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Hogs Host Troy in Season Opener Saturday Night

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Hogs Host Troy in Season Opener Saturday Night

HOGS HOST TROJANS IN SEASON OPENER: Arkansas opens the 2007 season with a matchup against the Troy University Trojans at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Sat., Sept 1 at 6 p.m. The Razorbacks and Trojans will meet for the second time in school history. Arkansas won at the War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Ark. in 2002 (23-0) as the two teams battled for the first time.

NOTING THE RAZORBACKS:

* The game is the eighth straight season opener at home for the Razorbacks and the sixth straight in Fayetteville.

* Arkansas will play a sixth-consecutive season opener in Fayetteville for the first time since the Razorbacks played a streak of 15-consecutive openers in Fayetteville from 1929-43.

* Arkansas has won 17 of its last 22 season-opening contests. The Hogs are 87-22-4 (.801) all time in season openers including a streak of nine consecutive season-opening victories from 1997-2005.

* As a head coach, Houston Nutt is 11-3 (.786) in season openers, including an 8-1 mark as head coach of the Razorbacks. Nutt’s last loss in an opener came in 2006 in a 50-14 loss to Southern Cal.

* Arkansas is 24-3 in non-conference regular-season games under Houston Nutt. The Razorbacks won their first 20 non-SEC games under Nutt before falling short in a 22-20 loss to No. 7 Texas in 2004 and losses to USC in 2005 and 2006.

* Arkansas and Troy will meet for the second time in school history in the 2007 season opener. Arkansas leads the series 1-0 after topping the Trojans 23-0 at War Memorial Stadium in 2002.

* The 2007 meeting will be the first in Fayetteville. The 2002 game was played at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

* Arkansas ranks No. 1 in rushing offense in the SEC during Houston Nutt’s tenure (1998-2006). The Hogs have averaged 189.68 yards per game in Nutt’s nine-year tenure (21,054 yards in 111 games).

* The Hogs have scored 20 points or more in 82 of Houston Nutt’s 111 games (74 percent) as head coach.

* Arkansas has now scored in 135 consecutive games, a school record for scoring in the most consecutive games in team history. Arkansas has not been shut out since a 28-0 loss to LSU in Baton Rouge, La., on Nov. 18, 1995.

SERIES HISTORY: Arkansas and Troy will meet on the gridiron for the second time when the season kicks off on Sept. 1 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The Hogs and Trojans met for the first time during the 2002 season when the Razorbacks defeated the Trojans, 23-0, at War Memorial Stadium.

BROTHERLY COMPETITION: Junior Casey Dick and his younger brother, Nathan, are making history at the University of Arkansas. The quarterbacking brothers are the first to be list one-two on the depth chart at that position in school history. Casey has thrown for 1,575 yards and 16 touchdowns over portions of two seasons in Fayetteville, while Nathan is a heralded true freshman that has quickly ascended the depth chart. Casey and Nathan are the third set of brothers to play quarterback at Arkansas, but the first to play together on the same team. Ron and Mark Calcagni and Houston and Danny Nutt are the only other brothers to both play quarterback at Arkansas.

SWEET HOME ALABAMA: Razorbacks London Crawford (Mobile), Ryan Powers (Athens) and Damario Ambrose (Mobile) call the state of Alabama home. Crawford and Ambrose prepped at Davidson HS while Power attended Tanner HS.

THE ROCK: Arkansas defensive line coach Tracy Rocker spent 1997-2001 as the defensive line coach at Troy. He worked under Troy’s current head coach Larry Blakeney and with current assistant coaches Jeremy Rowell (defensive coordinator/secondary).

HIGH SCHOOL REUNION: Arkansas running back Michael Smith and Troy defensive lineman Josh Henderson both hail from Tallahassee, Fla. and prepped at Rickards HS.

HARGRAVE HELPS: Razorbacks Chris Baker, Kareem Crowell, Freddie Fairchild, Marcus Harrison along with Trojans Chris Bradwell and Brandon Lang all spent time prepping at Hargrave Military Academy in Hargrave, Va.

SEASON OPENERS: Arkansas has won 17 of its last 22 season-opening contests. The Hogs are 87-22-4 (.801) all time in season openers, including nine consecutive season-opening victories from 1997-2005.

NUTT RACKING UP SEASON OPENING WINS: When it comes to starting on the season right foot, no UA coach has done better than current head coach Houston Nutt. Nutt holds the school record with wins in each of his first eight season openers. His first loss came in 2006 vs. Southern California.

Three other UA coaches (Lou Holtz, Francis Schmidt and Jack Mitchell) won three-consecutive season openers to start their UA careers, but Nutt is the only UA coach to win more than three in a row.

UA SEASON OPENERS UNDER HOUSTON NUTT

Season Opponent Location Score

1998 Louisiana-Lafayette Fayetteville, Ark. W 38-17

1999 SMU Dallas, Texas W 26-0

2000 Southwest Mo. State Little Rock, Ark. W 38-0

2001 UNLV Little Rock, Ark. W 14-10

2002 Boise State Fayetteville, Ark. W 41-14

2003 Tulsa Fayetteville, Ark. W 45-13

2004 New Mexico State Fayetteville, Ark. W 63-13

2005 Missouri State Fayetteville, Ark. W 49-17

2006 Southern California Fayetteville, Ark. L 14-50

SEASON OPENERS IN FAYETTEVILLE: Arkansas will open its season in Fayetteville for the 69th time when the Hogs host Troy in the first game of 2007. Arkansas is 56-9-3 in the previous season openers played in Fayetteville.

The Hogs are 5-1 under head coach Houston Nutt in season openers in Fayetteville. Arkansas downed Louisiana-Lafayette 38-17 in Nutt’s first game as the Hogs’ head coach in 1998. The Hogs topped Boise State (41-14) in 2002, Tulsa (45-13) in 2003, New Mexico State (63-13) in 2004 and Missouri State (49-17) in 2005.

LAST TIME IN A SEASON OPENER: Five turnovers led to 30 points for sixth-ranked Southern California as the Trojans knocked off Arkansas 50-14 in front of a record crowd of 76,564 at UA’s Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

Tailback Darren McFadden started despite missing most of fall camp with a toe injury but the turnovers were too much to overcome.

RARE OCCURRENCE: When Arkansas kicks things off against Troy at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday night, it will mark the sixth-straight season opener played on campus in Fayetteville. The Hogs have opened in Fayetteville a total of six times previously in the Houston Nutt Era, including five straight. Nutt’s first game as the Razorback head coach came against Louisiana-Lafayette in Fayetteville in 1998. Arkansas opened at SMU in 1999 and in Little Rock in 2000 and 2001. The Hogs began the current Fayetteville streak in 2002.

Oddly enough, the Hogs’ six-game season-opening streak will be the longest in school history since UA played 15 consecutive season openers in Fayetteville from 1929-43.

ON THE HOME FRONT: With two home stadiums, the Razorbacks have proven to be tough to beat on both home fronts. Arkansas holds a 145-72-2 (.667) mark at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, including a 28-13 (.683) record under Houston Nutt. Overall, Arkansas is 265-105-10 (.711) all-time in games played in Fayetteville.

At War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, the Hogs are 138-52-2 (.724) and are 20-2 (.909) under Nutt. In its history, UA is 156-65-4 (.699) in games played in Little Rock.

RETURNING CAST: When Arkansas takes the field for the first play of the 2007 season, the Razorbacks’ starting lineup most likely several familiar faces. The Hogs return 13 starters from 2006, including six on offense, six on defense and kicker Jeremy Davis. Among the returning starters are All-America candidates TB Darren McFadden, TB Felix Jones, C Jonathan Luigs, FB Peyton Hillis, DE Antwain Robinson and MLB Weston Dacus. In addition, the Razorbacks return 47-of-69 lettermen from 2006 including 24 on offense, 21 on defense and two specialists.

LEADING THE PACK: When it comes to rushing the ball, no team in the Southeastern Conference has done it more effectively in recent years than the Arkansas Razorbacks.

The Hogs led the SEC in rushing yardage in four of the last five seasons, including 2005 and 2006. The Razorbacks averaged 228.50 yards on the ground last season to outdistance everyone in the league by almost 63 yards. Arkansas became the first team to pace the SEC in rushing four times in five seasons since Alabama led the league in four-consecutive seasons from 1971-74.

The Hogs ranked fourth nationally in rushing and second nationally in yards per carry as a team with 5.94 yards per tote. Only West Virginia’s 6.68 ypc was better.

UA tallied 200 or more rushing yards in 16 of its last 29 games dating back to the eighth game of the 2004 season. In addition, the Hogs earned 190 or more yards in two other games.

The Hogs also led the SEC in rushing in 2002, 2003 and 2005 with an average of 218.9, 241.9 and 216.9 yards per game, respectively.

Arkansas is attempting to become the first team to pace the SEC in rushing five times in six seasons since Ole Miss led the league in six-consecutive seasons from 1957-62.

2006 Rushing Leaders

Team Gms Att Net Avg. TDs Yds/pg

1. Navy 13 764 4251 5.56 39 327.00

2. West Virginia 13 590 3939 6.68 48 303.00

3. Air Force 12 660 2753 4.17 22 229.42

4. Arkansas 14 539 3199 5.94 26 228.50

5. Clemson 13 495 2832 5.72 31 217.85

HEISMAN No. 2: Arkansas tailback Darren McFadden was the first Heisman Memorial Trophy finalist in school history. The then sophomore finished second to Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith, becoming only the fifth underclassman to ever finish in the top two. McFadden earned 45 first-place votes and 878 total points, edging out Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn (13 first-place votes, 782 total). McFadden captured 298 second-place votes with Quinn garnering 276. Below is a breakdown of the voting.

Heisman Trophy Voting

Player, School 1st 2nd 3rd Total

Troy Smith, Ohio State 801 62 13 2,540

Darren McFadden, Arkansas 45 298 147 878

Brady Quinn, Notre Dame 13 276 191 782

Steve Slaton, West Virginia 6 51 94 214

Michael Hart, Michigan 5 58 79 210

Colt Brennan, Hawaii 6 44 96 202

McFADDEN & JONES FORM DYNAMIC DUO: The Arkansas tailback duo of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones were the second-most productive rushing teammates in the country (among the NCAA top 100) last season and the top tailback duo, averaging 201.07 yards per game. McFadden ranked 10th nationally at 117.64 ypg while Jones accounted for 83.43 ypg and ranked 34th. The West Virginia combo of TB Steve Slaton (4th; 134.15) and QB Patrick White (16th; 101.58) led the way with 235.73 yards per game on the No. 2 rushing team in the country. The Razorbacks were one of eight teams in the country to have two players ranked in the top 100 in rushing nationally.

Rushers (Individual Avg.)

Team Combined YPG

1. Steve Slaton (134.15) / Patrick White (101.58) West Virginia 235.73

2. Darren McFadden (117.64) / Felix Jones (83.43) Arkansas 201.07

3. James Davis (91.31) / C.J. Spiller (72.15) Clemson 163.46

4. Terry Caulley (74.67) / Donald Brown II (67.40) Connecticut 142.07

5. Jackie Battle (72.54) / Anthony Aldridge (68.50) Houston 141.04

PROTECT THIS HOUSE: Home field advantage has been good to the Razorbacks, especially during the Houston Nutt Era. Arkansas is tied with Florida for the second-most SEC home wins since 1998 with 47. The Hogs are 47-15 (.758) in games played at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville and War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Arkansas is 20-2 in Little Rock and 27-13 in Fayetteville in that nine-year span. LSU leads the way with 48 home wins during that span.

MOST HOME WINS

(1998-2006) SEC

LSU 48-13 .787

Florida 47-9 .839

Arkansas 47-15 .758

Georgia 46-10 .821

Tennessee 46-11 .807

Auburn 45-17 .726

Alabama 43-20 .683

Mississippi 35-22 .614

South Carolina 32-26 .552

Mississippi State 29-26 .527

Kentucky 27-29 .482

Vanderbilt 16-37 .302

STILL ATOP THE BOWL LIST: Arkansas is atop the bowl appearance list for SEC Western Division teams since 1998. The Razorbacks have made seven bowl appearances since Houston Nutt took over the reins in Fayetteville, including the 2007 Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla. Arkansas has made two appearances in the Cotton Bowl (2000 and 2002) and the Citrus/Capital One Bowl (1999 and 2007) and one in the Las Vegas Bowl (2000), the Music City Bowl (2002) and the Independence Bowl (2003).

Although Arkansas has a rich bowl tradition, in the eight seasons prior to Nutt’s arrival the Razorbacks had earned only two bowl berths.

DENTING THE SCOREBOARD: Arkansas has now scored in 135 consecutive games, a school record for scoring in the most consecutive games in team history. Arkansas has not been shut out since a 28-0 loss to LSU in Baton Rouge, La., on Nov. 18, 1995.

UA ranks fourth among league schools in the longest active scoring streak. Florida ranks first in the SEC earning points in 228 consecutive contests.

RACKING UP 20: The Razorbacks have made a routine of racking up 20 points since Houston Nutt arrived in Fayetteville. Arkansas has scored 20 points or more in 82 of Nutt’s 111 games (.739) as head coach. Arkansas is 62-20 (.756) when scoring 20 points or more including a 36-11 mark (.766) in the last six seasons.

NUTT NAMED SEC COACH OF THE YEAR: Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt was named as the Region 2 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) following the 2006 season. He was also tabbed as the SEC Coach of the Year by both the Associated Press and the league coaches. Nutt led the Razorbacks to a 10-4 record, the SEC Western Division title and a New Year’s Day berth in the Capital One Bowl.

100 AND COUNTING FOR NUTT: The Razorbacks’ game against Vanderbilt last fall was the 100th in the nine-year career of Hog boss Houston Nutt. He owns a 67-44 (.604) career record at Arkansas. Nutt is just the third coach in school history to coach 100 games (currently 111) at the helm of the Razorback program. Fred Thomsen (1929-41) was the first, posting a 56-61-10 (.480) record while Frank Broyles (1958-76) is the school’s all-time leader with 207 games coached (144-58-5 [.708]) in 19 seasons.

Coach Total Games Seasons

Frank Broyles 207 19 (1958-1976)

Fred Thomsen 127 13 (1929-41)

Houston Nutt 111 Entering 10th (1998-present)

Nutt’s tenure at Arkansas is also a rare feat for any SEC coach. Only three coaches hired in the SEC since 1990 have enjoyed a stint of 100 games at the same school. Nutt became the fourth against Vanderbilt last season.

Coach, School (Years) Games

Philip Fulmer, Tennessee (1992-current) 170

Jackie Sherrill, Miss. State (1991-2003) 153

Steve Spurrier, Florida (1990-2001) 150

Houston Nutt, Arkansas (1998-current) 111

LEE TAKES REIGNS OF RAZORBACKS’ OFFENSE: David Lee returned to Fayetteville during the off-season as the Razorbacks’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. It is Lee’s third tour of duty at Arkansas after serving as quarterbacks and fullbacks coach under Ken Hatfield from 1984-88 and quarterbacks coach under Houston Nutt from 2001-02.

Lee recently completed his fourth season with the Cowboys as an offensive assistant, overseeing the team’s quality control efforts and working closely with the quarterbacks. Lee coached under legendary NFL coach Bill Parcells and worked directly with quarterbacks Quincy Carter, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Henson, Drew Bledsoe and Tony Romo.

Lee’s coaching career also includes five years as the head coach at Texas-El Paso (1989-93) and seven more as the offensive coordinator at Rice (1994-2000). Prior to arriving at UA in 1984, he spent two years at UT-Martin and one year at Vanderbilt working with the quarterbacks before beginning a five-year stint as the quarterbacks coach at Ole Miss (1978-82). He was the offensive coordinator at New Mexico during the 1983 season.

HORTON TO HANDLE RUNNING BACKS: Former Arkansas standout wide receiver Tim Horton returned to his alma mater in July as the Hogs’ running backs coach. Horton took over the position vacated when Danny Nutt stepped down to tend to ongoing health issues.

Horton comes to the Razorbacks from Air Force where he was hired as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach in January after serving the 2006 season as the runnings backs coach at Kansas State. He got his coaching start at Appalachian State in 1990 and helped lead the Mountaineers to Southern Conference titles in 1991 and 1995. He left ASU for Air Force in 1999 and stayed with the Falcons as the running backs coach through the 2005 season.

While at Arkansas, he was a four-year letterman and three-year starter as a split end and punt returner for the Razorbacks under head coach Ken Hatfield. He caught 49 passes for 942 yards and one touchdown in his career, including hauling in 23 catches for 453 yards as a senior in 1989. Horton returned 78 punts for 657 yards in his collegiate career.

SEC ELITE: Darren McFadden is quickly etching his name in the SEC record books among some of the best running backs the conference has ever produced. His 1,647 yards rushing ranks as the fifth-best total in a single season in the history of the Southeastern Conference. Herschel Walker’s (Georgia) 1,891 yards in 1981 leads the way. McFadden’s total is the most in the SEC since Bo Jackson (Auburn) rushed for 1,786 yards in 1985.

In 2005, McFadden became just the seventh freshman in league history to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark in his first season. He joined Walker, Emmitt Smith (Florida), Reggie Cobb (Tennessee), Chuck Webb (Tennessee), Jamal Lewis (Tennessee) and Justin Vincent (LSU). His 1,113 yards was the sixth-best freshman rushing total in SEC history.

SEC’s Top 10 Single-Season Rushing Totals

Player, School (# rushes) Year Yards

1. Herschel Walker, Georgia (385 rushes) 1981 1,891

2. Bo Jackson, Auburn (278 rushes) 1985 1,786

3. Herschel Walker, Georgia (335 rushes) 1982 1,752

4. Charles Alexander, LSU (311rushes) 1977 1,686

5. Darren McFadden, Arkansas (265 rushes) 2006 1,647

6. Herschel Walker, Georgia (274 rushes) 1980 1,616

7. Moe Williams, Kentucky (294 rushes) 1995 1,600

8. Emmitt Smith, Florida (284 rushes) 1989 1,599

9. Rudi Johnson, Auburn (324 rushes) 2000 1,567

10. Garrison Hearst, Georgia (228 rushes) 1992 1,547

FELIX THE CAT: Felix Jones had five 100-yard rushing games last season with 106 yards vs. Southeast Missouri State, 104 yards at then-No. 2 Auburn, a then-career-high 141 yards vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 137 yards vs. LSU and a career-high 150 yards vs. Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl. Jones finished second in the SEC and 34th nationally in rushing with 83.43 yards per game. He had a career-best 1,168 yards rushing that ranks seventh in school history on just 150 carries. Jones’ 7.58 yards per carry average led the SEC and ranked second in the country. Jones is one of just six players in the country to average better than 7.00 yards per carry.

ALL-AMERICANS ALL AROUND: Arkansas had four players earn All-America honors following the 2006 season, including Darren McFadden who was a unanimous selection. Joining McFadden was offensive lineman Jonathan Luigs, who was also a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the top center in the nation. Tony Ugoh was a second-team selection at left tackle and Stephen Parker garnered second-team honors at left guard. In 2005, Felix Jones became the first UA freshman to earn first-team All-America honors when he was selected as a kickoff-return specialist.

MARVELOUS MONK: At 6-6, Marcus Monk has stood out since the day he stepped foot on campus. He led all Southeastern Conference freshmen in receiving in 2004 and set a school record for freshman receiving along the way. Monk broke Richard Smith’s UA record (33) for receptions by a freshman when he hauled in 37 balls for 569 yards and six touchdowns. He tied for the team lead in catches and garnered freshman All-SEC honors for his efforts. As a sophomore in 2005, Monk caught 35 passes for a team-high 476 yards and seven touchdowns.

In 2006, Monk produced the best numbers of his career with 50 catches for a career-high 962 yards. He caught a school record 11 touchdown passes and averaged 19.2 yards per catch, which was the second-best in the SEC. He was ninth in the league in yards per game (68.71). Monk’s 962 yards is the third-most in a single season in school history.

Monk has caught at least one pass in each of his 36 career games as a Razorback. That mark is the most among returning wide receivers heading into the 2007 season. He has caught at least three passes in 23 of his 36 career games.

MONK ATOP CAREER TD CHART: Marcus Monk’s touchdown catch against vs. Florida was his 24th career TD reception. That moved him ahead of Anthony Lucas on the all-time school chart. Lucas had 23 career TD grabs from 1995-99.

Arkansas’ All-Time Touchdown Receptions List

1. Marcus Monk 24

2. Anthony Lucas 23

3. Richard Smith 17

4. George Wilson 16

Anthony Eubanks 16

Chuck Dicus 16

Derek Russell 16

Arkansas’ Single-Season Touchdown Receptions List

1. Marcus Monk, 2006 11

2. Anthony Lucas, 1998 10

3. Derek Russell, 1990 8

Chuck Dicus, 1968 8

5. 7 tied with 7

HOG WILD IN OVERTIME: Arkansas is now 6-1 in overtime games dating back to the 1996, which was the first season overtime was used to break ties at the end of regulation. The six wins is tied for the third most overtime wins in NCAA history (Missouri is 8-3). The .857 winning percentage, among teams with at least five overtime games, ranks third to Nebraska and Michigan’s 5-0 record. Louisiana-Monroe and South Florida are all 4-0 in overtime games.

Most Overtime Wins in NCAA History

1. Missouri 8

2. Ole Miss 7

3. Arkansas 6

North Carolina State 6

Northwestern 6

Oregon 6

Tennessee 6

UCLA 6

Best Overtime Winning Percentage in NCAA History (minimum 5 gms)

1. Michigan 5-0 (1.000)

Nebraska 5-0 (1.000)

3. Arkansas 6-1 (.857)

Northwestern 6-1 (.857)

UCLA 6-1 (.857)

6. Tennessee 5-1 (.833)

7. Northern Illinois 4-1 (.800)

Ohio State 4-1 (.800)

9. Oregon 6-3 (.667)

10. Ole Miss 7-4 (.636)

OVERTIME NOTHING NEW FOR NUTT: Overtime wins are nothing new for Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt. He is 7-2 in his 14-year career as a head coach, dating back to his first overtime win at Murray State in 1993. He is 6-1 in overtime games as a head coach a the Division-I level (Boise State and Arkansas). Nutt’s teams have played a combined 28 overtime periods, including an NCAA record two seven-overtime games and a six-overtime game.

Download: Arkansas FB Game Notes – Troy (2007).pdf



Sports Category : Football