FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- First, Bryant Hahnfeldt's missed field
goal left Vanderbilt down by three with 2:46 remaining. Then, after
an Arkansas punt, the Commodores faced fourth-and-long.
Jay Cutler and his teammates never quit.
Cutler threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Marlon White with 26
seconds remaining to give Vanderbilt its second straight
come-from-behind win, 28-24 over Arkansas on Saturday night.
"We knew we had a shot," Cutler said. "And our line stepped
up and our receivers got some great catches."
Cutler completed a 19-yard pass to Erik Davis on fourth-and-10
from his own 34-yard line to keep the winning drive alive. After
Vanderbilt moved to the Arkansas 19, his pass toward the end zone
sailed over White's head.
But Randy Kelly was called for pass interference -- Arkansas
coach Houston Nutt vehemently argued the call -- giving the
Commodores the ball at the 6.
Cutler found White cutting across the end zone on the next play.
"There were some questionable calls but that's life," Nutt
said. "You've got to be able to overcome those."
Arkansas committed nine penalties for 88 yards. Vanderbilt (2-0,
1-0 Southeastern Conference) had only 2 for 9 yards.
The Razorbacks (1-1, 0-1) led 24-13 after three quarters, but
Cutler lofted a 20-yard touchdown to White, then found White for a
2-point conversion with 12:44 to play. The senior quarterback
finished 23-of-45 for 278 yards with an interception, and his two
touchdown passes gave him 41 for his career, tying the school mark
held by Greg Zolman and Whit Taylor.
Hahnfeldt missed a 43-yard kick, but Vanderbilt regained
possession on a punt after only 24 seconds. The Commodores then
drove 76 yards for the winning score.
"Our team didn't give up," Cutler said. "After the missed
field goal, our defense gave us another chance and we took
Arkansas squandered an opportunity to use more time when
quarterback Robert Johnson was forced out of bounds on second down.
"I wish we could have run the clock more on that last drive
before we had to punt," Nutt said.
Vanderbilt has two straight road wins for the first time since
beating Mississippi and Duke in 1999. The Commodores had lost every
SEC opener since 1993, when Alabama beat them 17-6 but forfeited
the game. Vanderbilt's last win on the field in an SEC opener was
in 1990 over LSU.
The Commodores were coming off their first season-opening win
since 1997. They beat Wake Forest 24-20 when Jeff Jennings scored
with 1:48 remaining.
De'Arrius Howard rushed for a career-high 139 yards, and Robert
Johnson threw two touchdown passes for Arkansas.
The Razorbacks outgained Vanderbilt 200-10 in the first quarter.
Howard's 39-yard run opened the scoring.
But Vanderbilt stopped running back Peyton Hillis four straight
times on Arkansas' next possession after the Razorbacks had
first-and-goal from the 3.
"Not scoring early in the game from inside the 5, when we were
up a touchdown might have affected the game," Hillis said. "We
just simply didn't get it done in the first half."
Chris Balseiro's 37-yard field goal made it 10-0, but Cutler
scored on a 1-yard run to complete a drive aided by two Arkansas
penalties on third down.
Hahnfeldt's 23-yard kick made it 10-10 at halftime, and he added
a 28-yard field goal early in the third quarter.
Johnson found Marcus Monk on a 7-yard pass to put Arkansas back
ahead, and Hillis caught a 16-yard touchdown from Johnson later in
Freshman Felix Jones, who rushed for 137 yards in the
Razorbacks' season-opening win over Missouri State, had only one
carry -- and lost a yard. After rushing for 483 yards last weekend,
the Razorbacks had 106 in the first quarter against Vanderbilt but
only 88 the rest of the game.
Davis had 110 yards on a career-high seven catches for the
Vanderbilt and Arkansas met for only the sixth time, the first
since 1995. Vanderbilt's only previous win in the series was in
The Commodores had never played at Fayetteville -- their previous
three games at Arkansas were at Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium.
Arkansas plays at No. 1 Southern California next weekend.
Vanderbilt hosts Mississippi.