(25) Auburn 21, Arkansas 19 -- Final

Friday, October 27th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Arkansas (4-3) at Auburn (7-2)
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) _ Ben Leard passed for 240 yards and No. 25 Auburn picked off two passes in the final minutes to preserve a 21-19 victory over Arkansas on Saturday.

The Tigers (7-2, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) scored on a 13-yard lateral to Clifton Robinson to polish off a 93-yard drive late in the third quarter, making it 21-14. The defense did the rest in the fourth.

Arkansas (4-3, 1-3) managed only Brennan O'Donohoe's 24-yard field goal with 4:20 to play after setting up first-and-goal from the 9.

The Tigers couldn't get a first down, but the Razorbacks' backup quarterback, freshman Zac Clark, was picked off by Stanford Simmons at the Auburn 30. Two plays later, Rudi Johnson, who rushed 29 times for 114 yards and a touchdown, fumbled and Carlos Hall recovered at the Tigers' 34 with 1:43 left.

On the next play, Rodney Crayton picked off another pass. Unable to run the clock out, Auburn took a safety on fourth down with three seconds left.

Arkansas couldn't return the ensuing free kick to midfield despite a handoff and lateral, and the clock ran out.

Clark entered the game when Robby Hampton sprained his right shoulder on a failed fourth-down play from the Auburn 19. Clark was 1-of-7 with two interceptions and a 41-yard pass to Fred Talley.

Talley, starting for the first time at tailback, rushed for 161 yards and a TD on 26 carries. He entered the game with 160 yards on the season.

He couldn't overcome the combination of Johnson and Leard.

Johnson scored on a 23-yarder in the second quarter. He tied Bo Jackson's school record with his eighth 100-yard effort of the season.

Leard was 19-of-30 for 240 yards, including a 37-yard TD pass to Tim Carter in the second. He was intercepted twice.

The teams traded big plays in the second quarter en route to a 14-14 halftime tie, combining for 449 total yards.

On fourth-and-2, Leard hit Carter in the flat. Carter stepped out of a defensive back's grasp and spun away from another would-be tackler downfield, diving into the end zone for a 37-yard TD.

On the next play, Talley busted up the middle for an 80-yard TD run, the Razorbacks' longest of the season. Talley was the third tailback coach Houston Nutt has turned to since Cedric Cobbs went down with a season-ending injury.

Johnson would answer late in the quarter for Auburn. His spinning, tackle-breaking 23-yarder capped a nine-play, 95-yard drive with 2:26 left.

Hampton then led the Razorbacks on an 80-yard drive, capped by Brandon Holmes' 3-yard TD run with 29 seconds left. Hampton was 5-of-6 on the drive, setting up the score with a 35-yard pass to Sparky Hamilton.

Hampton finished 19-of-34 for 163 yards.

The Razorbacks have lost eight straight SEC road contests.

Quarter 1st2nd 3rd4thFinal

TeamScore TimeSummaryRunning Score
Auburn10:23 2ndQTim Carter 37 yd rec from Ben Leard(kick good)Auburn 7-0
Arkansas10:04 2ndQFred Talley 80 yd run(kick good)Tied 7-7
Auburn2:26 2ndQRudi Johnson 23 yd run(kick good)Auburn 14-7
Arkansas:29 2ndQBrandon Holmes 3 yd run(kick good)Tied 14-14
Auburn1:39 3rdQClifton Robinson 13 yd run(kick good)Auburn 21-14
Arkansas4:20 4thQBrennan Odononhoe 24 yd FGAuburn 21-17
Arkansas:08 4thQSafety, punter runs out of end zoneAuburn 21-19


RUSHING_Arkansas, Talley 26-161, Holmes 3-5. Auburn, Johnson 29-114, Robinson 2-15, Evans 3-9, Leard 1-0, team 4-(minus 25).

PASSING_Arkansas, Hampton 19-34-0-163, Clark 1-7-2-41, Butler 0-1-1-0. Auburn, Leard 19-30-2-240.

RECEIVING_Arkansas, Snowden 6-32, Hamilton 4-65, Williams 4-47, Smith 3-19, Talley 1-41, Daily 1-3, Harris 1-(minus 3). Auburn, Worthy 5-68, Carter 4-76, Willis 4-67, McIntyre 3-17, Diamond 2-11, Johnson 1-1.