ATHENS, Ga. – Nobody said road wins in the SEC are easy.
But they are sure a lot of fun - and so is ringing the bell if you bring it along.
Ryan Mallett hooked up with D.J. Williams and Greg Childs on a 3-play, 71-yard, 32-second sprint to the end zone as No. 12 Arkansas shocked Georgia 31-24 Saturday afternoon before 92, 746 fans at Sanford Stadium.
"Wow, what a game," Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said. "I'm proud of our team. We dedicated it to (injured tailback Dennis Johnson) and we got to talk to him after the game. It was a hard football game. They came back in the second half. We were able to execute our two minute offense and go win the game."
The Bulldogs (1-2, 0-2) had scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the game up 24-24, but Jake Bequette's brutal sack of Aaron Murray ruined the chance for a third.
It gave Mallett just enough time to hit Williams for gains of 18 and 15 and then hook up with Childs, who caught the pass, sidestepped a defender and raced untouched to the end zone with just 15 seconds left in the game.
"This is a really surreal feeling," Mallett said. "It's something that I've never experienced before. This has got to be one of the greatest moments I've felt since I played the game of football. It so rarely comes down to the wire like this. It has sometime gone the other way for us, but now I know how it feels to get the win."
Mallett was 21-of-33 for 380 yards and three touchdowns and took only one sack while Joe Adams had six catches for 130 yards and D.J. Williams six for 61.
Mallett became the school's sixth all-time leading passer with 4,705 yards by passing Joe Ferguson (4,431), Quinn Grovey (4,496) and Bill Montgomery (4,590).
"It feels good to get that first victory on the road," Adams said. "They came out really hard and we just had to finish the game. Georgia is a really good football team. Everyone in the SEC is really good. You've got to be ready for every game."
Conversely, Aaron Murray was battered and bruised all day with the Razorback defense recording six sacks and knocking him down on several other snaps.
The Razorbacks had 433 yards total offense - only 53 of those rushing - to the Bulldogs' 398.
"I thought their quarterback kept his poise," Petrino said. "We got after him a lot."
But Murray did get up off the deck and lead his team back in the fourth quarter on a day when he completed 15-of-27 passes for 253 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
"We got better today, but we didn't finish," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. "We got back into it, the crowd got back into it. We had all we could hope for with time offensively, but we didn't get any points on the board. We had a chance to stop them, but we didn't. We punted them down and they had a long way to go, but they got it done and we didn't."
Petrino has always called giving your best effort "Ringing the Bell."
That's what each Razorback on the trip did after the game as each player rang the bell the team had brought along.
"We have are never going to have to settle," Mallett said. "If we have to kick a field goal for the win, then we are going to do it. That's why we love playing for Coach Petrino. He says to go for it and we play hard. We're here to play football."
The Razorbacks jumped out to the 24-10 lead on the strength of Mallett's 57-yard touchdown pass to Chris Gragg on the first possession of the game, a 1-yard run by Knile Davis and Zach Hocker's 48-yard field goal in the second quarter and Mallett's 22-yard touchdown pass to Ronnie Wingo near the end of the third quarter.
"I thought we did really well in the third quarter," Petrino said. "When they scored, we responded by scoring as well. We stuttered in the fourth quarter and put our defense in a touch situation, but we got a good win. Beating Georgia was one of our goals before the season started."
Georgia rallied from a 24-10 deficit with a couple of fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie it make it a game midway through the fourth quarter when Tavarres King broke a couple of tackles and got into the end zone after hauling in a pass from Murray.
That cut it to 24-17 with 7:52 left in the contest.
After the Razorbacks' next possession ended with a punt on 4th and 33, the Bulldogs went right back to work.
Murray's 35-yard flip to Kris Durham covered most of the ground and the Waushaun Ealey ran it in from the 3.
Blair Walsh's PAT tied it 24-24 with 3:55.
"We showed our character, but we are going to have to step it up and continue to work hard," Durham said. "At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Coach Richt told us that we needed to play with all of our heart and leave it all on the field, and I think we did."
The Razorbacks couldn't get any traction on its next possession – giving Georgia the chance to complete its comeback, but Bequette's big sack short-circuited that attempt.
It left the ball in the hands of Mallett and his playmakers.
"Arkansas has an outstanding passing game," Richt said. "At times we got some pressure on them, but they did a very good job of spreading it around. They've got a lot of weapons and a great understanding how to do it." Arkansas got off to the fast start it wanted on the opening possession of the game.
The Razorbacks used six plays to cover 79 yards with Mallett's 57-yard touchdown pass to wide-open tight end Gragg providing the points.
Hocker's PAT was true and Arkansas had jumped out to 7-0 lead just more than two minutes into the game.
Georgia responded with its own scoring drive with the key playing being Murray's 47-yard pass to King down to the Razorbacks' 10.
Murray's 1-yard QB sneak on fourth-and-goal got the points on the board and Walsh's extra point tied it 7-7 with 7:49 left in the opening quarter.
"We started off sharp, had really good drives," Murray said. "I thought we were moving the ball really well, but we weren't finishing. I thought we had sparks throughout the game."
Arkansas' second scoring drive covered 7 plays, 71 yards and two quarters.
The first four plays ended the first quarter, with two big ones – Mallett's back-to-back connections with Childs (27) and Adams (24) that flipped the field.
Mallett's 18-yard toss to Williams opened the second quarter and set up two plays from the 1, the second Davis plunging in for the touchdown.
Hocker's PAT pushed Arkansas ahead 14-7 with 13:46 remaining before halftime.
Hocker's 48-yard field goal – the longest of his young career and the longest for the Razorbacks since 2000 – came with four seconds left and sent Arkansas to intermission with 17-7 advantage.
The Razorbacks were without Johnson while Georgia was missing All-American wideout A.J. Green and Shaun Chapas.
"You just play with who you have out there," Durham said.
The Bulldogs got that field goal back when Blair Walsh drilled one from 43 yards out to cut it to 17-10 with 2:39 left in the third quarter.
Arkansas answered right back zipping down the field in just more than two minutes with Adams' 34-yard dash with a tunnel screen being the biggest play.
That set up Mallett's 22-yard touchdown pass to Wingo, who ran a wheel route and found himself wide open.
Hocker was true again and the Razorbacks were up 24-10 with eight seconds left in the third quarter. That set up the wild fourth quarter and Georgia's second tough loss in as many weeks as the Bulldogs fell to South Carolina 17-6 last Saturday.
"It's not that we have played two soft teams," Richt said. "Arkansas is very good. They got the job done and we didn't."
Arkansas will take an even further step up in competition when the Razorbacks host defending national champion and top-ranked Alabama.
"It's going to be loud in Fayetteville next week," Adams said. "We're going to come with our best game."
Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette nearly beheads Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray on a big play late in the fourth quarter on Saturday.
Ryan Mallett looks for a receiver on a day in which he passed for 380 yards.
Ronnie Wingo tries to break free during Saturday's win at Georgia.
Joe Adams, who had 6 catches for 130 yards and a punt return for a touchdown that was called back, shows off his speed.
D.J. Williams had 6 catches for 61 yards, including two big ones on the game-winning drive.