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Razorbacks rally for OT win

Associated Press
Published September 28, 2003

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - A game of big plays, bigger comebacks and gut-churning mistakes came down to one backup kicker with a pressure-packed chip shot.

Chris Balseiro kicked a 19-yard field goal in the second overtime and Arkansas came back from a 21-point deficit to beat Alabama 34-31 Saturday.

"Oh my goodness," Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt said. "We all saw an awesome game. We had some guys who refused to quit."

The Razorbacks, who trailed 31-10 midway through the third quarter, tied it on Matt Jones' 3-yard touchdown to Richard Smith with 27 seconds left.

Arkansas nearly blew it in the first overtime, but a penalty by Alabama and a missed 38-yard field goal by Brian Bostick gave the Razorbacks another chance.

Jimarr Gallon intercepted Alabama's Brodie Croyle to open the second overtime, leading to the winning score. The Razorbacks ran seven times to the 2 before Balseiro's field goal won it. Balseiro entered after David Carlton missed two early field goals.

On fourth and 25 from the Tide 40 in the first OT drive, Charles Jones intercepted Arkansas' desperation pass in the end zone.

The Tide looked to be in perfect position but several defensive players were called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for a prolonged celebration in the end zone after the pickoff. That meant the next drive started at the 40.

"These are the ones that hurt the most," Tide safety Roman Harper said. "We've got the game locked and the defense gave it away with stupid penalties and missed tackles."

Smith's late touchdown capped a methodical 12-play drive, covering 5:27. Mark Pierce's 2-yard run with 8:31 to play brought Arkansas within seven.

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