Texas A&M at Arkansas

Arkansas rallies to stun collapse-prone Texas A&M

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Arkansas players on the field were jumping up and down with joy, the guys on the sideline wore huge smiles and tens of thousands of fans followed their usual cries of "Woo Pig Sooie!"

Brace yourself, Texas A&M fans, because it might be like this week after week next season.

Tyler Wilson threw for a school-record 510 yards, Jarius Wright caught 13 passes for a school-record 281 yards and the No. 18 Razorbacks turned an 18-point halftime deficit into a 42-38 victory on Saturday, giving the No. 14 Aggies a rude preview of life in their new conference.

"We played in the second half with a tremendous amount of heart, competitive spirit, toughness," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "It was a really good win."

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Texas A&M scored five touchdowns in the first half, all on the ground against a defense that had allowed only a single rushing touchdown over four previous games. The Razorbacks snapped back to form in the second half, yielding only a field goal, albeit one that gave the Aggies a 38-35 lead with 4:22 left.

Then Broderick Green ran 3 yards for a touchdown with 1:41 left to put Arkansas (4-1) ahead for the first time. One defensive stand later, the celebrations broke out among the Hogs' half of the 69,838 fans, further punctuated with chants of, "S-E-C! S-E-C!"

Meanwhile, the Aggies (2-2) and their fans were forced to accept a second straight agonizing defeat.

Just a week before, they gave up a 17-point halftime lead at home to a member of the Big 12, the conference they're leaving behind. Now, they've blown an even bigger lead to a team from the conference they just announced they're joining. It's a 1-2 punch that has taken them from No. 8 and the cusp of the national title chase to likely the back end of the Top 25 and sinking in the conference race.

"We'll have some heart-to-hearts this week, particularly on Monday, about which direction we're going to go and make sure that what happened today doesn't happen again," Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman said.

The Aggies have dropped seven straight games to SEC teams, dating to 1995, or back when they were in the Southwest Conference. That makes them 0-for-the-Big-12-era against teams from their new league.

"I don't put a whole lot of stock into all that stuff," Sherman said. "We're in the Big 12 right now and we need to win in the Big 12. We're focusing more on this season. We'll worry about next season, next season, when we are in that conference."

Wilson shattered the school passing record of 409 set by Ryan Mallett against Vanderbilt last season. He was 30 of 51 with three touchdowns, including a pinpoint 68-yarder to Wright. He also ran for a 2-point conversion that tied the game 35-35, and led the nine-play, 80-yard drive for the winning touchdown.

Most of all, Wilson guided Arkansas to points on four of six second-half drives before the kneel-down at the end.

"You can't get caught up in how many passing yards you've thrown for or what the score is," Wilson said. "It's just chipping away. We had success spreading 'em out in an empty formation. I knew we'd have success in the second half if the defense could hold 'em a few times."

Wright broke the school receiving record of 204 yards by halftime. He wound up also tying the record for catches. And, get this - in a single game, he got more than a quarter of the yardage needed for the single-season record of 1,004. With at least seven games left, he's already at 478.

"We saw before the game, that they left the middle open a lot," Wright said. "They did it again us too and we had to make them pay."

His best play wasn't a catch, but a head's up recovery of a fumble by fellow receiver Cobi Hamilton as the ball was rolling into the end zone. That touchdown got Arkansas within 35-33, setting up Wilson's conversion that tied it.

"I was over there trying to get a block for Cobi," Wright said. "I saw the ball squirt out and when I saw that, I had it in my head that I had to get the ball."

Green was thought to have been lost for the season because of a knee injury sustained during spring practice. But in his season debut, he rumbled for 25 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.

"I never saw this happening at all," he said "I thought I'd come back next year. I feel amazing. I was pumped. I kept telling myself, 'I can do this."'

For all the offensive fireworks, the Arkansas defense deserves credit, too.

The Razorbacks went from giving up 404 yards in the first half to 224 in the second half.

"We came in at halftime and talked a lot about competing, tackling better, running full speed to the ball," Petrino said. "They made us look like we didn't tackle very good in the first half. We made a few adjustments on defense, how we were going to align, but basically I thought we came out and competed extremely hard."

A&M's Christine Michael ran for 230 yards and three touchdowns, and Cyrus Gray ran for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan Tannehill 25 of 35 for 247 yards and an interception, and ran for 56 yards.

The Aggies fell to 0-4 at Cowboys Stadium. They are 0-3 against Arkansas and lost the Cotton Bowl in January to another SEC school, LSU.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Scoring Summary
TXAMChristine Michael 48 yd run (Randy Bullock kick)
TXAMChristine Michael 4 yd run (Randy Bullock kick)
ARJarius Wright 68 yd pass from Tyler Wilson (Zach Hocker kick)
TXAMCyrus Gray 1 yd run (Randy Bullock kick)
ARBroderick Green 1 yd run (Zach Hocker kick)
TXAMChristine Michael 29 yd run (Randy Bullock kick)
ARZach Hocker 26 yd FG
TXAMCyrus Gray 4 yd run (Randy Bullock kick)
ARZach Hocker 32 yd FG
ARRonnie Wingo 13 yd pass from Tyler Wilson (Zach Hocker kick)
ARJarius Wright 0 yd fumble return (TYLER WILSON 2pt run)
TXAMRandy Bullock 23 yd FG
ARBroderick Green 3 yd run (Zach Hocker kick)
 
Team Stats
 TXAMAR
First Downs3028
Third Down Efficiency7-158-17
Fourth Down Efficiency0-10-0
Plays-Net Yards89-62881-581
Rushes-Yds54-38130-71
Passing Yds247510
Kick Return Yds116108
Punt Return Yds2919
Passes25-35-130-51-0
Punts6-2147-339
Fumbles-Lost2-11-0
Penalties-Yds7-7214-112
Time of Poss.31:5628:4
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
TXAM: Christine Michael 32-230, Cyrus Gray 17-95, Ryan Tannehill 5-56
AR: Dennis Johnson 8-54, Broderick Green 9-25, Ronnie Wingo 6-24, Team 1--3, Tyler Wilson 6--29
PASSING
TXAM: Ryan Tannehill 25-35-247-1
AR: Tyler Wilson 30-51-510-0
RECEIVING
TXAM: Jeff Fuller 9-82, Ryan Swope 5-92, Uzoma Nwachukwu 4-35, Nate Askew 2-20, Hutson Prioleau 2-8, Christine Michael 2-7, Cyrus Gray 1-3
AR: Jarius Wright 13-281, Dennis Johnson 4-69, Ronnie Wingo 4-30, Cobi Hamilton 3-47, Chris Gragg 2-31, Greg Childs 1-19, Julian Horton 1-19, Maudrecus Humphrey 1-9, Marquel Wade 1-5
 
Standings
TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
Texas A&M4th SEC West4-48-4