FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Joe Cox threw for 375 yards and a school-record five touchdowns, and No. 23 Georgia pulled away for a wild 52-41 win over Arkansas on Saturday night.
The Razorbacks (1-1) led 35-34 in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs' struggling defense held Arkansas to two short field goals the rest of the way. It was the second straight high-scoring win for Georgia, which edged South Carolina 41-37 last weekend.
Ryan Mallett set two school records for Arkansas, throwing for 408 yards and five touchdowns.
The teams fell short of the Southeastern Conference record of 104 points in a non-overtime game, set when South Carolina beat Mississippi State 65-39 in 1995. The lead changed hands four times in the third quarter alone.
Cox tied a school record with the five touchdown passes. His predecessor, Matthew Stafford, is one of three other Georgia players to throw that many.
After Mallett's 2-yard touchdown toss to D.J. Williams put Arkansas up 35-34, Georgia needed only two plays to take the lead for good when Cox threw a 44-yard scoring pass to Orson Charles. After that, the Bulldogs lined up to go for 2. A penalty pushed the ball back, but with the Arkansas defense offering no resistance, Georgia went for 2 anyway from the 8-yard line.
Cox found A.J. Green open in the corner of the end zone for a 42-35 lead.
Green then put the Bulldogs (2-1) ahead 49-38 with a 28-yard touchdown catch with 10:46 left in the game.
Arkansas led 21-10 in the second quarter and had just intercepted Cox near midfield when the Razorbacks suddenly lost their discipline. Razorbacks linebacker Jerry Franklin was called for two personal fouls and ejected, and Arkansas was called for an illegal block on the next play that wiped out a big gain.
As Georgia was starting its next drive, the Razorbacks were hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Bulldogs then backed themselves up with a penalty of their own, but Richard Samuel found a gaping hole for an 80-yard touchdown run that turned the game around.
The Bulldogs gained 201 yards in the quarter and took the lead on a 25-yard pass from Cox to Green one play after Georgia converted on fourth down. The Bulldogs led 27-21 at halftime.
Greg Childs opened the scoring in the third quarter with a 40-yard touchdown catch for Arkansas. Cox answered with a 50-yard scoring strike to Tavarres King to put Georgia ahead 34-28.
Mallett threw for 161 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter. His 18-yard TD pass to Joe Adams opened the scoring. After Cox answered with a 21-yard scoring pass to Aron White, the Razorbacks ran a reverse on the ensuing kickoff and Cobi Hamilton returned it to the Georgia 48. Mallett found Jarius Wright for a touchdown on the next play.
Childs made it 21-10 with the catch of the night, a full-extension dive to haul in a 30-yard touchdown pass from Mallett.