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Arkansas tops Mississippi State in double overtime

Nov 21, 2010 - 6:46 AM Starkville, MS (Sports Network) - Knile Davis redeemed himself with a seven- yard touchdown catch in the second overtime, lifting No. 13 Arkansas to a 38-31 victory over No. 22 Mississippi State in a thriller.

Davis fumbled while Arkansas was trying to run out the clock with a final drive in regulation, and Mississippi State converted the turnover into a game- tying field goal as time expired.

The Bulldogs had a costly fumble in the first overtime when Vick Ballard fumbled out of bounds into the end zone after he was hit by Arkansas' Jerico Nelson in front of the goal line.

The Razorbacks couldn't convert the turnover into points, however, as Zach Hocker missed a 39-yard field goal attempt.

Still, Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett found a wide-open Davis on the left side for the go-ahead touchdown in the second overtime, and the Razorbacks held MSU on a 4th-and-7 play to end the game.

Davis rushed for a career-high 187 yards and two scores on 30 carries and became the 10th player in Arkansas history to cross 1,000 yards rushing in a season. Mallett passed for 305 yards and three touchdowns for the Razorbacks (9-2, 5-2 SEC), who have won five straight.

Ballard rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns for Mississippi State (7-4, 3-4), which will enter its season-finale with Ole Miss next week on a two-game losing streak. Chris Relf passed for 224 yards and ran for another 103 on 31 carries, scoring a touchdown on the ground.

"It was obviously a very disappointing loss," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. "Obviously we have a big game next week and we need to get re-focused and back on the winning track."

After Ballard pulled MSU within 31-28 when he carried a defender into the end zone for a four-yard touchdown with 4:24 remaining, Arkansas took the ball with the goal of running out the clock.

Davis was charging hard on the right side near midfield when Bulldogs defensive back Johnthan Banks got his hand on the ball and knocked it away.

The Bulldogs recovered the fumble at their own 46-yard line and drove down to the seven-yard line, with Relf failing to get out of bounds on an eight-yard scramble in the middle of the field.

Derek DePasquale rushed on to the field and kicked a 25-yard field goal as time ran out to send the game into overtime.

Ballard fumbled on the first possession of overtime, coughing the ball up at the end of a 13-yard run. He already had a first down, but was fighting for another yard and a touchdown when Nelson hit him. The ball -- already being bobbled by Ballard -- went out of bounds on the left side of the end zone.

Hocker missed his field goal attempt wide-left on the ensuing drive, sending the game into a second overtime.

Mississippi State opened the scoring in the first quarter on Relf's 23-yard touchdown run 5:37 into the game. Arkansas got a 62-yard touchdown run from Davis and a 25-yard touchdown pass from Mallett to D.J. Williams to take a 14-7 lead into the second quarter.

MSU scored on two Ballard runs -- from one and two yards -- to move ahead, 21-14, before the Razorbacks got a 32-yard field goal from Hocker in the final minute of the half to pull within 21-17.

The only scoring in the third quarter came on Mallett's 89-yard touchdown pass to Jarius Wright, giving Arkansas a 24-21 lead. Davis scored his second touchdown on a one-yard run about five minutes into the fourth quarter to make it 31-21.

Game Notes

Davis, whose 30 carries were also a career-best, now has 1,031 rushing yards this season...Mallett broke his UA single-season completions record with 229, topping the previous record of 225 he set in 2009.