Weber State Game Notes

After back-to-back SEC road trips, Arkansas returns home to battle Weber State in a non-conference matchup. This weekend's game with the Wildcats wasn't on the Hogs' original 2001 slate, but was scheduled after the postponement of the Sept. 15 contest vs. North Texas. Weber State is a Division I-AA school that competes in the Big Sky Conference. The Hogs and Wildcats will meet for the first time on the gridiron this weekend.

THE RECORDS: Arkansas is 1-3 after falling 34-23 at Georgia last Saturday night. The Razorbacks have dropped three-straight decisions after downing UNLV (14-10) in the season opener. All of Arkansas' losses have come in league play to Tennessee (3-13), Alabama (10-31) and Georgia (23-34). Two of the Razorbacks' three SEC losses have come on the road.

Weber State enters weekend play with a record of 1-3. The Wildcats are coming off their first win of the season after a 38-31 victory against Sacramento State last weekend in Ogden, Utah. Weber State has lost to Southern Utah (21-28), Montana State (17-32) and Eastern Washington (26-50) this season.

THE RANKINGS: Arkansas is not ranked and didn't garner any votes in either of this week's polls.

COVERAGE: For the first time this season, Arkansas will not play under the television lights. The Razorbacks appeared on national television in each of their first four games, but there will be no TV broadcast of the Hogs and Wildcats.

PAUL EELLS will call the action on the 67-station Arkansas Razorback Sports Network. Eells is in his 24th season handling play-by-play for the Razorbacks. Former NFL tight end and Little Rock, Ark., native KEITH JACKSON is the analyst while former Hog quarterback QUINN GROVEY is the sideline reporter.

THE SERIES: This will be the first meeting between the two schools on the football field.

DIVISION I-AA FOE: For the second time in as many years and only the third time in school history, Arkansas will battle a Division I-AA squad in football. The Razorbacks opened with a win over Division I-AA Southwest Missouri State last season. The victory counted as one of Arkansas' six wins needed to qualify for postseason play. The only other time the Hogs played a Division I-AA team was in 1992 when The Citadel shocked the Razorbacks 10-3 in Fayetteville.

TELEVISION TIME: Arkansas made its sixth-consecutive appearance on national television when the Hogs battled Georgia on Sept. 29. The Hogs played in front of the national television cameras in the final two games of the 2000 season before appearing on the tube in the first four games of the 2001 season.

The Razorbacks' appearance on CBS Sports started the string when the Hogs downed No. 24 LSU in the 2000 season finale in Little Rock. Arkansas battled UNLV in the Las Vegas Bowl on ESPN2 last December before meeting the Rebels in a rematch in the 2001 season lidlifter on ESPN. Arkansas hosted Tennessee in a game televised by ESPN2 before battling Alabama on CBS on Sept. 22. The Hogs faced Georgia on ESPN2 to complete the six-game streak.

Arkansas' season finale matchup with LSU is the only other game scheduled for national television (CBS) at this point, but a number of other games are still under consideration.

Arkansas has appeared on national or regional television 162 times in its history. The Hogs own a 73-87-2 mark in those contests.

LAST TIME OUT: Georgia quarterback David Greene hit Randy McMichael with a four-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter to seal a 34-23 victory over the Razorbacks last Saturday in Athens.

The Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead on their first possession of the game, but the Hogs answered with a seven-play, 78-yard drive that culminated with BRANDON HOLMES' seven-yard touchdown run to tie the game.

The two teams traded field goals for a 10-10 tie at the end of the first quarter of play. Georgia then took a 17-10 lead on a seven yard pass from Greene to Terrence Edwards early in the second quarter. Arkansas again answered with a 12-play, 78-yard drive that ended with Brennan O'DONOHOE's second field goal of the game to pull the Hogs within 17-13. Georgia increased its lead to 20-13 just before halftime with a 24-yard field goal from Billy Bennett.

Arkansas tied the game at 20-20 in dramatic fashion on MARVIN JACKSON's 74-yard punt return with less than 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter. It was the first punt return for a TD for the Razorbacks since 1992.

The Bulldogs wasted little time in regaining the lead as Musa Smith rambled in from two yards out to give Georgia a 27-20 lead.

The Razorbacks pulled within four at 27-23 with 11:11 left in the game on O'Donohoe's third field goal of the night, this time from 31 yards out.

Georgia then made it 34-23 with 8:13 left in the game on Greene's TD pass to McMichael. The Dawgs' defense then clamped down to preserve the 11-point victory.

NOTING THE GEORGIA GAME: * Arkansas' two 78-yard touchdown drives were the longest scoring drives of the season. * The Razorbacks scored a touchdown in the first quarter for the first time this season. In the first three games of the 2001 season, the Hogs had managed only two field goals in the first period. * The Hogs have now dropped 11 of their last 12 SEC road games.

NON-CONFERENCE DOMINANCE: Arkansas has been perfect in non-conference games under Houston Nutt. The Hogs are 10-0 in his three-plus years at the helm including perfect non-SEC slates in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Arkansas is 1-0 in non-conference play this season after downing UNLV 14-10 in the season opener.

Only Tennessee and Ole Miss have longer non-conference winning streaks than the Hogs in the SEC. Ole Miss has recorded 20 consecutive non-conference wins. The Vols have won 13 straight.

RAZORBACK CITY: When a UA record crowd of 70,470 braved the elements and filed into Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium for the Arkansas vs. Tennessee game, it ranked unofficially as the third-largest city in the state. According to 2000 census numbers, only Little Rock (183,133) and Fort Smith (80,268) are larger than the gathering in the Hogs' brand new $110 million home.

DELAY OF GAME: The postponement of the Arkansas vs. North Texas game on Sept. 15, 2001, is believed to be the first time that a Razorback football game has been postponed in school history.

The last time in UA history that a game was seriously in question of being played was in 1970 when a plane crash killed 14 members of the Wichita State football program. The game was played as scheduled on Oct. 24, 1970. It was the first game back for the Shockers after the 14 players were killed less than a month earlier. It was originally thought that WSU wouldn't complete the season, however it did with its first game back taking place at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Ark. against the Hogs.

Arkansas' starters played only six plays before giving way to the reserves in a 62-0 UA victory. The crowd gave WSU a standing ovation prior to the game. After the final play, the Razorback squad joined the Shockers on their sideline to show its support.

A LITTLE ABOUT WEBER STATE: Weber State is located in Ogden, Utah. The Wildcats are NCAA I-AA members of the Big Sky Conference.

WSU is located on the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain Range in Ogden, Utah. The city of Ogden, with a population base of over 100,000, is located on I-15, 35 north of Salt Lake City, the state capital.

Weber State was founded as Weber Stake Academy on January 7, 1889 by the Weber Stake Board of Education of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

Weber State has the dubious distinction of being the most mispronounced major institution of higher learning in the United States. That's right, MISPRONOUNCED! To set the record straight, it's a LONG "E" SOUND: WEEEEBER, not "Webber"...Other forms the name has seen on the wire services, newspaper, radio and television have been: Weader State, Weaver State, Webner State and Wilbur State.

It's not exactly clear how the twist in name pronunciation came about, but the most logical of several possible explanations goes like this: The area around Ogden was prime fur trapping territory in the 1820s. A trapper named JOHN H. WEBER, explored and trapped much of the river and valley that now bears his (corrupted) name. During the passing years as the name of the river passed from mouth to mouth, it was often mispronounced "Weavers" fork or river by trappers who never saw the name in print and probably couldn't have read it anyway. The final result was a marriage of the written name and the corrupted version.

HAVEN'T WE MET BEFORE: Arkansas and Weber have met before, but it was on the hardwood in basketball. UA and WSU met in the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons. Arkansas beat the Wildcats, 73-52, in the first round in 1978 at Eugene, Ore., on the way to the Final Four. The following year, the Razorbacks beat Weber in the first round again, 74-63, at Lawrence, Kan., on the way to reaching the regional finals.

UTAH TEAMS: Arkansas has not played a team from Utah since the 1975-76 seasons when Utah State visited Little Rock for 31-0 and 33-16 Razorback victories, respectively.

UA head coach Houston Nutt is 1-1 in his career against teams from Utah, beating Weber State, 24-7, and losing at Utah State, 24-20, both in 1996 when he was at Boise State.

THREE AND A BREAK: With WSU coming on the schedule and with Central Florida coming up on Nov. 10, it means Arkansas twice plays three straight Southeastern Conference games and then gets a break from league play with a non-conference tilt.

The Razorbacks played Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia before playing host to WSU. Following tonight's game, the Hogs play South Carolina, Auburn and Ole Miss before entertaining UCF in its final non-conference matchup of the year.


Hawgs Daily Top Stories