Arkansas holds off Tulsa, keeps slim bowl hopes alive
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Dennis Johnson and Cobi Hamilton helped Arkansas again find a way against Tulsa.
Johnson rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns, and Hamilton set the school's single-season receptions record, as the Razorbacks rallied for a 19-15 win over the Golden Hurricane on Saturday.
The win keeps the slim bowl chances alive for the Razorbacks (4-5) with three games remaining, and it extends their winning streak to 18 games over the Golden Hurricane.
Johnson's 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter put the Razorbacks up for good, and it came after a pair of catches by Hamilton -- who finished with 11 catches for 177 yards. Hamilton has 69 catches for 1,077 yards this season, breaking Jarius Wright's mark of 66 catches in a season.
Trey Watts led Tulsa (7-2) with 134 yards of total offense and a touchdown. The loss snaps the Golden Hurricane's seven-game winning streak.
Tulsa led 15-13 in the second half after rallying from a 10-0 first-quarter deficit.
The Golden Hurricane had a chance to extend that lead late in the third quarter after driving to the Arkansas 5, but quarterback Cody Green's fourth-down pass was batted down after coach Bill Blankenship elected to bypass the short field goal attempt.
The Razorbacks took advantage of the new life behind quarterback Tyler Wilson and Hamilton. Wilson, who finished 21-of-31 passing 272 yards, found Hamilton for back-to-back catches early in the fourth quarter to take Arkansas to the Tulsa 1.
The catches were Hamilton's 67th and 68th of the season, and the senior is now just 40 yards behind Wright's school single-season yards record of 1,117.
Johnson finished the drive with his second touchdown run of the game, and the Razorbacks held off a pair of late Golden Hurricane chances for their third win in their last four games. Arkansas must now win two of its final three games -- against South Carolina, Mississippi State and LSU -- to reach bowl eligibility for the fourth straight season.
Tulsa, which entered the game in search of its first win over the Razorbacks since 1976, appeared poised to do just that while outgaining Arkansas 203-158 in total yardage in the first half. The Golden Hurricane trailed 13-12 at the half after a pair of failed extra-point attempts and a missed field goal by kicker Daniel Schwarz.
Green was 15-of-18 passing in the half, finding Keyarris Garrett for 10 of his completions, but he struggled in the second half and finished 22-of-37 passing for 222 yards. Garrett finished with 12 catches for 94 yards, while Watts had 81 yards rushing on 19 carries and 53 yards receiving.
With the Razorbacks leading 19-15 late in the fourth quarter, kicker Zack Hocker pulled a 26-yard field goal attempt left -- giving Tulsa the ball back with 3:35 remaining.
The Golden Hurricane, however, was unable to earn a first down after Green's fourth-down pass was dropped by Garrett.
Still, Tulsa had another late opportunity after Arkansas bypassed a field goal attempt and failed on a fourth-and-one on the Golden Hurricane 16 -- giving Tulsa the ball back with 1:07 remaining.
That drive was put to an end when Razorbacks defensive end Chris Smith sacked Green on second down, forcing a fumble that Byran Jones recovered to a collective sigh of relief in Razorback Stadium.
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