ARKANSAS CITY, Mo.
— The game-winning field goal by quarterback Nick Fitzgerald in the second quarter gave Arkansas State a 42-31 victory over No. 2 Alabama on Saturday.
The Razorbacks’ defense had to stop the Crimson Tide offense in the final minute and put the game away.
Arkansas State had an 8-0 lead after five minutes.
But it didn’t take long for the Crimson Crimson Tide to take over and run the ball into the end zone.
The victory moved the No. 8-ranked Razorbacks (10-0, 6-0 SEC) into sole possession of second place in the Big 12.
The Crimson Tide (10, 6) were unable to put the ball away after holding on to a 20-14 lead early in the third quarter.
Arkansas took advantage of a turnover by Crimson Tide quarterback Jordan Jefferson and a missed field goal to put up a 21-14 deficit.
It was the first time since the 2007 season that the Razorbacks didn’t hold the edge.
Alabama’s defense took a pounding down the stretch.
They sacked Fitzgerald four times and forced a fumble.
The Crimson Tide converted two of the fumbles to take a 38-28 lead with 3:25 remaining in the half.
The team was on the road for the first of four road games.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
The win was a huge boost for Arkansas State, which has been struggling mightily with injuries.
The defense lost six of its last seven games.
It also lost the last four home games.
The team has not played since November.
Arkansas defense was playing its best game of the season on Saturday when the Crimson Bluff defeated Utah State 35-31 in the first meeting of the regular season.
With the win, Arkansas State is now 6-1 against the Crimson.
The two teams will meet again on Jan. 5.