Tigers-Razorbacks Game Review
Fayetteville, AR (Sports Network) - Ryan Mallett threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another score, as the Arkansas Razorbacks pummeled the 17th-ranked and previously unbeaten Auburn Tigers, 44-23.
Mallett finished 24-of-38 with 274 yards through the air and one interception for the Razorbacks (3-2, 1-2 SEC), who defeated Texas A&M last week to snap a two-game slide. Michael Smith rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, while Broderick Green added two scores on the ground.
Greg Childs made five grabs for 85 yards and a touchdown in the win.
"This was a good win for us. I'm very proud of our guys, proud of our coaches. We wanted to mix it up a little bit on offense. I think we did that. It's the first time really all season that we've gotten the running game going the way we thought we could, and you could see the impact it had and how it opened things up down the field," said Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino.
Ben Tate ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns on 22 attempts for the Tigers (5-1, 2-1). Chris Todd completed 15-of-29 passes for 129 yards in defeat.
With the Tigers trailing 34-3 in the third quarter, Tate ran for successive touchdowns of one and 60 yards, respectively, and Onterio McCalebb added a three-yard scoring run in the dying seconds of the stanza to trim Auburn's once-sizable deficit to 11.
Set up by a 65-yard return from Dennis Johnson on the ensuing kickoff, Arkansas extended its lead to 41-23 on Green's second touchdown of the game -- a three-yard dash.
Alex Tejada cemented the win for the Razorbacks, drilling a 23-yard field goal with under 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
Auburn went three-and-out on the game's opening series, and the Razorbacks got the ball at their own 26. Mallett orchestrated an impressive 13-play drive that ended with Green muscling his way into the end zone for a two-yard score. Arkansas botched the extra point.
The Razorbacks extended their lead in the early stages of the second quarter on a 25-yard touchdown run by the elusive Smith.
Auburn's Mario Fannin fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Jerell Norton recovered for Arkansas at the Tigers 34. Mallett threw an 18-yard completion to D.J. Williams on first down, then hit Childs on a fade route down the far sideline to make it 20-0.
Held scoreless in a quarter for the first time this season, Auburn got on the board when Wes Byrum booted a 37-yard field goal with 8:54 remaining in the second frame.
A five-yard pass play between Mallett and Williams gave Arkansas a commanding 27-3 lead at halftime.
The Tigers moved the ball efficiently on their first series of the third quarter and were on the verge of potentially scoring a touchdown until Tate coughed up the ball.
Arkansas recovered at its own five-yard line and proceeded to march down the field, with Mallet capping the 10-play drive with a four-yard scamper.