2:00 PM ET, November 17, 2007
Razorback Stadium, FAYETTEVILLE, AR
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Casey Dick threw a career-high four touchdown passes to help Arkansas give embattled coach Houston Nutt a win Saturday, 45-31 over Mississippi State.
Darren McFadden ran for 88 yards and threw for a touchdown in what might have been his last home game as a Razorback. There's a good chance McFadden, a junior, will turn pro after this season.
Nutt improved to 22-2 at Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium since becoming Arkansas' coach before the 1998 season. This game was a brief respite from constant speculation about his job status. The university strongly denied published reports that any decision has been made on Nutt's future.
Arkansas (7-4, 3-4 SEC) and Mississippi State (6-5, 3-4) are both bowl eligible, but the seventh win was a boost to the Razorbacks' resume.
Dick, who was pulled during a 34-13 loss at Tennessee last weekend, started against Mississippi State and was 14-of-17 for 199 yards. His longest pass was a 57-yard touchdown to McFadden in the third quarter that gave the Razorbacks a 31-10 advantage.
Mississippi State pulled to 38-24 in the fourth on Wesley Carroll's 80-yard touchdown pass to Jamayel Smith. The Bulldogs then got the ball back, but defensive lineman Antwain Robinson intercepted a pass from just in front of Carroll and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown with 6:48 to play.
Carroll found Jason Husband for a 19-yard touchdown on fourth down with 5 minutes left. Mississippi State then tried an onside kick, but Arkansas recovered.
Carroll went 29-of-51 for 421 yards and four touchdowns, but he also threw four interceptions. Smith caught 10 passes for 208 yards.
The Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead on Carroll's 4-yard touchdown pass to Smith. The two also hooked up for a 19-yard gain earlier in the drive on fourth-and-5 from the Arkansas 30.
The Razorbacks answered with 24 straight points in the second quarter. Trailing 7-3, Dick dumped the ball off to a wide open Farod Jackson, who raced all the way to the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown, the first of his career.
Dick later added a 35-yard touchdown pass to Robert Johnson and a 19-yarder to Marcus Monk on third-and-16. The pass to Monk was thrown up for grabs, and the 6-foot-6 receiver outjumped two defenders for the ball.
Dick was 9-of-10 for 131 yards in the first half, then found McFadden for another touchdown early in the third quarter. Dick moved away from the rush and dumped the ball off to the star running back near midfield. Linebacker Dominic Douglas was nearby, but once McFadden outran him, nobody else had a chance.
Carroll threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Tony Burks late in the third quarter, but McFadden -- who occasionally lines up at quarterback for Arkansas -- answered with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Johnson.
The Bulldogs have never won at Arkansas. They are 0-4 at Fayetteville and 0-3-1 in Little Rock.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-15||5-13|
|4th Down Conversions||3-3||0-1|
|TD||03:58||Jamayel Smith 4 Yd Pass From Wesley Carroll (Adam Carlson Kick) |
Drive: 15 plays, 80 yds, 6:25
|FG||14:55||Alex Tejada 39 Yd |
Drive: 9 plays, 45 yds, 4:03
|TD||10:44||Farod Jackson 30 Yd Pass From Casey Dick (Alex Tejada Kick) |
Drive: 7 plays, 79 yds, 2:36
|TD||05:01||Robert Johnson 35 Yd Pass From Casey Dick (Alex Tejada Kick)||7||17|
|TD||00:43||Marcus Monk 19 Yd Pass From Casey Dick (Alex Tejada Kick)||7||24|
|FG||10:20||Adam Carlson 25 Yd||10||24|
|TD||09:33||Darren Mcfadden 57 Yd Pass From Casey Dick (Alex Tejada Kick)||10||31|
|TD||03:17||Tony Burks 35 Yd Pass From Wesley Carroll (Adam Carlson Kick)||17||31|
|TD||09:44||Robert Johnson 24 Yd Pass From Darren Mcfadden (Alex Tejada Kick)||17||38|
|TD||09:26||Jamayel Smith 80 Yd Pass From Wesley Carroll (Adam Carlson Kick)||24||38|
|TD||06:48||Antwain Robinson 30 Yd Interception Return (Alex Tejada Kick)||24||45|
|TD||05:00||Jason Husband 19 Yd Pass From Wesley Carroll (Adam Carlson Kick)||31||45|