CONWAY, Ark. (AP) — Tyler Hudson had a 7-yard touchdown reception and scored on a 57-yard punt return as Central Arkansas scored the last 21 points to beat Missouri State 27-20 on Saturday night.
Central Arkansas (2-1) had just 10 first downs and 177 total yards but forced four turnovers, and linebacker Dre Matthews added a 30-yard fumble return for a score in the fourth quarter.
On fourth-and-31 from its own 3, Missouri State (0-2) was forced to punt from the end zone, and after a 13-yard return by Hudson, Central Arkansas took possession at the 34. Three plays later, Breylin Smith hit Hudson for a 7-yard touchdown to trim UCA's deficit to 20-13 late in the third quarter.
On its next possession, Missouri State moved to near midfield before a strip-sack of Jaden Johnson by J.W. Jones was returned by Matthews with 14:48 left in the game. Missouri State then went three-and-out before Hudson's punt return gave Central Arkansas its first lead just 37 seconds later.
The teams play again in Springfield, Missouri, on Oct. 10.
Kevon Latulas blocked a punt and returned it 17 yards for a score in the first quarter for Missouri State.