FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas cornerback Chris Houston has been named Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week it was announced by the league office on Monday. Houston earned two interceptions and racked up a school-record 129 return yards and one touchdown in Arkansas’ 28-14 win over Mississippi State last weekend. The honor marked the ninth-consecutive week Arkansas has earned at least one SEC player of the week award.
“I’m extremely proud that Chris has been recognized for his play,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “He has been very good all season long and was exceptional against Mississippi State. He continues to improve and is a key component to our defensive success. Our defensive line and linebackers have done a good job getting pressure on the quarterback and our secondary has played well behind them. It is a team effort and our defense has certainly shown what working together can accomplish.”
Houston picked off a MSU pass and raced 87 yards for a touchdown to give the Hogs’ their first points of the afternoon in the first quarter. The play marked the longest interception return for a score by a Razorback since Jermaine Petty ran 88 yards after a pick for a touchdown against Auburn in 2001.
The Austin, Texas, product later iced the game with an interception and a 42-yard return on the Bulldogs’ final offensive drive. The combined 129 yards of interception returns shattered the previous school record of 99 yards held by Orlando Watters (vs. LSU, 1993).
Houston earned four tackles against the Bulldogs, including three solo stops. He also registered a pass deflection. Houston had an additional interception earlier in the game, but it was negated by a UA defensive penalty.
The Razorbacks’ standout cornerback has started all 11 games this season and has garnered 37 tackles and 10 pass deflections. He has also forced a pair of fumbles this season.
Houston is the 10th Razorback to be recognized by the SEC this season. Mitch Mustain was named freshman of the week following the Hogs’ win at Vanderbilt. Randy Kelly won defensive honors for his efforts in Arkansas’ double-overtime win over Alabama. Jonathan Luigs and Jamaal Anderson won offensive and defensive lineman of the week, respectively, in the wake of the Razorbacks’ upset of No. 2 Auburn.
captured defensive lineman honors for his play against Southeast Missouri State. Felix Jones garnered special teams’ player of the week accolades for his 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Ole Miss. Senior Stephen Parker won offensive lineman of the week honors for his play against Louisiana-Monroe. Senior Anthony Brown earned special teams’ honors following the Hogs’ win at South Carolina. Senior offensive tackle Tony Ugoh was recognized as the offensive lineman of the week for his play in Arkansas’ win over Tennessee.