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Arkansas Game Notes vs. Mississippi State

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas Game Notes vs. Mississippi State

No. 5 Arkansas at Mississippi State
Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006
Davis
Wade Stadium at Scott Field – Starkville, Miss.

Arkansas Game Notes vs. Mississippi State

· Arkansas clinched its second outright SEC Western Division title and fourth total. Arkansas shared the SEC West title in 1998 and 2002.

· Saturday’s game between the Razorbacks and the Bulldogs marked the 18th meeting between the two schools. The Razorbacks own an 11-5-1 all-time record against Mississippi State and are 8-1 vs. MSU under head coach Houston Nutt.

· The win is the 10th of the season for the Hogs, who improve to 10-1 on the season and 7-0 in the Southeastern Conference. It also marks the first time UA has opened with seven consecutive wins in the SEC.

· Arkansas has now won 10 straight games. The streak is the longest since the Razorbacks won 10 consecutive games in 1988. It is also tied with that 1988 team as the fifth-longest winning streak in school history.

· It is head coach Houston Nutt’s first career 10-win season.

· Darren McFadden’s versatility was highlighted late in the first quarter against Mississippi State with a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown of McFadden’s career and the longest return of his career. It was the Hogs’ second kickoff return for a touchdown this season.

· Arkansas won the toss for the 10th time this season. The only time the Razorbacks did not win the toss was against Ole Miss and Felix Jones ran the opening kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown.

· Marcus Monk extended his streak of consecutive game with a reception to 33 with a 13-yard reception in the second quarter. He finished with four catches for 80 yards and a 35-yard touchdown catch.

· Marcus Monk’s touchdown catch was the 22nd of his career. He is second on UA’s career touchdown reception list to Anthony Lucas (23, 1995-99). It was also his ninth TD grab of the season, which is the second-most in a single season in school history.

· Monk now has 45 receptions on the season which is the 10th-most in a single season in school history.

· Monk’s 859 receiving yards this season ranks as the seventh-most in school history.

· Arkansas finished his regular-season road schedule undefeated for the first time since 1989. The Hogs went 4-0 on the road with wins over Vanderbilt, Auburn, South Carolina and Mississippi State.

· Reggie Fish’s 26-yard punt return was a career long for the sophomore from Mesquite, Texas. It was the second-longest punt return of the season for the Hogs. Peyton Hillis has a 27-yard return to his credit.

· Chris Houston’s 87-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter was the longest since Jermaine Petty’s 88-yard return against Auburn in 2001. It was also Houston’s first career interception.

· Houston notched his second interception of the day and of his career on the Bulldogs final drive, picking off backup quarterback Omar Conner in the endzone. He finished with 129 yards on two interception returns.

· The 129 yards on interception returns for Houston was a school record, breaking Orland Watters mark of 99 vs. LSU in 1993.

· McFadden finished with 84 yards rushing to give him 1,303 yards on the season, which ranks as the third-highest total in a single season in school history.

· McFadden finished with 194 all-purpose yards for the game.

· Felix Jones’ 51-yard kickoff return in the second quarter was his second-longest of the season.

· Jacob Skinner dropped his first two punts of the day inside the Bulldogs’ five-yard line. Both of his punts were downed at the three yards, which gives him a SEC-best 22 on the season (22 of 44 – 50 percent).

· Skinner also booted a season-long 50-yard punt and averaged 43 yards on four punts.

· Damian Williams hauled in the longest touchdown pass of his career with a 29-yard grab late in the second quarter.

· The “Wildcat” formation netted 77 yards on 10 plays (7.7 per play average). Darren McFadden ran six times for 25 yards and completed one pass for 16 yards.

· Arkansas has netted 316 yards on 36 plays out of the Wildcat formation this season, an average of 8.78 yards per play.

· Ben Cleveland’s first-quarter reception for two yards was his first catch in four games. He had three receptions for 15 yards against Ole Miss. Cleveland caught two passes for eight yards vs. the Bulldogs on Saturday.

· Arkansas held a 14-7 lead after the first quarter, but Mississippi State held a 10:46 to 4:14 advantage in time of possession and ran 22 plays to the Hogs’ 7. The Razorbacks used an 87-yard interception return from Chris Houston and a 92-yard kickoff return from Darren McFadden.



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