Two-Minute Drill: Ohio State 31, Arkansas 26

by Chris Bahn  on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 12:30 am  

Arkansas receiver Jarius Wright (4) attempts to wrestle the ball away from Ohio State defensive end Solomon Thomas. Moments earlier Thomas intercepted Razorbacks' quarterback Ryan Mallett to end a potential game-winning possession. OSU won 31-26. (Photo by Mark Wagner)

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Ohio State 31, Arkansas 26

Why Arkansas Lost Spotting a Top 10 team a 21-point lead in the first half is never a good thing, especially in a BCS bowl. Arkansas (10-3) couldn’t overcome its early mistakes against No. 6 Ohio State (12-1) and came up short. Missed opportunities defined the night for the eighth-ranked Razorbacks, who had a chance to score on the Buckeyes’ 18 before an interception ended the night. Dropped passes were problematic from the start and in the early going it was clear that Ohio State had been to six consecutive BCS bowls, while the Razorbacks were making their first appearance.

Turning Point
A blocked punt with 1:09 remaining seemed to have all the momentum headed in Arkansas’ direction. The Razorbacks took over at the Ohio State 18 and appeared to have plenty of time to score.

Ohio State reserve defensive end Solomon Thomas dropped back into pass coverage and intercepted Ryan Mallett. It was Thomas’ first career interception and ended the Razorbacks’ threat and what had been an impressive comeback from deficits of 28-7 late in the first half and 28-10 at halftime.

Mallett Watch
Ryan Mallett — predictably — said he had yet to make a decision about his future. He can leave for the NFL now.

Should Tuesday have been his final game, he ended 24 of 47 (51 percent) for 277 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He was sacked four times.

Mallett was good enough to break his own school record for passing yards in a season. He ended the year with 3,869 and a school-record 32 touchdowns.

Tough Night
Wide receiver Joe Adams had nine catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. It was easily the best effort of any Arkansas receiver.

Adams also had what was easily the worst day of any of the Razorbacks' receivers. He dropped three passes, including two potential touchdown catches against the Buckeyes.

Arkansas had a chance to score on the first play from scrimmage, but Adams let the ball slip through his hands. Another drop cost a first down and the third came in the end zone. To be fair, the ball appeared to be tipped on the final drop.

Adams wasn’t alone in his struggles. Total, the Razorbacks dropped six passes.

O-For, No More
Ohio State has a history of making bowls. Winning — especially against SEC teams is another matter.



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