A Razorback football team looking for a blowout win over 1-1 San Jose State University instead walked off the field saddled with another shocking loss in the Chad Morris era. The visitors led most of the way and shook off a 4th quarter Arkansas rally with a late game winning touchdown to send Arkansas fans home unhappy on the heels of a 31-24 loss.
SJSU scored on the game’s opening possession for a 7-0 lead setting the tone for a frustrating night for the home team.
Arkansas’ offense went three and out but the defense responded much better on SJSU’s second possession of the game, forcing a punt at the Spartan’s 22 yards line. Quarterback Nick Starkel then led the Hogs 60 yards in 10 plays but the drive broke down on 4th and two from the visitors four yard line when Devwah Whaley was thrown for a two yard loss.
The Spartans were on the move again going 66 yards from their own eight to Arkansas 28 yard line where Matt Mercurio missed a 46 yard field goal. This time the Razorbacks would respond. With just over a minute left in the first quarter Starkel threw a 62 yard bomb to a wide open Mike Woods who scored as the Hogs tied it up.
The two teams then traded interceptions but Starkel’s, which was returned 32 yards to Arkansas’ 28, would prove costly as SJSU needed just two plays to take the lead again off a 15 yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Nick Nash.
Arkansas took the kickoff and again another drive would end on a failed 4th down conversion when Starkel was stopped on a quarterback keeper at the visitors 23 yard line. The Spartans mounted another impressive drive which ended in a 47 yard field goal by Mercurio, good for a 17-7 lead.
Just before halftime the situation got worse for Arkansas as the visitors when through a confused Hog defense like a knife through butter. Josh Love capped a 79 yard drive with a 26 yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Holiness and a 24-7 halftime lead.
The second half began with more of the same with another promising Arkansas drive killed by Starkel’s third interception of the game. But this time it was SJSU that failed on a 4th down conversion. It didn’t matter as Starkel threw his 4th pick of the night this one at the Spartans one yard line.
Late in the 3rd quarter Arkansas did get some points off a 48 yard Connor Limpert Field goal closing the gap to 24-10. Early in the 4th quarter the Razorbacks struck again as Starkel was on target on a 30 yard touchdown pass to Tyson Morris and Arkansas was within a touchdown of the lead.
Then, with just under three minutes left, the Hogs completed the comeback on a Nick Starkel pass to Trey Knox for 8 yards and a touchdown. But the Hogs defense collapsed again with DeJon Packer putting SJSU back in front on a 19 yard touchdown run. Starkel promptly threw his fifth interception of the game and the visitors had their first ever win over an SEC school.