FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In front of a record crowd, Arkansas got another huge game from multi-back Darren McFadden and big plays from its defense as the No. 11 Razorbacks topped No. 13 Tennessee, 31-14.
The win is the ninth straight for 9-1 Arkansas and the Hogs remain the only undefeated team in the Southeastern Conference at 6-0.
The nine-game winning streak is the longest for UA since the 1988 club began the year 10-0. The 6-0 start is Arkansas best ever in the SEC and the best conference mark since the ’88 Hogs won the Southwest Conference at 7-0.
McFadden, who lined up at tailback, quarterback and receiver, recorded his sixth 100-yard game of the season and the 11th of his 21-game career.
The sophomore finished with 181 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries in front of a Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium record crowd of 76,728.
Entering the game, Tennessee’s defense allowed an opposing back to gain 100 yards rushing just three times in its previous 33 contests. McFadden topped the 100-yard mark in the first half.
He also completed his only pass of the game, for a 12-yard touchdown, and he caught a pass for six yards.
McFadden lined up at quarterback for 14 plays. The Razorbacks gained 121 yards on those plays with McFadden throwing his TD pass, and keeping the ball eight times for 59 yards and two touchdowns.
Junior receiver Marcus Monk had a career-high tying eight catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Casey Dick started at quarterback and was 10-of-15 for 154 yards with a touchdown. Felix Jones added 72 yards on 13 carries for the Hogs.
Defensively, Arkansas shut down one of the top passing offenses in the country. Freshman Jonathan Crompton started in place of junior Erik Ainge, but the Volunteers still ranked 12th in the nation with 276.8 passing yards per game.
Against the Hogs, UT was just 16-of-34 passing for 174 yards.
Junior end Jamaal Anderson had five tackles with three sacks for 16 yards. Arkansas recorded four sacks and 10 tackles for losses in the game. Senior linebacker Sam Olajubutu had seven stops with three tackles for losses and one sack.
Tennessee cut a 14-0 deficit to 14-7 midway through the second quarter, but Arkansas responded with two more scores to take a 28-7 halftime lead.
Down 14-0, the Volunteers drove 80 yards and got within 14-7 on a 27-yard pass from Jonathan Crompton to Robert Meachem down the left sideline with 9:50 left in the quarter.
Crompton also completed passes of 11 and 19 yards on the drive.
Arkansas answered immediately. On their next possession, the Razorbacks pushed the margin back to 14 on a 12-yard scoring pass from McFadden to Monk.
The Razorbacks drove 82 yards in seven plays.
Dick had a 13-yard completion to Damian Williams before McFadden had carries of nine and 10 yards to the UT 12. McFadden lined up at quarterback on both of those plays and did so again on the touchdown pass. He took the snap, stepped forward then tossed a spiral to Monk down the right hash into the end zone for a 21-7 lead with 6:51 left in the half. The touchdown was the 21st of Monk’s career, which ranks second on UA’s career chart.
UA forced Tennessee to punt on its next possession and the Hogs drove for another score and a 21-point advantage.
The Razorbacks forced a three-and-out and the offense took over at its 36 with 4:59 left.
McFadden carried for six and 37 yards to the Tennessee 21. Jones carried twice for 10 yards before McFadden lined up at quarterback again and scored running up the middle for a 28-7 lead with 2:13 remaining in the half.
Tennessee picked up one first down on its last possession of the half, but Anderson’s third sack of the half at the 24 forced the Vols to run out the clock.
The Razorbacks took a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter on a 17-yard run up the middle by McFadden, who was lined up at quarterback.
The score capped a 72-yard, six-play drive with McFadden running four times for 31 yards. Jones set up the score with a 29-yard run to the UT 17.
On Arkansas’ first scoring drive, McFadden had carries of 18, two, six and nine yards, helping Arkansas reach the UT 10. Following an incompletion into the end zone, Dick lofted a pass to the back left corner of the end zone which Monk hauled in for his 20th career touchdown.
The eight-play drive took 3:57 and put UA up 7-0 with 6:15 left in the first period.
The only scoring in the second half was a 28-yard field goal by Jeremy Davis with 9:40 left in the final period. The kick gave Arkansas a 31-7.
Arkansas had a chance to score a touchdown on the first possession of the second half. The Razorbacks drove from their 10 to the Tennessee six, but McFadden fumbled at the two.
Tennessee never seriously threatened in the second half until the 39-yard scoring pass to Bret Smith with 30 seconds to play got the Vols within the final margin.
Arkansas travels to Mississippi State on Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. non-televised game.