For all but one minute of the 2011 Sugar Bowl, Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett was on fire. It was a split-second mistake in the final minute of the Sugar Bowl that preserved a 31-26 Ohio State win over Arkansas as the Razorbacks came up just short. For a moment, following Colton Miles-Nash's blocked punt with just over a minute to go, it looked like Arkansas would complete an incredible comeback, only to see the Sugar Bowl slip away as Solomon Thomas stepped in front of Mallet's second down pass.
Mallett ended the game with 277 yards, two touchdowns and that one interception. Considering how many times Arkansas receivers dropped crucial passes, the Sugar Bowl could've had a very different results. Time after time, Mallett hit receivers square in the hands, right in the numbers, only to see the ball hit the turf. It seemed like every receiver dropped at least one, something the Razorbacks are surely kicking themselves over this morning.
The Razorbacks racked up 402 yards of total offense, 277 of which came through the air and 125 of which came on the ground. Knile Davis led all rushers with a game-high 139 yards on 26 carries. Jarrius Wright caught four passes for 70 yards and Joe Adams grabbed nine passes for a game-high 120 yards and a touchdown. The Arkansas offense was firing, and gave the Razorbacks plenty of chances to bring home the Sugar Bowl trophy.
On the other side of the ball, Terrelle Pryor played an almost perfect game at quarterback. The junior, amid plenty of controversy, finished with 221 yards and two touchdowns through the air and another 115 on the ground. His only glaring mistake, a fumble at the goal-line, turned into a fluke touchdown as Dane Sanzenbacher dove on the loose ball in the end zone. Sanzenbacher also caught three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Daniel Herron, another member of the tattooed five, added 86 yards and a touchdown on the ground for the Buckeyes. Devier Posey led the Ohio State receivers with three catches for 70 yards and a score.
In the end, it was those costly drops, and that last-minute mistake by Mallett, that doomed the Razorbacks in the Sugar Bowl. Ohio State walked away with its first win over an SEC team in a bowl game while Arkansas heads home with a sour taste in its mouth, wondering what could have been.