LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - ULM (1-0) scored first and last in a 34-31 overtime victory over No. 8 Arkansas (1-1) on Saturday night in front of 53,089 inside War Memorial Stadium. The Warhawks held the Razorbacks to a field goal to begin overtime, and on ULM's possession, junior quarterback Kolton Browning sprinted 16 yards and dove headlong into the endzone for the win - ULM's first over an FBS ranked program in school history.
In addition, it is the first time a Sun Belt team beat has beaten a top-10 team and just the second time ever that a Sun Belt school has defeated a ranked opponent. The Warhawks improved to 1-9 all-time against Arkansas.
ULM battled back from a 28-7 deficit in the third quarter. Browning led the Warhawks all night, finishing 42-of-67 for 412 yards through the air with three touchdown passes. He also added 69 yards rushing with another touchdown. His 481 yards of total offense is the fifth-best mark in school history.
Browning's stellar performance earned him ESPN College Football Player of the Day. Browning's favorite target during his record setting day was senior wide receiver Brent Leonard, who caught 11 passes for 112 yards.
The ULM defense dominated the highly-touted Razorback offense in the second half, holding them to 108 total yards and 10 points after halftime.
Junior running back Jyruss Edwards capped a nine-play, 75-yard drive (4:01) with a three-yard touchdown run to bring ULM back within 14 at 28-14 with 5:41 remaining in the third quarter. The drive included a 19-yard run from Browning on fourth down and a defensive pass interference call.
On Arkansas' ensuing drive, ULM's defense forced a punt from the Razorbacks' two-yard line after a three-and-out, which was highlighted by sophomore linebacker Ray Stovall's sack for an 18-yard loss.
Browning completed a 13-yard pass to junior wide receiver Tavarese Maye on a fourth and 11 to keep the Warhawks driving. Senior tight end Keavon Milton collected his first reception of the night for 10 yards to make it first and goal. The teams flipped endzones as the fourth quarter began with a third-and-three play. On fourth down, Browning found junior tight end Kevin Steed with a one-yard touchdown pass, bringing ULM within a touchdown, 28-21, with just less than 15 minutes to play.
Both teams traded punts for the majority of the fourth quarter. ULM forced a three-and-out and an Arkansas punt. ULM took possession with 2:59 to play from its own 10-yard line. Browning hit sophomore wide receiver Colby Harper across the middle for a first down and Leonard down the sideline for 27 yards. Browning completed two more passes to Harper for first downs, advancing ULM to the Razorback 23-yard line.
On fourth-and-10, with 55 seconds to play, Browning found Leonard down the seam for a 23-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 28-28 with 47 seconds left in regulation.
With all three timeouts remaining, Arkansas drove the ball but a tipped pass resulted in a DaCorris Ford interception for ULM along its own sideline. The Warhawks took over with 20 seconds left in regulation on its own 43-yard line. The game headed to overtime after a penalty resulted in a 10-second run off.
Arkansas started overtime with the ball but ULM's defense forced the Razorbacks to take a 37-yard field goal, which was good giving Arkansas a 31-28 lead. The defensive stand was highlighted by several pass break ups in the endzone and a quarterback fumble, which was recovered by the quarterback and resulted in an incomplete pass.
The Warhawks were faced with a fourth-and-one on their only possession in overtime, and instead of trying a game-tying field goal from 33 yards out, Browning scrambled for 16 yards and dove head-first into the endzone to give ULM its first season-opening victory since 2006.
The Warhawks travel to Auburn next Saturday (Sept. 15) with kickoff scheduled for 11:21 a.m. inside Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network/ESPN3.
ULM - C. Donald, four-yard TD reception from K. Browning (J. Manton XP good), 12-67 5:03 (7-0 ULM)
Arkansas - J. Horton 20-yard TD reception from T. Wilson (Z. Hooker XP good), 9-75 2:34 (7-7 Tie)
Arkansas - C. Hamilton 39-yard TD reception from T. Wilson (Z. Hooker XP good), 7-80 3:02 (14-7 Ark.)
Arkansas - K. Davis 3-yard TD run (Z. Hooker XP good), 3, 87 1:00 (21-7 Ark.)
Arkansas - M. McKay 13-yard TD reception from B. Allen (Z. Hooker XP good) 8-66 2:59 (28-7 Ark.)
- J. Edwards 3-yard TD run (J.Manton XP good) 9-75 4:01 (28-14 Ark.)
ULM -K. Steed 1-yard TD reception from K. Browning (J.Manton XP good), 11-39 5:34 (28-21 Ark.)
ULM- B. Leonard 23-yard TD reception from K. Browning (J. Manton XP good), 10-90 2:12 (28-28 Tie)
Arkansas- Z. Hooker 37-yard FG (31-28 Ark.)
ULM- K. Browning 16-yard TD run (35-31 ULM)