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Arkansas Razorbacks Hang On To Beat A&M Aggies 24-17

(Sports Network) – Ryan Mallett threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns to lead 11th-ranked Arkansas past Texas A&M, 24-17, in the second annual Southwest Classic at Cowboys Stadium.

Mallett connected on 27-of-38 passes, including six to Greg Childs for 65 yards and five more to Cobi Hamilton for 98 yards and a score for the Razorbacks (4-1), who have won both of the games between the schools since their rivalry was renewed last season after a 17-year pause.

Knile Davis carried 10 times for a career-high 82 yards and Broderick Green ran for 58 yards on 18 carries for Arkansas, which leads the all-time series, 40-24-3.

Jarrod Johnson completed only 15-of-40 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown, with one interception, and ran for 40 yards in defeat for the Aggies (3-2), who have lost two in a row after opening the season with three non-conference wins.

Christine Michael rushed for 79 yards and a TD on 18 tries and Jeff Fuller caught eight passes for 154 yards and a score for the Aggies, who have dropped six of the last 11 meetings with their former Southwest Conference foes.

Trailing 24-17, Texas A&M got the ball back with 1:18 to go in a last-gasp effort to tie. Johnson completed two passes to his own 38-yard line before he was sacked and a delay of game penalty moved the Aggies back another five yards.

The senior then connected for a first down to Uzoma Nwachukwu with 18 seconds left before a pass interference penalty on Arkansas set the Aggies up at the Razorbacks 39 with six seconds to play.

Johnson’s final pass into the end zone was intercepted by Tramain Thomas to end the game.

Mallett capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive with a nine-yard scoring strike to Joe Adams 4:09 into the contest. The march was highlighted by a 45-yard dash down the right sideline by Davis to the Aggies’ 12-yard line.

Following an Aggies punt on their first possession, Mallett was intercepted on the ensuing play by Terrence Frederick, who brought the ball back 33 yards to the Razorbacks two-yard line.

Michael pounded in from the two on fourth down to even the score with 5 1/2 minutes to play in the first quarter.

Mallett quickly made up for his mistake three plays later when he sidestepped an oncoming pass rusher and threw deep down the middle to Hamilton, who made the grab inside the Aggies 20 and went the rest of the way untouched to finish the 71-yard scoring play that put the Razorbacks on top for a second time.

Arkansas could not take advantage of two Aggies turnovers in the second quarter, as Zach Hocker missed a 49-yard field goal and a fake field goal try went awry on a botched over the shoulder toss from holder Austin Tucker to Hocker.

The Razorbacks did score on their next touch, as Mallett drilled a six-yard scoring strike to a wide open Ben Cleveland with 53 seconds left in the half to move in front, 21-7.

Texas A&M responded with a 31-yard scoring pass from Johnson to Jeff Fuller with eight seconds to play before the break to trim the lead back to seven.

Johnson connected with Fuller on a 69-yard bomb down the left sidleine to the Arkansas 22. That led to a 38-yard field goal by Randy Bullock that cut lead to 21-17 with a bit less than eight minutes to go in the third quarter.

Hocker’s 39-yard boot on the next Arkansas drive restored a seven-point edge.

Game Notes

The teams are scheduled to play in Arlington annually through the 2018 season…The schools first met on October 31, 1903 and played annually from 1934-1991 before Arkansas left for the SEC…The Razorbacks have scored on their opening drive in each of the last three games, while the Aggies have not scored on their opening drive all season…Mallett has thrown at least three TD passes in nine of his last 17 starts and has thrown for at least one score in all but one of his 18 starts at Arkansas. He has thrown for at least 300 yards in each game this season and more than 200 yards in 15 straight games. Mallett’s five 300-yard games equal the school record he set last season. Saturday was the first time this season the Razorbacks did not have a 100-yard receiver…Adams made only two catches for 19 yards but now ranks 10th on the all-time Arkansas list with 11 career TD catches…He has caught a pass in 27 straight games, the longest active streak in the SEC…Fuller has 125 career grabs, second most in Texas A&M history and added to his school record with his 22nd touchdown catch. He now has 1,701 career receiving yards, fourth all-time and only four behind Jamaar Taylor for third place in Aggies history.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.