ATHENS, Ga. –- Darren McFadden had a huge day and D.J. Shockley was forced out early as Arkansas stayed with No. 4 Georgia most of the day Saturday, but a late turnover by the Razorbacks and a defensive stop by the Bulldogs helped Georgia hold on for a 23-20 victory.
Down 20-13 with 10:04 remaining, Peyton Hillis fumbled a punt and Georgia recovered at the Arkansas 19. A defensive holding penalty moved the ball to the nine, but a seven-yard sack by Freddie Fairchild helped the defense hold Georgia out of the end zone and the Bulldogs settled for a 27-yard field goal by Brandon Coutu to take a 10-point lead with 7:41 to play.
Arkansas answered on the ensuring possession with McFadden scoring from a yard out to get the Razorbacks within three with 4:53 left. Felix Jones accounted for 55 of the 65 yards in the drive with 36 coming on a rush and 19 on a screen pass.
A tackle by Fairchild and Pierre Brown on third-and-two with 2:40 left forced Georgia to punt from its 44, giving Arkansas the ball at its seven with 2:18 left.
On third-and-13, a 10-yard pass from Robert Johnson to Jones forced a fourth-and-three with 1:50 left. Johnson hit Marcus Monk for eight yards and a first down. After losing 13 yards on first and second down, Johnson scrambled but threw incomplete on third down. On fourth down, a Johnson pass was incomplete near the 50 and Georgia took over with 55 seconds to play to improve to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the Southeastern Conference.
McFadden had the best day for a freshman tailback in school history. He had 190 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries, topping the previous mark of 169 yards by Darryl Bowles against Texas A&M in 1979. Overall, his 190 yards ranks 12th on Arkansas’ all-time list.
McFadden now has 682 yards for the year, setting a school single-season rushing record for a freshman. Cedric Cobbs held the previous mark with 668 yards in 1999. McFadden also became the first freshman to rush for 100 yards three times and the first UA back to top the century mark three times in a season since Cobbs in 2003.
Joe Tereshinski came in for starting UG quarterback D.J. Shockley, who injured his left knee on a scramble in the second quarter and did not return. Tereshinksi was five-of-nine passing for 91 yards with an interception and UG’s top rusher, Thomas Brown, had just 39 yards on 12 carries.
Johnson finished 11-of-19 for 116 yards with an interception. Hillis had five receptions for 41 yards and Jones three for 43. Jones also added 62 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Arkansas out-gained the Bulldogs 332-217 and had an 11-minute advantage in time of possession.
Georgia led the entire game, but Chris Balseiro’s 35-yard field goal with 14:41 left got Arkansas within 20-13. Arkansas missed a chance to get closer when Balseiro’s 45-yard attempt was wide left with 12:22 remaining.
Arkansas got a break to start the second half when Jamaal Anderson recovered a Brown fumble at the Georgia 18. A holding penalty on first down and a sack pushed UA back, but Johnson’s 12-yard screen pass to Jones set up Balseiro’s 33-yard field goal, which got the Razorbacks within 17-10 with 12:03 remaining in the third.
The Bulldogs came right back. Tyson Browning’s 51-yard kickoff return set up a 48-yard field goal by Coutu to push Georgia’s lead back to 10.
Tereshinski’s 43-yard completion to Sean Bailey to the UA 15, set up Coutu’s 32-yard field goal with three seconds left to give Georgia a 17-7 lead at the half after McFadden pulled UA within 14-7 with his 70-yard touchdown run at the 4:55 mark.
Jones carried twice to get the Hogs from the 15 to the 20, and Johnson found Hillis for a nine-yard gain before McFadden burst through a hole on the right side and outran the defense to the end zone for the score, which matches his longest run of the season.
Cornerback Tim Jennings’ interception of a Johnson pass at the Arkansas 23 set up Georgia’s second score. Following a 16-yard pass to from Tereshinski to Moham Massaquoi to the one, Bra Southerland plowed in from the one to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead with 7:03 left in the first half.
Georgia took a 7-0 lead five minutes into the game on Shokley’s 11-yard pass to Bryan McClendon with 10:43 left in the first period. Pass interference and offside penalties against Arkansas helped the Bulldogs on their six-play, 66-yard drive.
The Razorbacks are off this week before playing host to South Carolina on Nov. 5 for Homecoming.