Comeback Cats win thriller over Hogs 21-20

LEXINGTON, Ky.--The story was already written-Kentucky trailed 20-7 late in the 4th quarter, and much of the homecoming crowd had left, convinced the Cats had lost their 3rd consecutive game to the Razorbacks. Only one problem--somebody forgot to tell the Wildcats, as they struck for two Mike Hartline to Randall Cobb touchdowns in the last 4:47 for a 21-20 comeback win.

Arkansas capitalized on two Kentucky turnovers in the first half to take a 14-0 halftime lead, and increased their advantage to 17-0, courtesy of a third Kentucky turnover on a fumble after the first possession of the second half.

Arkansas dominated much of the 2nd half, and held the ball for 12:23 of the 3rd quarter, gaining eight first downs to only one for Kentucky, although the Cats managed to narrow the gap to 17-7 on a two-play, 0:45 drive on a Hartline to Alfonso Smith 71-yard touchdown.

The fourth quarter began the same way the third quarter transpired, with Arkansas eating clock. A 20-play, 9:45 drive by Arkansas culminated in a 23-yard field goal that extended the lead to 20-7.

Arkansas took over after intercepting a Hartline pass, and with 4:56 to play, the game appeared over. Johnny Williams forced an Arkansas fumble, though, and Ashton Cobb recovered to give the Cats a faint pulse with 4:47 to play on the Arkansas 41-yard line.

After a nine-yard completion to Moncell Allen, Hartline went deep to Cobb, and the 32-yard strike closed the gap to 20-14 with 4:15 to go.

Although the defense had been on the field most of the second half, they were called upon one more time to get the ball back for the offense. Tim Masthay booted a high, deep kick that did not reach the end zone, and the Wildcat kick coverage pinned Arkansas at the 17-yard line.

Three plays saw Arkansas lose five yards, and on 4th down, Kentucky's Cobb fielded a punt at the Hog 49-yard line, returning it 14 yards to the 35. Two plays later, and--who else--Cobb was on the receiving end of a 21-yard touchdown pass from Hartline to knot the game at 20-20. Lones Seiber connected on the point after despite a penalty moving the ball back five yards, and the Cats led 21-20.

"We're thrilled, words can't explain it," Hartline said. "(On the first touchdown) we had great downfield blocking by Randall and Aaron Boyd. That's what we expect out of that play. We want to get the ball to our playmakers."

And indeed the Cats did. Cobb gave credit to Hartline--"when we got to those last two drives, somebody had to step up, so Mike stood up and led us to victory."

The game wasn't over, though, as the quick scoring drive left over two minutes for Arkansas, who only needed a field goal to win the game. Masthay again booted a high and deep kickoff, this time five yards deep into the end zone. The attempted return out of the end zone netted Arkansas a first down at their own 13-yard line. The series ended on a 4th down desperation pass wrestled away from the Arkansas receiver by Marcus McClinton for the game-clinching interception, and the comeback was complete.

Kentucky moves to 5-2 (1-2) on the season, while Arkansas falls to 3-4 (1-3).

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