Nov. 4, 2007
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Darren McFadden ran for an SEC-record 323 yards, boosting his Heisman Trophy hopes with a breathtaking performance in Arkansas’ 48-36 victory over No. 23 South Carolina on Saturday night.
McFadden ran for a touchdown and also threw for a one, and Felix Jones rushed for 163 yards and three TDs for the Razorbacks. Arkansas led 21-3 after the first quarter, and although the Gamecocks rallied in the second half, they never could stop the Hogs’ running game. Arkansas rushed for 541 yards on the night.
McFadden broke the Southeastern Conference record of 321 yards set by Vanderbilt’s Frank Mordica in 1978. His previous career high was a 219-yard effort against South Carolina last year.
The Gamecocks tried two onside kicks in the third quarter and recovered one, and after a bad snap gave them a safety early in the fourth quarter, they appeared to have momentum.
South Carolina’s Cory Boyd ran for a 1-yard touchdown to make it 42-36 with 8:15 to play, but McFadden answered 11 seconds later with an 80-yard touchdown run.
McFadden, a junior, could decide to go pro after this season. If so, this will end up being his last game in Fayetteville. Arkansas (6-3, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) has one more home game this year, but it’s in Little Rock.
Blake Mitchell threw for 364 yards and two touchdowns for South Carolina, but the Gamecocks (6-4, 3-4) didn’t have an answer for McFadden and Jones, both of whom surpassed 1,000 yards on the season during the game.
On a night Arkansas named its field after outgoing athletic director Frank Broyles, the Razorbacks earned their most impressive win of the season. Jones was actually the star early on, rushing for touchdowns of 40 and 72 yards in the first quarter.
After one quarter, Jones had 119 yards on four carries, and that included a play in which he was trapped in the backfield for an 8-yard loss.
Mitchell scored on a 1-yard sneak in the second quarter, but Jones returned the ensuing kickoff to the Arkansas 49. The Razorbacks then scored on a reverse pass. McFadden lined up at quarterback, with quarterback Casey Dick at wide receiver. Jones took a handoff and pitched to Dick, who threw deep to Lucas Miller for a 35-yard touchdown to make it 28-10.
South Carolina opened the second half with a field goal, then caught Arkansas completely off guard with an onside kick that was easily recovered by the Gamecocks’ Emanuel Cook. Mitchell then found Jared Cook for a 21-yard touchdown, but Arkansas answered with another trick play.
With the ball at the South Carolina 23, McFadden dropped a pitchout, then picked up the ball and threw to the end zone for Robert Johnson, who wasn’t open. Johnson outjumped defensive back Carlos Thomas and came down with the ball for a touchdown.
Mitchell’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Dion Lecorn made it 35-27, and South Carolina followed that with another onside kick attempt, which went out of bounds. Arkansas quickly drove for Jones’ third touchdown of the game, a 7-yard run.