Arkansas drove 80 yards in 13 plays for the game winner, a 9-yard pass from Robby Hampton to tight end Marcellus Poydras with 1:04 to play. Hampton passed to Boo Williams for the two-point pass to set the final score.
Alabama led all the way, but Arkansas missed a chance to tie the score with 4:04
left in the third quarter when a high snap from center led to a botched two-point
play after Cedric Cobbs rolled 11 yards for a touchdown. That left 'Bama ahead,
Arkansas overcame a disasterous effort in the kicking game. Not only did the Hogs
blow the conversion on what would have been a tying kick late in the third quarter,
they also had a punt blocked, muffed a punt for a turnover and had a field goal
The Hogs also had to overcome several serious injuries. Cobbs missed the final
quarter with what is believed to be a season-ending shoulder separation. He will
probably need surgery for what doctors diagnosed as a "complete separation." Backup
tailback Fred Talley broke his left hand and will also miss the next four to six
That left third-team tailback Alvin Ray to carry the Arkansas hopes down the stretch.
The junior from Dallas came through in championship style. His 32-yarder to the
'Bama 15-yard line with 1:53 left erased a third-and-5 situation.
The winning touchdown came on a third-and-4 with Poydras open in the middle of
the end zone after a fake to Ray on the Hogs' power play.
"I was going to throw it away if it wasn't open," Hampton said. "But, Marcellus
ran a great route. He was supposed to go to the corner, but he just slowed down
in the middle. I just lobbed it into him."
Poydras said, "I'm not sure really what happened because it was so quick. Robby
threw it so soft and all I had to do was wrap it up in my tummy. It was perfect,
like all his passes. He played a great game tonight. I think Sparky Hamilton took
everyone to the corner. I saw my man go past me, so I just slowed down. I might
have actually turned back some. I don't know. I thought there might have been
someone on my back, but there was no one there."
Alabama had the lead most of the game. The Tide rolled 80 yards in 17 plays to
open the game for a 7-0 lead on Brandon Miree's 3-yard plunge. Arkansas countered
with a 10-play, 76-yard drive with fullback Adam Daily catching Hampton's 10-yard
TD pass with 1:54 left in the opening quarter.
The muffed punt gave the Tide the field position it would eventually need to roll
51 yards in 11 plays to go ahead on Miree's 1-yard plunge at 5:15 of the second
Arkansas made it 14-14 at intermission on Hampton's 1-yard sneak with 1:14 left
on the second-quarter clock. The Hogs capitalized on Derrick Thompson's weaving
24-yard fumble return to the 'Bama 22-yard line.
Arkansas opened with a nice drive to start the third quarter, and had a chance
to take the lead when Matt Swartz lined up for a 36-yard field goal with 11:18
left in the third quarter. However, it was blocked. That sparked a 10-play, 80-yard
touchdown march by Alabama. Quarterback Tyler Watts passed 18 yards in the back
of the end zone to Jason McAddley to make it 21-14 at 7:37 left in the third quarter.
The Hogs answered with an 8-play, 80-yard march after the ensuing kickoff. Hampton's
passes of 20 to George Wilson and 16 to Adam Daily keyed the drive. Cobbs rolled
around his right end for the final 11 yards. However, Arkansas couldn't tie it
when the center snap was a little high and Matt Burstein decided to scramble.
The slightly built holder was hauled down for a loss.
The winning touchdown march started from the Arkansas 20-yard line with 4:54 to
play. The Hogs escaped a third-and-11 when Hampton's determined scramble through
traffic netted 16 yards. The Hogs got a reprieve when Hampton's fourth-and-7 incomplete
pass was negated by an Alabama holding penalty in the secondary. It was after
that penalty that Ray found a huge opening between his guard and tackle on the
right side to sail into the 'Bama secondary untouched.
"I just saw green," Ray said. "I had a lot of room. I think I felt one arm from
a linebacker, but I went through that. I thought I was going to make it, but they
had an angle. I was just glad I could help. I haven't gotten to play much and
I was frustrated, but I had prepared in case I got a chance. You have to be ready
for your chances."
The Hogs were outyarded, 343 to 324, but had a better per play average, 5.2 to
4.5. The best thing the Hogs did was avoid bad plays. They gave up no sacks and
had only 4 yards in minus yards. The only turnover by the Arkansas offense came
on a deep pass that was intercepted at the 'Bama 15-yard line. Hampton led the
Arkansas offense with 173 yards passing, completing 20 of 33 on the night. His
only interception was more effective than the Hogs' punting game. Alabama rushed
for 226 yards, most of them from Miree. The bullish tailback made 96 yards on
29 carries. Quarterback Tyler Watts added 69 on 14 scrambles and option dashes.
Hogs Edge Bama in Thriller, 28-21
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Scout On the Road: SeptemberScout takes a look at some of the top prospects we saw in person during the month of September...
Scout FootballWednesday at 2:00 PM
Longhorns Preview Oklahoma StateTexas offensive players discuss the Longhorns' upcoming game at Oklahoma State to kickoff Big 12 Conference play.
Horns DigestMonday at 6:21 PM
Louisiana CB 'Real Close' to a DecisionIt may not be too long before one of the top cornerbacks in Louisiana makes his decision. Four schools are high on his list and you can get the latest here...
Scout FootballMonday at 6:15 AM
JC defensive back talks ISU official visitOver the weekend, Iowa State played host to one of their top 2017 targets in the current recruiting cycle in Paramount, CA three-star JUCO CB Keisean Nixon. This visit for the…
AllCyclonesSunday at 6:34 PM
TCU vs Iowa State primerAfter falling in double-overtime to Arkansas, TCU looks to get back to their winning ways against Iowa State.
Horned Frog Insider09/15/2016