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(Saturday, September 22)
Final Score: Rutgers 35, Arkansas 26
Fayetteville, AR (Sports Network) - Gary Nova threw for a career-high 397 yards and five touchdowns as he led the Rutgers Scarlet Knights to a 35-26 road win over the Arkansas Razorbacks in non-conference action at Razorback Stadium.
Nova completed 25-of-35 passing for the Scarlet Knights (4-0) as they remained perfect through four games for the first time since 2006. Brandon Coleman caught six passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns, while Jawan Jamison had a receiving score of his own to go along with a game-high 118 yards rushing on 33 attempts.
The Razorbacks (1-3) were paced by Tyler Wilson who returned from a concussion by converting 20-of-39 for 419 yards and three TDs, but he was also picked off twice in the losing cause. Cobi Hamilton set an SEC single-game record for receiving yards with 303 on 10 catches, leading to three TDs for the hosts as they dropped their third in a row after opening the campaign with a 49-24 triumph over Jacksonville State.
Arkansas opened the game with 10 straight points in the first quarter as kicker Zach Hocker knocked through a 37-yard field goal and Wilson hooked up with Hamilton on a 57-yard TD strike.
The Scarlet Knights returned the favor in the second frame as Nova tossed TD passes to Jawan Jamison and Brandon Coleman of 10 and 19 yards, respectively, giving the visitors a 14-10 edge at the break.
The Rutgers advantage grew to double digits in the second half thanks to a 38- yard passing score from Nova to Coleman.
The Razorbacks managed to narrow the gap slightly with a 27-yard field goal by Hocker with 5:44 remaining in the third quarter, but that left Nova plenty of time to put yet another TD on the board for the Knights as he hooked up with Paul Carrezola on a two-yard effort.
Trailing by a 28-13 score heading into the final period of play, the hosts made a push to claw their way back. More specifically, Wilson and Hamilton logged touchdown pass plays of 10 and 80 yards in the period, but a failed two-point conversion after the second TD left Arkansas with a 28-26 deficit with 8:19 left in regulation.
Rutgers quickly put some distance between itself and Arkansas thanks to a short pass from Nova to Mark Harrison that turned into a 60-yard scoring play to push the lead out to nine points.
Arkansas averaged better than eight yards per play on the night, but the squad converted just 2-of-11 on third down, which is why the Hogs controlled the ball for just under 21 minutes.
The previous SEC record for receiving yards in a single game was held by Josh Reed of LSU who generated 293 yards on 19 catches back in 2001.
09/22 23:47:35 ET
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