FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Darren McFadden has been named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for a UA record and SEC-record tying 321 yards and one touchdown on 34 carries in Arkansas’ 48-36 win over No. 23 South Carolina. Hogs’ lineman Mitch Petrus garnered his first conference honors as he was named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week.
McFadden, Ernest Mitchell and Felix Jones were also selected as the Hogwired.com players of the week for their performances Saturday against the Gamecocks.
McFadden’s rushing total shattered the school record previously held by Dickey Morton who rushed for 271 yards in a 1973 game against Baylor. The junior tailback is now tied with Frank Mordica of Vanderbilt, who rushed for 321 yards in 1978 against Air Force, for the SEC single-game record. The 321 yards are the most ever by a player in an SEC game and the second-highest rushing output this season by an individual in NCAA play.
The Little Rock native racked up 355 all-purpose yards, another UA record breaking his own record of 315 yards last season also against South Carolina. His touchdown run came on a career-long tying 80-yard rush in the fourth quarter after the Gamecocks closed the Arkansas lead to six points. McFadden also threw a touchdown, his second of the season and fifth of his career. He connected with Robert Johnson on the 23-yard score.
With his rushing total, McFadden eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the third-consecutive season making him only the second player, joining Georgia’s Herschel Walker, in SEC history to rush for more than 1,000 yards as a freshman, sophomore and junior. He moved past five players on the SEC career rushing chart and now sits in fifth place on the list with 4,074 career yards.
McFadden, the SEC leading rusher with 146 yards per game, has been named conference player of the week one other time in his career. He was the co-offensive player of the week (with Florida’s Chris Leak) during the 2006 season after Arkansas’ game with LSU.
Petrus, the Razorbacks’ left guard, racked up a team-high 14 knockdowns on 68 snaps in Saturday’s win. His knockdowns total is a season high for any UA offensive lineman. He graded out at 86 percent, including a perfect 100 percent in pass blocking.
The junior from Carlisle, Ark., helped clear the way for 651 yards of total offense including 542 yards on the ground. The Hogs’ rushing yards total is the second-best mark in UA history, behind Arkansas’ 594 rushing yards against Pittsburg State in 1936. It was the top rushing total by an SEC team against another conference opponent in history and the sixth-best team rushing performance in league history against any opponent.
On the defensive side of the ball, Mitchell posted six tackles against South Carolina, including three solo stops. He also had one sack for a loss of seven yards and three quarterback hurries in the game. He assisted on another stop behind the line of scrimmage to finish the night with 1.5 tackles for loss. On the season, Mitchell is third on the team with 6.5 tackles for loss.
Jones racked up 65 kickoff return yards on two attempts. He had a 49 yard return in the second quarter that led to the Razorbacks’ fourth touchdown of the night. The junior tailback leads the SEC averaging 31.6 yards per kickoff return. Jones also surpassed the 1,000-yard season mark after picking up 166 rushing yards against South Carolina. Jones and McFadden became the first combo in SEC history to each surpass the 1,000-yard mark in back-to-back seasons.
Following each game this season, Hogwired.com will recognize an offensive, defensive and special teams player of the week. Recipients are chosen by the UA football coaching staff.