Arkansas' slide continues in loss to Rutgers
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Cobi Hamilton was among a host of Arkansas players who didn't hesitate a month ago when talking about the possibility of winning Southeastern Conference and national championships this season.
Times have certainly changed for Hamilton and the Razorbacks, who fell to 1-3 with a 35-26 setback to No. 23 Rutgers on Saturday. It was the third straight loss for Arkansas, which started the season ranked No. 8 before plummeting out of the AP college football poll after a then-shocking loss to Louisiana-Monroe.
The overtime defeat to the Warhawks doesn't look so surprising these days, not after the Razorbacks secondary was once again exposed by a quarterback on his way to a career game. This time around, it was sophomore Scarlet Knights' quarterback Gary Nova who passed for a career-best 397 yards and five touchdowns against Arkansas — outdueling Razorbacks quarterback Tyler Wilson, who threw for 419 yards in the loss.
"That's a quarterback's dream to go back and forth like that," Nova said. "Those are the moments you dream about in college football."
The loss left the Razorbacks seemingly even more emotionally deflated than after the Louisiana-Monroe setback or after being soundly beaten 52-0 by No. 1 Alabama a week later. They made play after play on offense, including an SEC record 303 yards receiving and three touchdowns from Hamilton, but they had no answers for Nova and a Rutgers team that improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2006 and is now No. 23.
National championship for Arkansas?
Arkansas, which was 21-5 the last two seasons — including a the school's first BCS berth and a Cotton Bowl win last season — is just hoping to make a bowl game at this point. Any bowl.
It's a task that doesn't get any easier with back-to-back road games looming at Texas A&M and Auburn.
"If you would have told me we'd be 1-3 to start the season in August, it's hard to say ...," Hamilton said. "But like I say, we have to keep fighting and working together. We'll go back to practice Tuesday and work our tails off like we always do. Hopefully we can finish the game next week against A&M and start the season off."
While Arkansas' free-fall continued Saturday in its first season after the firing of former coach Bobby Petrino, Rutgers' resurgence continued in its first season under coach Kyle Flood.
Flood took over the Scarlet Knights in January after former coach Greg Schiano left to take over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The career assistant coach looked right at home helping Rutgers earn its first win over an SEC team since 2004 on Saturday, a win that followed a Big East-opening win over South Florida.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 12798Oklahoma State football: Todd Monken thinks Wes Lunt should've stayed in Stillwater
- 12779Oklahoma medical examiner reports cause of deaths in Grand Lake boat crash
- 12087OKC Thunder: Thunder trio praise fans before potential departures
- 10010Report: OSU blocking Wes Lunt from transferring to the SEC, Big 12 and Southern Miss
- 8450Oklahoma football: Sooners get pair of commitments
- 6619Oklahoma City Thunder: Amnesty Kendrick Perkins?
- 6098Rockets guard Patrick Beverley bombarded with hateful Tweets after Thunder get eliminated