Misery on Markham: Hogs fall to Warhawks
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2012, at 11:59 PM
Photo credit: US Presswire
LITTLE ROCK — It might be the most embarrassing moment in Arkansas football history. The Razorbacks were part of yet another memorable Miracle on Markham only this time Arkansas came up on the losing end against Louisiana-Monroe (1-0).
The over 53,000 Razorback fans in attendance at War Memorial Stadium could do nothing other than watch in disbelief, as No. 8 Arkansas (1-1) eventually succumb to a team from the Sun Belt Conference. The Warhawks unbelievably pulled off the upset 34-31 over the Hogs in overtime.
"I thought we had a chance to win coming into the game," ULM head coach Todd Berry said. "I had a lot of faith, but that doesn't guarantee anything. Arkansas is a very, very good team. They have some special talent, and they have a great coaching staff."
Razorbacks linebacker Tenarius Wright led the team with 11 tackles and one hurry. Unfortunately, as it did the week before, a much maligned defense gave up a ton of yardage: 557 total yards to the Warhawks.
"I am shocked and I am mad at the same time," Wright said about the loss. "I don't want to show anger. I want to be strong for my team and our team has to come together and stay together as a family and get ready for next week."
Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson started slow, with an interception, but rebounded quickly. Wilson completed 11 of 20 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, but he did not return in the second half. Wilson was reported to have suffered an "above-the-shoulders" injury and freshman Brandon Allen replaced him.
"I have to give ULM a lot of credit," said Arkansas head coach John L. Smith. "The coaches did a good job, the players played hard. They out played us and they out coached us. We have to do a better job. We have to pull together. We have to use this week and not divide, but rally together and become a better football team. Hopefully we get some of those injured guys back. Again, I have to give all of the credit to them. We couldn't get off of the field."
The Hogs enjoyed a 21-7 lead at the half. With just under 10 minutes to play in the third quarter, Allen found wide receiver Mekale McKay for a 13-yard touchdown that gave the Razorbacks their biggest lead of the night, 28-7.
The wheels fell off after that, as the Warhawks outscored Arkansas 27-3 the rest of the way.
"I told the kids at halftime that it was going to go to the fourth quarter, and it's going to be who is going to blink first," Berry said.
Prior to imploding in the second half, Arkansas pushed their Red Zone scoring streak to 8-for-8 on the season with eight touchdowns. The Hogs were 3-for-3 with wide receiver Julian Horton catching a 20-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and Knile Davis' 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to go along with McKay's 13-yard touchdown catch.
Before the injury, Wilson garnered his 14th game scoring multiple touchdowns. Wilson also took sixth place on Arkansas' all-time list for passing yards in a career with 4,941 for his tenure.
Arkansas starting cornerback Tevin Mitchel suffered a violent head-to-head hit during the game and had to be carted off the field.
"We got a report on Tevin Mitchel and he is moving and responsive," said Smith. "The prognosis I think is going to be good. We thank God he is okay, which is the most important thing about tonight."
ULM's quarterback Kolton Browning played an inspired game against the Hogs. Browning completed 42 of 68 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns.
"He did a great job," Smith said. "He made play, after play, after play. That includes one at the end to win. We couldn't tackle him, couldn't stop him. He played a great game."
On fourth-and-one, at the Arkansas 16-yard line, ULM decided to go for a first down rather than kicking a field goal and tying the game in overtime. Browning faked up field and then scampered into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown.
UP NEXT: No. 1 Alabama
WHEN: 2:30 p.m.
LAST MEETING: The Hogs lost to the eventual BCS National Champions 38-14 in Tuscaloosa. Tyler Wilson completed 22 of 35 passes for 185 yards, a pair of touchdowns and an interception.
NOTEWORTHY: Arkansas has not won a game against Alabama since the double-overtime victory in 2006, 24-23. Houston Nutt was still the coach on The Hill, and Nick Saban had yet to matriculate to the Tide. Alabama's average margin of victory during that stretch is 18.8 points per game. The closest contest came in 2007 when No. 16 Arkansas was upset by the unranked Tide 41-38 on the road.