Arkansas gets wild double-OT win over No. 15 TCU, 41-38
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Arkansas appeared on its way to a big early season victory over No. 15 TCU following a pedestrian debut and a year after a stunning Week 2 loss to Toledo.
Then the Razorbacks looked like they had let the victory get away. And finally, they walked off with their fifth win over a ranked opponent as an unranked team since 2014.
Quarterback Austin Allen ran 5 yards for the winning score in the second overtime, and Arkansas pulled out a wild 41-38 victory over the Horned Frogs on Saturday night, snapping a 14-game TCU home winning streak that ranked third nationally.
“The scars of the past are great reminders of what you want to accomplish in the future,” said coach Bret Bielema, whose team beat Louisiana Tech 21-20 at home to start the season.
“Our guys have been scarred. We’ve lost some close games, stubbed their toe a little bit early on. But this group’s always said, ‘You know, why not us?’”
Allen led the Razorbacks (2-0) to the tying score in the final 2 minutes of regulation, throwing a touchdown pass to Keon Hatcher and then catching the tying 2-point conversion from the receiver with 1:03 remaining.
The Horned Frogs (1-1) rallied from 13 down in the fourth quarter to take a 28-20 lead, but couldn’t hang in the first meeting of these former Southwest Conference rivals since 1991. That was the year before Arkansas started play in the SEC.
“You feel like you gave one away,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “They’re going to be upset when they watch the film.”
Allen threw three touchdowns passes, including a 19-yarder to Jeremy Sprinkle to start overtime.
“We wanted to keep you in your seats for four quarters and some,” Bielema said with a smile as he greeted reporters. “For college football, this is everything you could ask for.”
TCU’s Kenny Hill threw for 377 yards and an overtime TD to Taj Williams and also had 93 yards rushing and two scores. But he couldn’t get the Horned Frogs in the end zone in the second OT, and they settled for Ryan Graf’s 37-yard field goal.
Allen’s winning score came on a second effort after he was hit around the 2, with a little push from his linemen at the goal line just to make sure.
“I give all the credit to the guys up front,” said Allen, who was 17 of 23 for 229 yards. “I think I got stopped and they kept playing through the whistle and pushed me in.”
KaVontae Turpin set up both of TCU’s fourth-quarter touchdowns with long catches, including on the go-ahead drive from midfield after he added nearly 25 yards on a dazzling punt return when he spun out of several tackles while somehow keeping both knees off the ground.
After the Razorbacks got even, Turpin returned the kickoff 64 yards, but Arkansas’ Dan Skipper blocked Graf’s 28-yard field goal try with 10 seconds remaining.
The 5-foot-9, 153-pound speedster had 295 all-purpose yards, including 126 receiving.
Turpin had a 57-yard catch to set up Hill’s 1-yard run to get TCU within 20-14 in the fourth quarter. Turpin added a 43-yarder from Hill before Kyle Hicks’ second rushing TD, a 7-yarder for the TCU’s first lead at 21-20 with 7:15 remaining.
Rawleigh Williams III had a career-high 137 yards rushing for the Razorbacks.
TCU will likely drop for the second straight week after losing two spots in a slightly shaky win over South Dakota State of the FCS. But the Horned Frogs figure to stay in. Arkansas wasn’t getting any Top 25 votes going in, so a surge into the rankings appears unlikely.
Arkansas: An offensive line with three new starters and coming off some criticism from the opener limited the pass rush-happy Horned Frogs to one sack. The per-carry average for the offense was 4.2 yards, significantly higher than the 2.7 from the opener.
TCU: Hill looked shaky early again, throwing an interception that Brooks Ellis returned 47 yards for the only touchdown of the first half. But just like a week ago after a sluggish start against South Dakota State, he was great in the second half.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks will be heavily favored at home against Texas State on Saturday before coming back to the Dallas area Sept. 24 for their SEC opener against Texas A&M.
TCU: The Frogs finish a season-starting stretch of three home games with the Big 12 opener against Iowa State on Saturday. TCU has won three straight in the series since losing to the Cyclones in their first Big 12 home game in 2012.
Online: AP College Football website www.collegefootball.ap.org