Archive for Sunday, November 2, 2003

Arkansas pops UK in 7 OTs

November 2, 2003


— DeCori Birmingham scored on a 25-yard run in a record-tying seventh overtime, and Arkansas stopped Kentucky on a fourth-down play in a 71-63 victory Saturday night.

The game was the longest in NCAA history, matching the seven overtimes in Arkansas' 58-56 victory at Mississippi in 2001. The game lasted four minutes shy of five hours.

Arkansas also played a six-overtime game last year, losing to Tennessee, and beat Alabama earlier this year in a two-overtime game. The Razorbacks have played six overtime games, winning five times, since Division I-A adopted the tiebreaker in 1996.

Birmingham, a converted wide receiver forced to play tailback because of injuries, rushed 40 times for a career-high 196 yards and two touchdowns for Arkansas (5-3 overall, 2-3 Southeastern Conference). Jason Peters caught a two-point conversion pass from Matt Jones after Birmingham's final score.

Kentucky (4-5, 1-4) had a fourth-and-three play at the five in the seventh overtime, but quarterback Jared Lorenzen failed to make a first down when he fumbled on a keeper.

Kentucky forced overtime with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Lorenzen to Chris Bernard with 1:38 left in regulation. That tied the score at 24 and capped a 14-point Kentucky rally.

Arkansas scored 47 points in overtime, breaking the record of 41 it set in the 2001 game against Ole Miss. The 86 combined overtime points also broke the record of 80 set in the 2001 game.

Until the seventh overtime, both teams scored touchdowns in each overtime except for the third, when they kicked field goals. In the fourth and sixth overtimes, the teams had successful two-point conversions.

Kentucky's best chance to win came in the third overtime.

Arkansas had kicked a field goal to go ahead 41-38, and Kentucky had a fourth-and-goal at the 1. But the Wildcats were penalized for illegal substitution when Draak Davis ran off the field after Kentucky broke its huddle, and the Wildcats chose to kick a tying field goal.

In the fourth overtime, Arkansas converted on a fourth-and-two play at the three when Jones scored, then threw a conversion pass to Mark Pierce.

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