The second leg of the Chad Morris era in Fayetteville hit a bit of an unexpected speedbump in Fort Collins Saturday night.
A 64-yard Cole Kelley touchdown pass to T.J. Hammonds with 7:28 left in the third quarter gave Arkansas a 27-9 lead over homestanding Colorado State. Over the next 22:28, however, the Razorbacks were outscored 25-0 as the Rams closed out a come-from-behind 34-27 win.
K.J. Carta-Samuels, the graduate transfer quarterback from Washington, led the comeback as he tossed a pair of touchdowns, one late in the third and the other early in the fourth, to close the gap to 27-24 with 11:07 left. A Wyatt Bryan field goal, his fourth make in as many attempts in the game, with 5:19 left tied the game; Izzy Matthews‘ four-yard touchdown run with a mere eight seconds left on the clock was the game-winner.
Amazingly, Arkansas lost despite rushing for 299 yards while holding CSU to 40 on the ground. Carta-Samuels, however, threw for 389 yards, a performance that proved to be the difference.
Arkansas hadn’t lost to a Group of Five team since stumbling against Toledo in September of 2015. Conversely, Colorado State beat a Power Five team for the second time in as many years, the first coming in the 2017 season opener against Oregon State. Most notably, it marks Colorado State’s second-ever win over a team from the SEC, with the first coming in 1992 against LSU.
CSU, whose head coach, Mike Bobo, is the former offensive coordinator at Georgia, had come into the game 0-2 on the season, having lost to Hawaii by nine points in Week 0 and then by 32 to Colorado in Week 1.