Game is the longest in NCAA history

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Multiple-overtime football games are

becoming a habit for Arkansas. The Razorbacks finished another one

the right way on Saturday.

DeCori Birmingham scored on a 25-yard run in a record-tying

seventh overtime, and Arkansas stopped Kentucky on a fourth-down

play to finish a 71-63 victory at Commonwealth Stadium.

The football game was the longest in NCAA history, matching the

seven overtimes in Arkansas' 58-56 victory at Mississippi in 2001.

The game lasted four minutes shy of five hours.

Arkansas also played a six-overtime last year, losing to

Tennessee, and beat Alabama earlier this year in a two-overtime

game. The Razorbacks have played six overtime games, winning five

times, since Division I-A adopted the tiebreaker in 1996.

"As long as we get to seven (overtimes), it's OK," said

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt, whose team snapped a three-game losing


"The game was meant for us and we believe we're going to win in

overtime. We were prepared for overtime. We had three or four

two-point plays ready. We didn't draw up things in the dirt like we

did two years ago in Oxford (Mississippi)."

Birmingham, a converted wide receiver forced to play tailback

because of injuries, rushed 40 times for a career-high 196 yards

and two touchdowns for Arkansas (5-3, 2-3 Southeastern Conference).

Jason Peters caught a 2-point conversion pass from Matt Jones after

Birmingham's final score.

Kentucky (4-5, 1-4) had a fourth-and-3 at the 5 in the seventh

overtime, but quarterback Jared Lorenzen failed to make a first

down when he fumbled on a keeper.

"There is nothing like being on the wrong side of an NCAA

record," Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said. "I never thought I

would be in a game like that. We had ample opportunities to win the


"It was very tough to swallow. We made such a great comeback.

Talk about an emotional rollercoaster. One thing about it: the fans

got their money's worth."

Kentucky forced overtime with a 13-yard touchdown pass from

Lorenzen to Chris Bernard with 1:38 left in regulation. That tied

the score at 24 and capped a 14-point Kentucky rally.

Arkansas scored 47 points in overtime, breaking the record of 41

it set in the 2001 game against Ole Miss. The 86 combined overtime

points also broke the record of 80 set in the 2001 game.

Until the seventh overtime, both teams scored touchdowns in each

overtime except for the third, when they kicked field goals. In the

fourth and sixth overtimes, the teams had successful 2-point


Kentucky's best chance to win came in the third overtime.

Arkansas had kicked a field goal to go ahead 41-38, and Kentucky

had a fourth-and-goal at the 1. But the Wildcats were penalized for

illegal substitution when Draak Davis ran off the field after

Kentucky broke its huddle, and the Wildcats chose to kick a tying

field goal.

In the fourth overtime, Arkansas converted on a fourth-and-2

play at the 3 when Jones scored, then threw a conversion pass to

Mark Pierce.

Jones, who did not start the game but relieved Ryan Sorahan in

the second quarter, passed for 260 yards and three touchdowns,

completing 16 of 25 passes. He also rushed for 112 yards and one


George Wilson had nine catches for 172 yards and one touchdown

for the Razorbacks.

Birmingham scored on a 10-yard first-quarter run. Kentucky's

Andrew Hopewell blocked a punt and returned it 6 yards for a tying

touchdown, but Jones threw a 26-yard scoring pass to Richard Smith

to put Arkansas ahead 14-7.

The Razorbacks then scored on a blocked punt of their own, as

Tom Crowder blocked Anthony Thornton's kick and recovered the

football in the end zone.

Kentucky had plays of 26, 31 and 25 yards to reach the Arkansas

3 late in the second quarter, but Ahmad Carroll intercepted

Lorenzen to end the threat.

Lorenzen, who rushed for three touchdowns in overtime, threw his

two touchdown passes in the second half. One was a 51-yard flip to

fullback Alexis Bwenge, who eluded two defenders and broke two

tackles on the play. Bwenge added two other touchdowns in overtime.

Bwenge ran for 89 yards in addition to the 51-yard reception.

Lorenzen completed 28 of 49 passes for 326 yards. Derek Abney led

the Wildcats with 10 catches for 91 yards.

Kentucky dropped to 1-2 in overtime games. The Wildcats beat

Alabama 40-34 in 1997 and lost to Louisville by the same score in

2000. Both games ended after only one extra period.