FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas sophomore running back Dominique Johnson scored a go-ahead touchdown with 21 seconds left as Arkansas came away with a 31-28 win over No. 17 Mississippi State on Saturday at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The Bulldogs (5-4, 3-3 SEC) had an opportunity to tie the game with two seconds left to play, but redshirt freshman kicker Nolan McCord’s 40-yard attempt was wide left. The Razorbacks (6-3, 2-3 SEC) become bowl eligible with the win.
MSU sophomore quarterback Will Rogers completed 36 of 48 (75%) passes for 417 yards, four TDs and one interception. Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Makai Polk made eight catches for 117 yards receiving, while freshman Rara Thomas added 63 yards receiving and two TDs on four catches.
On the ground, sophomore running backs Jo’quavious Marks and Dillon Johnson added 40 and 31 yards rushing, respectively.
The MSU defense surrendered 191 yards passing and one TD by Arkansas redshirt sophomore quarterback KJ Jefferson. Junior receiver Treylon Burks had 82 yards receiving and one TD on six catches.
The Razorbacks, who owned the fourth-best rushing offense in the nation entering the game, totaled 202 yards rushing and two TDs on 45 attempts. Johnson finished with 107 yards and two TDs.
Arkansas jumped out to a 13-0 lead with 3:21 left in the first half after freshman kicker Cam Little made field goals from 46 and 48 yards and Johnson scored on a 1-yard TD run.
The Bulldogs made it a 13-7 game before the halftime break when they capped off an 11-play drive with a 3-yard TD connection between Rogers and sophomore wide receiver Jaden Walley.
Rogers then found Thomas from six yards out to give MSU a 14-13 lead with 8:15 left in the third quarter. The Razorbacks retook the lead with 4:38 left in the quarter when Little made a 51-yard field goal to make it a 16-14 ballgame.
The fourth-quarter scoring began when Jefferson threw a 14-yard TD pass to Burks to give Arkansas a 23-14 lead with 14:10 left in the game. The Bulldogs responded with 14 unanswered points to go ahead 28-23 with 2:22 left. Rogers threw a 37-yard TD pass to Thomas and a 15-yard TD to Marks.
Then with one minute left, Jefferson’s pass on fourth-and-1 fell incomplete, but the Bulldogs were called for defensive holding. Arkansas moved up to the 15-yard line and scored three plays later to take a game-ending 31-28 lead.
The Bulldogs stay on the road next week as they take on No. 13 Auburn at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN.