THE RECORDS: Arkansas is 2-3 overall and 0-3 SEC after posting a 42-19 non-conference win over Division I-AA Weber State last weekend in Fayetteville. The win snapped a three-game losing streak that included league losses vs. Tennessee (3-13), at Alabama (10-31) and at Georgia (23-34). The Razorbacks topped UNLV 14-10 in the season opener accounting for their other victory. South Carolina enters weekend play with a 5-0 record including a 4-0 mark in SEC play. The Gamecocks downed Kentucky last weekend 42-6 at Columbia, S.C. In addition, USC owns victories over Boise State (32-13), Georgia (14-9), Mississippi State (16-14) and Alabama (37-36).
THE RANKINGS: Arkansas is not ranked and didn't garner any votes in either of this week's polls. South Carolina is ranked in both national polls this week. The Gamecocks are ranked ninth in both the Associated Press listing and ESPN\USA Today polls this week.
COVERAGE: For the seventh time in eight games including five of six games this season, Arkansas will appear on national television when the Hogs face the Gamecocks. In the aforementioned stretch only the Weber State game last weekend wasn't televised nationally. The Arkansas vs. South Carolina game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports. It will mark the Razorbacks' second appearance on that network this season after battling Alabama earlier this season in a game televised by CBS Sports. VERNE LUNDQUIST will call the play by play of the game while TODD BLACKLEDGE will serve as the color commentator. JILL ARRINGTON will be CBS' sideline reporter. 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: The Razorbacks and Gamecocks have met nine times on the gridiron, with Arkansas holding a 5-4 advantage. The teams met last year in Columbia when the Gamecocks came away with a 27-7 victory over the Razorbacks. The teams have played every year since 1992. Arkansas posted a 45-7 win over South Carolina that year in Columbia. The Razorbacks won three of the first four meetings between 1992-1995, with South Carolina's first win coming in 1994 (14-0). However, recent history has been on the side of South Carolina. The Gamecocks have won three of the last five meetings against Arkansas. The two teams have met twice in Little Rock, with each team claiming victory once. South Carolina won the first contest in Little Rock, posting a 39-13 win in 1997. The Hogs claimed victory in the state capital in 1999 with a 48-14 win.
LAST TIME OUT AGAINST SOUTH CAROLINA: Last season, the Gamecocks rolled up 344 yards of total offense in coming away with a 27-7 victory over the Hogs in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina tailback Derek Watson rushed for 136 yards on 17 carries, including a 68-yard touchdown run in the third quarter as the Gamecocks snapped a two-game losing streak to Arkansas. Arkansas had three quarterbacks, ROBBY HAMPTON, ZAK CLARK and Jared McBride, knocked out of the game with injuries. The Razorbacks lone score of the day came on a nine-yard touchdown run by BRANDON HOLMES midway through the fourth quarter.
SIGNAL CALLERS SEEKING SHELTER: In last season's USC 27-7 win over the Razorbacks, Arkansas took more than its fair share on the injury front, especially at quarterback. The Hogs saw three signal callers knocked out of the game with injuries. It got so bad for the Razorbacks, starter ROBBY HAMPTON was forced back into the game to finish the contest after third-teamer Jared McBride was knocked out. Hampton had earlier left the game with a sprained thumb. ZAK CLARK came out of the game after spraining his left ankle and McBride lasted just two plays before being sidelined for the season with a sprained left knee.
TELEVISION TIME: For the seventh time in eight games, Arkansas will appear on national television when the Razorbacks host the South Carolina Gamecocks this weekend. CBS Sports will televise the conference matchup nationally. It will be the Hogs second appearance on CBS after battling the Alabama Crimson Tide on the network earlier this season. 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 five of the first six 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 on Sept. 29. 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: LAWRENCE RICHARDSON returned the game's opening kickoff 98 yards to lead the Razorbacks to a 42-19 victory over Weber State in Fayetteville. Arkansas scored the game's first 28 points before allowing the Wildcats to score. Running back FRED TALLEY rang up 135 yards rushing with a touchdown to lead an Arkansas ground attack that produced 322 yards in the game. MATT JONES electrified Razorback fans with a 59-yard touchdown run for the Hogs' last score of the game. GEORGE WILSON also found the end zone on a 33-yard pass from quarterback ZAK CLARK. Freshman DECORI BIRMINGHAM notched his first career touchdown with a 10-yard run, while BRANDON HOLMES also hit paydirt with a one-yard touchdown run.
NOTING THE WEBER STATE GAME: * Arkansas recorded its two longest scoring drives of the season vs. Weber State. The Hogs scored touchdowns on drives of 86 and 80 yards against the Wildcats. * The Hogs upped their non-conference record to 11-0 under Houston Nutt. * Arkansas is now 19-3 in home games under Houston Nutt.
AT WAR MEMORIAL STADIUM: In its 53rd season playing at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Ark., UA is 127-51-3 (.710). The Hogs have won all 10 games played at War Memorial Stadium under head coach Houston Nutt. In addition, Arkansas is 146-63-4 (.695) all-time playing in the city of Little Rock.
SEC STREAK AT LITTLE ROCK: Arkansas has won five consecutive Southeastern Conference games in Little Rock during HOUSTON NUTT's four-year tenure at Arkansas. The Razorbacks downed Kentucky (27-20) and LSU (41-14) at War Memorial Stadium in 1998 before topping South Carolina (48-14) and Mississippi State (14-9) there in 1999. Arkansas defeated LSU 14-3 in its only league game contested in Little Rock last season.
PETTY FACING HOME-STATE SCHOOL: Senior JERMAINE PETTY is the only Razorback that hails from South Carolina. The Inman, S.C., native leads Arkansas with 67 tackles including a team-high five tackles for loss. He has led the SEC in tackles in each of the past three weeks and ranked ninth in the nation with 13.75 tackles per game in the latest NCAA defensive rankings.
FAMILIAR FACE: For the second time, Arkansas will face former head coach LOU HOLTZ as he guides the South Carolina Gamecocks. Holtz was the head coach at Arkansas for seven seasons (1977-83) compiling a record of 60-21-2 (.735). He is the second winningest coach in Razorback history, behind only FRANK BROYLES, who led his teams to 144 triumphs in 19 seasons. Holtz first returned to Arkansas to face the Razorbacks in 1999. The Hogs downed South Carolina 49-14 in that visit.
HOLTZ CONNECTIONS: To say the UA coaching staff is familiar with USC head coach LOU HOLTZ would be an understatement. Seven members of the UA's 10-man staff have direct football ties to HOLTZ including Razorback head coach HOUSTON NUTT. HOUSTON NUTT both played and served as a graduate assistant under LOU HOLTZ during his tenure at Arkansas. Nutt was a member of the 1977 Razorback squad that upset Oklahoma in the 1978 Orange Bowl. Nutt then returned to Fayetteville as a graduate assistant under Holtz in 1983. The two coaches met for the first time as head coaches in 1999 with Nutt and the Hogs earning a 48-14 victory. Defensive coordinator JOHN THOMPSON was a graduate assistant under Holtz at Arkansas in 1982 while secondary coach DAVE WOMMACK served as a part-time assistant for Holtz from 1981-82. Tight ends coach JAMES SHIBEST lettered as a UA freshman for Holtz in 1983. Running backs coach DANNY NUTT redshirted in Holtz's final season at Arkansas (1983). In addition, two UA assistant coaches filled graduate assistant coaching roles at other stops on Holtz' coaching tour. Defensive line coach BOBBY ALLEN was a grad assistant at Minnesota in 1995 while offensive line coach MIKE MARKUSON filled the GA role at Notre Dame in 1989.