After posting a 49-17 victory over Missouri State in Arkansas’ season opener, the Razorback coaching staff announced their selections for the inaugural Hogwired.com Players of the Week. After each game during the 2005 campaign the coaches will select a player of the week from the offense, defense and special teams to recognize their outstanding performances on the field.
Freshman tailback Felix Jones earned offensive honors, junior linebacker Sam Olajubutu garnered defensive player of the week accolades and junior cornerback/punt returner Michael Coe picked up the special teams award.
In his Razorback debut Jones became the first UA freshman running back to rush for 100 yards in his first collegiate game and only the eighth UA freshman to rush for 100 yards in a game. The Tulsa, Okla., native racked up a game-high 137 yards and one touchdown on eight carries. He boasted a 17.1 yards per carry average against the Bears. His 137 rushing yards rank second on the UA record list for rushing yards by a freshman. Only Brandon Holmes (142) rushed for more against LSU in 2000.
On his second collegiate carry, he raced 80 yards for a touchdown against the Bears, making the play the longest scoring run by a UA freshman in school history. Additionally, it was the longest rush from scrimmage by a UA running back since Fred Talley went 81 yards for a TD against Central Florida in 2001.
Olajubutu led the Razorbacks with 10 tackles on 57 defensive snaps, with eight of his 10 tackles being solo stops. The LaGrange, Ga., native also made one tackle for loss (-2) and forced a fumble. As a result of his forced fumble in the first quarter teammate Darius Vinnett picked up the ball and raced 44 yards for a touchdown.
Coe shined in his first collegiate appearance at the punt return position as he returned four punts for 61 yards. Three of his returns were over 10 yards including returns of 14, 20, 22 yards. The Memphis, Tenn. native also tallied four tackles, with two coming from kickoff coverage.
On the defensive side of the ball Coe forced a fumble and intercepted a pass against Missouri State. His forced fumble gave the Hogs the ball on their own 43-yard line, allowing UA to score on the ensuing offensive possession. Coe returned his intercepted pass in the second quarter for 16 yards and saw UA score on the following offensive drive. It was Coe’s third career interception.