FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Dennis Johnson and Cobi Hamilton made the plays Arkansas needed most — keeping Arkansas' slim bowl chances alive and once again crushing upstart Tulsa's hopes in the process.
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 afternoon.
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 a Golden Hurricane (7-2) team that appeared ready to take down its Southeastern Conference neighbor.
It was also a welcomed bit of relief after yet another disheartening loss, this one the week before to Mississippi, in a season full of disappointment for the Razorbacks — who began the season ranked in the Top 10.
"It's fun," Hamilton said. "Everything is fun. Everybody is happy. The locker room is happy. The atmosphere is happy, so you get these records and all these big games, it's fun. It's fun for me to go home and enjoy it with my teammates. It's just a great day."
Arkansas escaped with the win thanks to the efforts of Johnson and Hamilton, two seniors who have been part of the school's run of success over the last three seasons. 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 now has 69 catches for 1,077 yards this season, breaking Jarius Wright's mark of 66 catches in a season. None were bigger Saturday for Hamilton than his 41-yard catch, followed by a 14-yard grab that set up Johnson's go-ahead touchdown.
The Razorbacks' relief following the win was only equaled by Tulsa's disappointment. The Golden Hurricane had won seven straight games entering the contest, and coach Bill Blankenship and the players talked openly throughout the week about how much a win against Arkansas would mean.
Tulsa appeared poised to earn its first win over the Razorbacks since 1976 after taking a 15-13 lead in the third quarter following a 29-yard field goal by Daniel Schwarz.
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 by Trey Flowers after Blankenship elected to bypass the short field goal attempt.
"We thought we had it, so it will sit bad in our stomach for a while," Green said. "We wanted it, but know we have to live with it."