Arkansas pulls off fake field goal touchdown late against Alabama

It takes some gutsy calls to beat a team as talented as No. 2 Alabama. And Sam Pittman was ready to dial up a seriously gutsy call.

Facing a 4th-and-9 with about 11:39 left in the game, No. 21 Arkansas sent its field goal unit out to attempt a 49-yard field goal. But punter Reid Bauer instead took the snap and ran up the middle before leaping and sending a jump pass to tight end Blake Kern. Kern made a one-handed grab on the pass and took it 32 yards to the Alabama end zone for a touchdown.

The touchdown and subsequent PAT made it a 34-28 game.

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Arkansas’s drive to end the third quarter and start the fourth seemed to have plenty of momentum, but a few penalties toward the end stalled the drive. Facing a 3rd-and-1 from the Alabama 24-yard line, the Razorbacks were handed a five-yard penalty on a false start to move them back five yards. Quarterback KJ Jefferson rushed ahead two yards on the next play to set up a 4th-and-4.

Pittman originally told his team to go for it, but another false start penalty moved his team back another five yards, forcing him to bring out the field goal unit.

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It was the second time this season a team has drawn up a fake play on special times against Alabama. On Nov. 6, LSU punter Avery Atkins looked like he was going to boot it away with the Tigers facing a 4th-and-4, but instead, he rushed ahead and completed a jump pass for a 26-yard gain to tight end Jack Mashburn to give the Tigers a first down.

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Arkansas battled the Tide til the end but fell 42-35. Alabama clinched a berth in the SEC championship game with the win and will face No. 1 Georgia in two weeks.

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