LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In front of 54,836 fans at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, the Razorback football team downed Chattanooga, 34-15. Arkansas stretched an eight-point halftime lead into the final 19-point margin to improve to 21-2 in Little Rock under head coach Houston Nutt.
For the 17th time in his career, junior tailback Darren McFadden rushed for more than 100 yards, a UA record, finishing the night with 122 yards on 25 carries. He has eclipsed the century mark in each of the five games this season.
Backfield mate Felix Jones carried the ball 13 times for 141 yards. It is the fourth time the junior has gone over the 100-yard mark this season and the eighth time in their careers that McFadden and Jones rushed for 100 or more yards in the same game.
The Razorback defense held Chattanooga to 172 total yards and seven first down during the game.
On the first play of the game, a bad snap over the head of quarterback Casey Dick rolled into the end zone where the quarterback was taken down for a Chattanooga safety. The Mocs’ Brandon Golder was credited with the tackle that gave the visiting team a 2-0 lead seven seconds into the first quarter.
Jerell Norton picked off an Antonio Miller pass at the 45-yard line at the 11:07 mark in the first quarter. It was the sophomore cornerback’s second interception in as many weeks.
On the ensuing offensive drive, the Hogs capped the six-play, 45-yard series with a Darren McFadden two-yard touchdown run. The rushing score was McFadden’s seventh of the season and 32nd of his career. The junior tailback gained 36 rushing yards on the drive
A 45-yard punt return—the Hogs’ longest of the season—in the opening quarter by Norton gave Arkansas good field position. On the next play, McFadden was stripped of the ball by linebacker Chris Johnson after an eight-yard pick up. The Mocs recovered the fumble, but were not able to take advantage of the turnover.
When Arkansas got the ball back, the Razorbacks took the ball 82 yards down the field for their second scoring drive of the game. Dick hit Peyton Hillis on a 24-yard touchdown catch-and-run, his seventh touchdown throw of the season. Hillis hurdled a Chattanooga defender at the goal line to score the ball. For the senior fullback, it was his second receiving touchdown of the season. The Hogs led at the end of the first quarter 14-2.
Arkansas was moving the ball down the field on its first drive of the second quarter before a second snap miscue led to the Hogs’ third fumble of the half.
The Mocs’ recovered and scored eight plays and 59 yards later on a four-yard touchdown pass from Miller to Brent Hayes. After the extra point, the Arkansas lead was 14-9 with 7:28 remaining in the half.
Completions to Reggie Fish and London Crawford of 10 and 20 yards, respectively, late in the first half set the Razorbacks up for Alex Tejada’s 47-yard field goal, the freshman’s career long, with 38 seconds left in the half. His previous long was a 40-yard make against Kentucky.
The Hogs led at halftime, 17-9.
Chattanooga opened the second half with the ball, but an Antwain Robinson sack, his second of the season, on a third-down play forced a punt to give the Hogs possession. However, Arkansas’ drive was stalled when Dick was sacked for an 11-yard loss.
With 3:47 left in the third quarter, the Razorbacks padded their lead with a 59-yard touchdown rush by Felix Jones. The junior took the handoff and headed up the sideline for his fourth rushing score of the season. The run put Jones over the 100-yard mark on the ground and made the score 24-9.
Following Dick’s fourth interception of the season—by the Mocs’ Joseph Thorton—on Arkansas’ next offensive possession, Chattanooga cut into the Hogs’ lead with a 65-yard run up the middle by Bryan Fitzgerald. The Mocs’ tailback finished the night with 123 yards on 14 carries.
Chattanooga tried for a two-point conversion, but a Miller pass into the end zone was broken up by Kevin Woods.
The Hogs responded with a nine-play, 68-yard drive that ended with Jones’ second touchdown of the night. All of the yards gained during the drive came on the ground, including the one-yard score.
On its next drive, Chattanooga turned the ball over on downs following a botched punt attempt. The Hogs took over at the Mocs’ 20-yard line and tacked on another field goal by Tejada, a 32-yard make.
Arkansas returns to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium Saturday to take on Auburn. The game will be televised on ESPN at 6:45 p.m. CT.