2:00 PM ET, October 14, 2006
Razorback Stadium, FAYETTEVILLE, AR
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Keith Jackson picked off the pass and started upfield. Only Kevin Ballatore had a chance to bring him down.
A 296-pound defensive tackle against a 205-pound quarterback? No contest.
"I just gave him a stiff arm and just kept running," Jackson said.
Jackson rumbled 69 yards for a touchdown, making his final homecoming day a memorable one in No. 17 Arkansas' 63-7 win over Southeast Missouri State on Saturday.
The Razorbacks (5-1) were in the Top 25 this week for the first time since 2003, and they looked the part while dismantling the Division I-AA Redhawks. Darren McFadden ran 52 yards for a touchdown on Arkansas' first offensive play, and Felix Jones added an 85-yard scoring run in the second quarter.
The Razorbacks were coming off a 27-10 win at then-No. 2 Auburn, and coaches had been concerned about a letdown. Instead, Arkansas rolled to its most lopsided victory since a 60-0 victory over Tulsa in 1974.
"We kept our blinders on, which is what we need to do for every game," said coach Houston Nutt, who was celebrating his 49th birthday. "We just had more depth than they did and we were able to play almost everybody on the sideline."
Southeast Missouri State (3-3) is 1-11 against I-A teams since moving to I-AA in 1991.
"We expected the game to be like this," Redhawks coach Tony Samuel said. "Arkansas is a good team and we don't match up."
McFadden finished with 71 yards on only six carries, and Jones had 106 on just five. Neither running back had a carry in the second half.
Instead, they watched redshirt freshman Michael Smith, who finished with 116 yards on eight carries. Smith ran for touchdowns of 10 and 11 yards in the second quarter, and Arkansas led 42-0 at halftime.
"With Darren and Felix, I know I won't get that many opportunities so I'm just trying to show the coaches that I'm ready whenever they need me," Smith said.
Another player who doesn't get that many chances to score is Jackson, the son of former NFL tight end Keith Jackson. The elder Jackson broadcasts Arkansas games on the radio, and he was shown on the big screen, excited, after his son scored.
Southeast Missouri State had driven into Arkansas territory in the second quarter, then tried a trick play. Receiver Antonio Scaife took a lateral pass near the sideline and tried to throw back to Ballatore on the opposite side of the field.
The pass was short, and Jackson intercepted it and made it 21-0.
"I thought we might have to give him oxygen when he got back to the sidelines but I am very proud of him," Nutt said of the senior.
McFadden, who entered as the Southeastern Conference's leading rusher, eluded several tacklers as he broke down the left sideline on his first carry. Anthony Lumpkin grabbed at him for a bit as they ran, but the Arkansas sophomore eventually brushed him off on his way to the end zone.
McFadden made it 14-0 with a 2-yard run later in the first quarter, ending Arkansas' only scoring drive of the first half that took longer than 1:21.
The SEC West-leading Razorbacks have won five straight for the first time since a six-game streak in 2002. Arkansas also snapped a string of three straight losses on homecoming day.
Arkansas was able to rotate quarterbacks. Mitch Mustain went 5-of-13 for 51 yards with a touchdown pass, and backup Casey Dick was 8-of-9 for 98 yards and two TDs. Clark Irwin also took a few snaps toward the end.
Ballatore did most of the passing for the Redhawks. He finished 8-of-28 for 108 yards with two interceptions.
Southeast Missouri State trailed 49-0 when it finally scored on John Radney's 8-yard run.
Jones' scoring run was the Razorbacks' longest for a touchdown since Ben Cowins went 89 yards against Houston in 1976.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Darren McFadden put on his pads. He ran for two touchdowns in the first quarter -- including a 52-yard run just three minutes into the game.
Gameball goes to... Michael Smith and Casey Dick. The backup running back and QB, respectively, got some valuable game time, combining for over 200 yards and four TDs.
Stat of the game... 17: Seventeen different Arkansas players threw, caught or ran the ball for the Razorbacks in their 63-7 rout of overwhelmed SE Missouri State.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||2-14||6-11|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||1-3|
|TD||12:16||DARREN MCFADDEN 52 YD RUN (JEREMY DAVIS KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 52 yards.
|TD||4:17||DARREN MCFADDEN 2 YD RUN (JEREMY DAVIS KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 37 yards.
|TD||8:37||KEITH JACKSON 69 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (JEREMY DAVIS KICK)||0||21|
|TD||5:16||FELIX JONES 85 YD RUN (JEREMY DAVIS KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 89 yards.
|TD||3:30||MICHAEL SMITH 10 YD RUN (JEREMY DAVIS KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 25 yards.
|TD||0:15||MICHAEL SMITH 11 YD RUN (JEREMY DAVIS KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||9:12||DAMIAN WILLIAMS 4 YD PASS FROM MITCH MUSTAIN (JEREMY DAVIS KICK)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 67 yards.
|TD||5:02||JOHN RADNEY 8 YD RUN (COLLIN SCHERMANN KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 84 yards.
|TD||2:54||CHRIS BAKER 6 YD PASS FROM CASEY DICK (JEREMY DAVIS KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 27 yards.
|TD||14:54||LONDON CRAWFORD 15 YD PASS FROM CASEY DICK (JEREMY DAVIS KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 61 yards.