LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Kolton Browning made the most of his return to Arkansas.
Browning’s 16-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-one lifted Louisiana-Monroe to a 34-31 overtime win over the No. 8 Razorbacks on Saturday night.
Browning accounted for 481 yards of total offense and four touchdowns to lead the Warhawks (1-0) to their first win over a Southeastern Conference team since defeating Alabama in 2007.
The junior made his first career start in Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium two years ago as a freshman, a 31-7 loss by the Warhawks. He showed his maturity and then some in his return, helping Louisiana-Monroe outgain Arkansas 550-377 in total yards.
The Razorbacks (1-1) played the second half without quarterback Tyler Wilson, who suffered a head injury after taking several big hits in the first half.
Wilson, who also missed the second half against New Mexico last season with concussion-like symptoms, was 11-of-20 passing for 196 yards and a pair of touchdowns before leaving the game at halftime.
The Warhawks trailed 28-7 midway through the third quarter before rallying behind Browning. The second-team Sun Belt Conference quarterback from a season ago found Brent Leonard for a 23-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-10 with 55 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 28-28.
Leonard finished with 11 catches for 112 yards receiving.
Browning was 42 of 67 passing for 412 yards passing, and he had 69 yards rushing on 16 carries — his last the winding, game-winning scramble in overtime around and through the Arkansas defense.
The Razorbacks led 28-7 midway through the third quarter after freshman quarterback Brandon Allen connected with MeKale McKay for a 13-yard touchdown. Allen, filling in for the injured Wilson, finished 6 of 20 passing for 85 yards.
The Razorbacks had little offense after that, though they managed to take a 34-31 lead in overtime after a 37-yard field goal by Zach Hocker.
Cobi Hamilton led Arkansas with 99 yards receiving and a touchdown on six catches. The senior now has eight touchdown catches in seven career games in Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium.
The Razorbacks started slowly for the second straight game, even with Wilson in the lineup in the first half.
Arkansas struggled at times in last week’s season-opening win over Jacksonville State, allowing 163 yards passing in the first half to the FCS Gamecocks. The Razorbacks’ defensive woes continued Saturday.
Browning was at the center of Arkansas’ frustrations, avoiding the Razorbacks time and again. His 4-yard touchdown pass to Centarius Donald put the Warhawks up 7-0 in the first half, and he closed Arkansas’ lead to 28-21 early in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Steed.