Arlington, Texas — The University of Arkansas football team (4-1) stormed back from a 35-17 second half deficit to defeat Texas A&M (2-2) 42-38 Saturday afternoon in the Southwest Classic inside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Wide receiver Jarius Wright caught 13 passes for a school-record 281 yards, and quarterback Tyler Wilson passed for a school-record 510 yards with three touchdowns to lead Arkansas.
Wright and Wilson connected twice during the game-winning 80-yard drive including a 31-yard strike, before running back Broderick Green charged up the middle into the endzone to put the Razorbacks ahead 42-38 with 1:41 to play.
The Razorbacks’ defense stopped the Aggies for no gain on a fourth and two with 1:15 to play to force a turnover on downs and ensure the victory.
Wright eclipsed the previous Arkansas single game receiving record of 204 yards, set by Mike Reppond against Rice in 1971, before halftime. He had nine receptions for 227 yards and a touchdown after just two quarters.
Wilson finished the game 30-for-51 with 510 yards and three touchdowns without throwing an interception. The previous passing record for one game was 409, set by Ryan Mallett against Vanderbilt last season. Wilson also set Arkansas’ individual records for total yards by one player with 481, and total individual plays with 57. His 30 completions were a career high.
Down 35-17 at the half, it was the Arkansas defense that ignited the comeback. Arkansas forced a Texas A&M three and out to start the third quarter, and Zach Hocker finished a 38-yard drive with a 32-yard field goal.
The Razorbacks forced another three-and-out on the next Aggies drive, and yet again drove down the field for a score. Tyler Wilson was 9-for-11 for 78 yards on the drive, which he finished with a 13-yard touchdown pass to running back Ronnie Wingo Jr. to make it 35-27 with 7:29 to play in the third quarter.
The Razorbacks tied the game early in the fourth quarter when Wilson connected with Cobi Hamilton for a 15-yard pass which Hamilton fumbled near the goal line. Wright dove on the ball in the end zone and secured possession for an Arkansas touchdown, his second of the game. Wilson scrambled up the middle for the two-point conversion to tie the game 35-35 with 11:00 left to play in the game.
Texas A&M broke the tie with a 16-play, 74-yard drive that resulted in a 23-yard field goal by Randy Bullock to put the Aggies on top 38-35 with 4:22 left in the game, setting up the Razorbacks’ go-ahead drive.
Wright’s 281 yards were the second-highest single game total in SEC history. His 13 receptions tied an Arkansas single game record. Wright moved into third place in Arkansas’ all time receiving yards list with 2,295.
Texas A&M scored touchdowns on each of its first two drives to take a 14-0 lead less than seven minutes into the first quarter. Arkansas responded for its first score when Wilson found Wright for a 68-yard touchdown strike with 2:26 left in the first quarter. The play moved Wright into a tie for fourth all-time in touchdown receptions with 16.
Texas A&M responded with another score to make it 21-7 but Green pushed into the endzone with a one yard run with 9:09 left in the second quarter to make it 21-14. Zach Hocker knocked in a 26-yard field goal with 3:05 left in the second quarter, but the Aggies scored just before intermission to make it 35-17.
Green had two rushing touchdowns in his first game of the season after returning from a knee injury. Running backs Wingo Jr. and Dennis Johnson combined for 78 rush yards and 99 receiving yards.
Tevin Mitchel had a career game defensively for the Razorbacks with 13 total tackles and one fumble recovery. Greg Gatson had eight tackles and one interception. Arkansas forced two turnovers for the first time this season.
The 18-point deficit overcome by Arkansas equals the largest under head coach Bobby Petrino, and the 510 passing yards is a team record. The Razorbacks are now 3-0 at Cowboys Stadium and have won three straight games against the Aggies.
Arkansas returns to action next Saturday at 6 p.m. when it hosts Auburn inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The game will be televised on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.
Download: SW Classic Quotes.pdf