Izzy Matthews’ bruising 1-yard touchdown run with 8 seconds to go capped a stunning Colorado State rally against Arkansas on Saturday as the host Rams claimed their first win of the season, 34-27 at Canvas Stadium.
CSU trailed 27-9 midway through the third quarter after the Razorbacks struck for a big-play touchdown following a rare mistake by Rams quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels.
Unfazed, Colorado State started chipping away, and Carta-Samuels made amends for his costly fumble by engineering an offensive attack the Razorbacks (1-1) couldn’t stop.
Carta-Samuels passed for 389 yards and a pair of touchdowns and did most of his damage after CSU fell behind by 18 points.
Down that far after Razorbacks quarterback Cole Kelley connected with T.J. Hammonds for a 64-yard touchdown on the first play after Carta-Samuels’ fumble, CSU (1-2) went to work.
The Rams went three-and-out on their next possession, but then racked up drives of 70, 96, 60 and 59 yards on their last four chances with the ball.
With Arkansas’ defense on its heels, Carta-Samuels was masterful on the last drive of the third quarter and throughout the fourth. He methodically dissected the Razorbacks, often finding Preston Williams, who snared 12 passes for 154 yards — including TDs of 4 and 10 yards.
Wyatt Bryan botted a 22-yard field goal, his fourth of the night, with 5:19 to play to knot the score 27-27 and set the stage for the dramatic finish.
CSU’s defense refused to buckle and forced a Hogs punt to gain possession with 2:38 on the clock. Carta-Samuels rifled a 25-yard strike to Williams to flip the field and found him again for 13 yards to get the Rams into field-goal range. Matthews bolted 14 yards to the 1-yard line and plowed in on the next play for the game-winner.
The Razorbacks carved out what turned out to be short-lived breathing room with two touchdowns on their first two series of the third quarter — one to finish off a 91-yard drive and the second on a one-play dagger.
Devwah Whaley slid into the driver’s seat for much of the long TD march, carrying the ball six times for 45 yards — the last an 11-yard burst that helped set up Kelley’s 25-yard scoring strike to La’Michael Pettway.
Whaley accounted for 165 of Arkansas’ 299 rushing yards.
—Field Level Media