FAYETTEVILLE - For the most part on Saturday, Alabama's top-rated SEC defense kept University of Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones and the league's top offense in check.
But as they have done all season, Jones and his mates showed they know how to get into the end zone.
Freshman Peyton Hillis dented the end zone twice and the Razorbacks' defense pitched a shutout after intermission as Arkansas won its league opener by downing previously unbeaten Alabama 27-10 before 72, 543 fans at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Jones and Hillis combined to put the game away when the quarterback ripped off a 50-yard run and then the bullish young running back ran through defenders for a 7-yard score to make it 20-10 with 3:02 left in the game.
After Alabama turned the ball over on down, the Razorbacks then erased all doubt as De'Arrius Howard (21 carries, 64 yards) rumbled in from the 5 with 1:12 remaining.
The win in its conference opener for Arkansas (3-1, 1-0) was its second in two years over the Crimson Tide (3-0, 1-1).
It also gave the Razorbacks a shot of momentum headed into a tough October league gauntlet that includes games at No. 16 Florida next Saturday, at No. 9 Auburn on Oct. 16 and with visiting No. 3 Georgia on Oct. 23.
Jones was 7-of-12 passing for 122 yards and one touchdown and rushed 9 times for 60 yards and another score as the Razorbacks were held to nearly 200 yards under their total offense average, but still outgained the Crimson Tide 333-328.
DeCori Birmingham added 9 carries for 53 yards and Hillis carried 10 times for 34 yards and caught two passes for 24 yards and a score in a game where the Razorbacks rushed for 211 yards.
Alabama tailback Ray Hudson rolled up 109 of his 170 yards by halftime, including a 64-yard touchdown dash, but new starting quarterback Mark Gullion struggled in his debut.
Guillon, filling in for injured Alabama starter Brodie Croyle, was 6-of-18 passing for 57 yards with an interception.
Alabama's defense dominated the first two quarters with the exception of Arkansas' first and last drive of the opening half.
But those two drives – which both resulted in touchdowns – were good enough to send the Razorbacks to intermission up 14-10.
Arkansas took the opening possession of the game 79 yards to paydirt in a matter of nine plays, the last one a Jones special where he makes something out of nothing.
The big play on that drive was a Jones-to-Cedric Washington connection, one good for 42 yards and occurring when Washington took the ball off of the shoulder Bama cornerback Roman Harper, who had seemingly intercepted it.
Two plays later, Jones avoided a sack and eluded several defenders while racing in for what counted as a 6-yard touchdown run, but covered five times that during the scamper.
Chris Balseiro's PAT was good – albeit barely after being tipped - to put the Razorbacks up 7-0 with 10:13 left in the first quarter after a touchdown that gave Jones' the school record for touchdown responsibility with 63.
Arkansas would garner only 21 yards total in its next five possessions as Alabama stuffed the run and rallied to take the lead.
The Crimson Tide tied the game when tailback Ray Hudson got to the left corner and outraced everyone to the end zone. Brian Bostick's PAT deadlocked it 7-7 with 9:33 remaining before intermission.
Alabama then took the lead 10-7 on Bostick's 37-yard field goal at the 2:01 mark, only to see Arkansas race 84 yards to the end zone.
Birmingham got 32 yards on two straight dashes to the corner, Jones hit true freshman wideout Marcus Monk for 23 and following a six-yard run by true freshman Hillis,, Jones struck again.
He lofted a perfect pass to Hillis, who hauled it in with one hand between two defenders, for an 18-yard touchdown with just 49 seconds left before halftime.
Balseiro's PAT sent the home team to the locker room with a 14-10 advantage.
The Crimson Tide's deepest penetration into Razorbacks' territory was the 39 as the UA defense stiffened and allowed only just 101 yards in the second half after giving up 227 in the opening two quarters.
De'Arrius Howard rolls against Alabama.
The Arkansas defense gave up some running yards in the first half, but got a shutout in the second half.
Peyton Hillis powers into the end zone.
Desmond Sims makes a tackle on a kickoff.
De'Arrius Howard added the Hogs' final TD.
Arkansas 27, Alabama 10
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
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