FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — DeJon Packer’s 19-yard rushing touchdown with 1:13 left propelled San Jose State to its first win against a Power Five program in 13 years Saturday, stunning three-touchdown favorite Arkansas on the road, 31-24.
The last time the Spartans beat an opponent from the Power Five was 2006, when they defeated a Stanford team that ultimately finished 1-11 by a single point.
San Jose State (2-1) intercepted Nick Starkel five times, including twice in the red zone, to stifle the Razorbacks’ chances. On the other side of the ball, the Spartans racked up 506 yards, including 402 passing from Josh Love, who also threw two touchdowns.
San Jose State scored on each of their final three possessions of the first half, breaking a 7-all tie and leaving the home fans booing as the teams went into halftime with the Spartans ahead, 24-7. Arkansas rallied with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the game, but Love led a five-play, 75-yard TD drive before Starkel’s final interception, a last-ditch deep ball, sealed things.
Arkansas (2-2) gifted San Jose State the ball four times in the first half. Twice the Razorbacks failed to convert on fourth down and twice more Starkel threw interceptions. Two of those giveaways resulted in Spartans scores.
Starkel, in his second start, threw his third and fourth interceptions on Arkansas’ first two drives after the half. Jay Lenard picked off the first at the Spartans 13 and Nehemi Shelton the other at the San Jose State 1.
San Jose State: A 2-2 start is the Spartans’ best since 2015, the last time they made a postseason bowl.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks are searching for answers as they prepare for the bulk of SEC play. Arkansas is yet to win consecutive games in coach Chad Morris’ two seasons.
San Jose State opens its Mountain West Conference season Friday night when the Spartans travel to Air Force.
Arkansas will look to snap a seven-game losing streak to SEC foe Texas A&M when the two meet at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, next Saturday.