FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A career-best rushing effort from Darren McFadden, a game-saving interception by Darius Vinnett and a blocked punt by Anthony Brown were key components of Arkansas’ 26-20 win over South Carolina last weekend. For their efforts, the trio of Razorbacks were named as Hogwired.com Players of the Week by the UA coaching staff on Monday.
McFadden was named offensive player of the week after he rushed for a career-high 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 25 carries in Arkansas’ 26-20 road win over South Carolina. He was the first player in nine years to rush for 200 yards or more against South Carolina. His 219 yards marked the fourth-best rushing effort in school history. He also joined Fred Talley as the only players in school history to rush for more than 180 yards in four games as a Razorback. The Little Rock, Ark., native scored on runs of 14 and 43 yards in the first half. The touchdown runs were the 20th and 21st of his career tying him with Quinn Grovey for 10th on the UA career chart. It was the 10th 100-yard rushing game in his 20-game career including his fifth this season.
McFadden became the first player in school history to eclipse the 2,000 yard rushing mark in his sophomore season. With his 219 yards, he tallied more than 1,000 yards rushing for the second-consecutive season. Only two other Razorbacks Ben Cowins and Dickey Morton have accomplished that feat.
Vinnett earned defensive player of the week award honors thanks in large part to his game-saving interception late in the fourth quarter. South Carolina quarterback Blake Mitchell had been nearly perfect through the air before Vinnett snared an errant pass on the Gamecocks’ final drive. The St. Rose, La., product picked off the pass at the Razorbacks’ 27-yard line and returned the ball seven yards with just more than five minutes to play. Arkansas took possession and was able to run out the clock. The interception was the first of Vinnett’s Razorback career.
Brown directly contributed to the scoreboard for the Hogs on special teams. The senior defensive end charged up the middle of the Gamecocks’ formation to block USC punter Ryan Succop’s punt in the second quarter. South Carolina recovered the deflected punt in the end zone giving Arkansas two points and a 16-6 lead. It was the second UA safety in as many weeks after linebacker Matt Hewitt tackled a Louisiana-Monroe ball carrier for a safety in the Hogs’ non-conference win at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
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.