SEC roundup: Arkansas upends Auburn

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. --- Michael Smith rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown, and Arkansas held off a late Auburn rally to hand the No. 17 Tigers their first loss of the season, 44-23 Saturday.


Arkansas jumped out to a 34-3 lead before Auburn (5-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) responded with a three-touchdown flurry toward the end of the third quarter. Dennis Johnson helped the Razorbacks (3-2, 1-2) regain momentum with a 70-yard kickoff return, and Arkansas shut out the Tigers in the fourth.

Ryan Mallett threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns for the Razorbacks. Ben Tate ran for 184 yards and two TDs for Auburn.

Smith rushed for more than 1,000 yards last year. Although the Razorbacks aren't relying on him as much this season, he's still dangerous. He rushed for 101 yards in a dominant first half for Arkansas.

The Razorbacks started the game by holding the Tigers to their first scoreless quarter of the season, and Arkansas took a 6-0 lead on Broderick Green's 2-yard touchdown run.

In the second quarter, Auburn's Mario Fannin caught a screen pass in the backfield, but Jerico Nelson hit Fannin for a loss. Their facemasks appeared to become tangled, and Fannin ended up losing his helmet.

Smith made it 13-0 with a 25-yard scoring run. Fannin then fumbled away the kickoff, and Mallett threw a 16-yard pass to Greg Childs for Arkansas' second touchdown in 47 seconds.


In Starkville, Miss., Case Keenum throw four touchdown passes, two to James Cleveland and two to Tyron Carrier, as Houston rebounded to beat Mississippi State.

Houston (4-1), coming off a loss to Texas-El Paso that knocked the Cougars from their first Top 25 ranking in 18 years, got off to a slow start.

The Bulldogs (2-4) intercepted Keenum twice -- one that Charles Mitchell returned 71 yards for a touchdown -- and sacked him once. He was 39 of 52 for 434 yards.

Anthony Dixon rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns for Mississippi State.


In West Point, N.Y., Alex Carlton kicked a 42-yard field goal in overtime, lifting Army to a victory over Vanderbilt.

The field goal, which hit the left upright, was Carlton's third of the game. He also kicked a 51-yarder in the second quarter, Army's longest field goal since 1994.

Vanderbilt (2-4) forced the game into overtime when Ryan Fowler hit a 41-yard field goal with less than 52 seconds remaining for a 13-13 tie. Quarterback Larry Smith went 4 for 7 for 79 yards on that drive.

The Commodores' opening possession of overtime fell short when Andrew Rodriguez forced Warren Norman to fumble at the 1-yard line, with the ball falling into the end zone for a touchback.

Quarterback Trent Steelman led Army (3-3) with 97 yards rushing on 25 carries.


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