PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Gary Nova threw touchdown passes of 33 and 4 yards to Leonte Carroo in the final 9:55 and Rutgers rallied from a 17-point, second-half deficit to beat previously undefeated Arkansas 28-24 on Saturday.
Janarion Grant sparked the rally with a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter and he set up the game-winning 4-yard score to Carroo with 5:18 to play with a 47-yard punt return to the Arkansas 33, a play on which the officials might have missed a block in the back.
Nova, who was knocked out of last week's game with a concussion, also threw a 15-yard touchdown to tight end Tyler Kroft as the Scarlet Knights (3-1) won their third straight.
Tevin Mitchel scored on a 26-yard interception return for Arkansas (3-1) which pulled out a lot of trick plays in trying for its first 4-0 start since 2003.
AJ Derby, starting for the injured Brandon Allen, threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Javontee Herndon and halfback Jonathan Williams connected with Hunter Henry on a 21-yard scoring pass for the Hogs, who seemed to be in total control midway through the second half after opening the 24-7 lead.
Arkansas's first points came on a 41-yard field goal by Zach Hocker, a score set up by a pass off a fake punt to a center eligible.
Nova finished 22 of 43 for 346 yards. He also threw an interception and lost two fumbles.
The big play for Rutgers — and the one that ignited the crowd of 51,969, the fifth largest in school history — was Grant's punt return.
Arkansas punter Sam Irwin-Hill, who threw the pass on the fake punt, rolled to his right after taking the long snap and punted the ball on the run.
Unfortunately for the Hogs, the kick went across the field to Grant's right, and away from the coverage. Grant fielded the ball on a bounce, started downing down the right side and then cut across the field, leaving the Razorbacks in his dust.
Rutgers dominated the fourth quarter, a period Arkansas had outscored opponents 21-0. Nova led a six-play, 98-yard drive, completing a 25-yard pass to Brandon Coleman and a 42-yard catch and run to Kroft, who finished with six catches for 133 yards.