razorback lead.
At halftime, Arkansas led 28-10, racking up 292 rushing yards in the first 30 minutes of play.
The teams combined for 31 points and 341 total yards of offense in the third quarter.
After a field goal on the opening drive of the half, South Carolina recovered an on-side kick that led to the Gamecocks’ second score of the half, a 21-yard catch-and-run from Mitchell to Jared Cook. The UA advantage was trimmed to 28-20.
The Razorbacks responded with an eight-play drive that saw Robert Johnson elevate in the end zone and pull down a 23-yard pass from McFadden. It was McFadden’s second touchdown pass of the season and fifth of his career.
South Carolina cut the lead back to eight with Mitchell’s second touchdown pass of the game. This time the senior quarterback connected with Dion Lecorn on a 22-yard play with 4:29 left on the clock in the third quarter.
It did not take long for Arkansas to answer with a touchdown of its own, taking just 1:42 off the play clock to push the lead back to 15, 42-27. Jones found the end zone for a career-high third time with a seven-yard run.
The momentum seemed to be in the Razorbacks’ favor after the defense stopped South Carolina on a fourth-down conversion attempt. Mitchell’s pass intended for Cory Boyd was incomplete and Arkansas took over on downs inside the five-yard line.
Three plays later, however, a bad snap went through the end zone and the Gamecocks picked up two points on the safety.
After the free kick, South Carolina drove the ball 55 yards on 12 plays and added a one-yard Boyd touchdown. The Razorbacks were hanging on to a 42-36 lead after the extra point.
Mitchell finished the night with 364 passing yards and two touchdowns on 27-of-51 completions. Boyd ran for 94 yards and one touchdown.
The Hogs will return to action Saturday against the Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. The game will be televised by Lincoln Financial Sports at 11:30 a.m. CT.