Arkansas Game Notes: Auburn

The Razorbacks return to action this Saturday after on off week following their 10-7 victory over No. South Carolina on Oct. 13. The Hogs welcome SEC Western Division leader Auburn to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The game is the 11th in the series between the two teams with the Tigers holding a 6-3-1 advantage over Arkansas. The Razorbacks look to avenge last year's 21-19 loss to the Tigers in Auburn. The longest winning streak in the series is two games for both teams.

The Hogs won in consecutive years in 1998 and 1999, while the Tigers have claimed consecutive victories twice (1993-94 and 1996-97).

THE RECORDS: Arkansas is 3-3 overall and 1-3 SEC after pulling a 10-7 upset win over ninth-ranked South Carolina in Little Rock. The Hogs are looking to record their third straight victory of the season and their second straight win over the Tigers in Fayetteville.

Auburn enters the game with an overall record of 6-1 and 4-0 in the SEC. Auburn outlasted Louisiana Tech 48-41 in a non-conference battle last weekend following an upset of No. 1 Florida 23-20 on Oct. 13. The Tigers are seeking their second straight win over the Razorbacks and their first win in Fayetteville since 1997.

THE RANKINGS: Arkansas is not ranked, but did receive a vote in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

Auburn entered the polls for the first time after beating top-ranked Florida. The Tigers are currently ranked 17th in the AP poll and 17th in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.

COVERAGE: For the eighth time in nine games including six of seven games this season, Arkansas will appear on television when the Hogs face the Tigers. In the aforementioned stretch only the Weber State game earlier this season wasn't televised.

The Arkansas vs. Auburn game will be televised regionally by Jefferson Pilot Sports. It will mark the Razorbacks' first appearance on JP this season. DAVE NEAL will call the play by play of the game while DAVE ROWE will serve as the color commentator. CHARLES DAVIS will be JP's 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: Arkansas and Auburn have met 10 times with the first meeting coming in the 1984 Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. The Tigers hold a 6-3-1 advantage over the Razorbacks including last year's 21-19 victory in Auburn.

The first regular season meeting between the two schools produced the series' only tie, a 24-24 decision in 1992 on the Plains. Neither team has won more than two straight games in the series, with the Tigers accomplishing the feat twice (1993-94, 95-96) and the Hogs once (1998-99)

Four of the last six games have been decided by an average of three points, with two games decided by a mere two points. Arkansas won 30-28 in 1995, while the Tigers claimed a 21-19 win last year.

The only exceptions in the last six meetings came in 1996 when Auburn won 28-7 and in 1999 when the Razorbacks won 34-10 in the last meeting in Fayetteville.

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST AUBURN: Last season, a late fourth-quarter comeback effort was snubbed out by a pair of interceptions as the Tigers came away with a 21-19 victory over the Razorbacks in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Arkansas tailback FRED TALLEY recorded a career-high 161 yards rushing on the day, highlighted by an 80-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Split end SPARKY HAMILTON reeled in a career-best 65 yards receiving on four catches for the Hogs.

Auburn led 21-14 entering the fourth quarter. The Razorbacks cut the lead to 21-17 with 4:20 remaining on a 24-yard field goal by BRENNAN O'DONOHOE. But, Arkansas next two possessions ended with interceptions.

The Tigers took a safety with three seconds left to make it a 21-19 game. GERALD HOWARD was then tackled on the ensuing kickoff to seal the victory for the Tigers.

HOGS IN FAYETTEVILLE: The Razorbacks are 246-95-10 (.715) in games played at Fayetteville.

Arkansas has played its on-campus games at what is now Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium since 1938. The Hogs are 126-62-2 (.668) at Fayetteville since playing in their current home.

The Hogs are 9-3 at Fayetteville under head coach Houston Nutt.

TELEVISION TIME: For the eighth time in nine games, Arkansas will appear on television when the Razorbacks host the Auburn Tigers this weekend. Jefferson Pilot Sports is slated to show the Hogs on the gridiron for the first time 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 before playing upsetting the No. 9 South Carolina Gamecocks on CBS.

Arkansas' season finale matchup with LSU is the only other game scheduled for television (CBS) at this point, but a number of other games are still under consideration. Arkansas has appeared on national or regional television 163 times in its history. The Hogs own a 74-87-2 mark in those contests.

LAST TIME OUT: CARLOS HALL blocked a potential game-tying field goal with less than a minute remaining to preserve a 10-7 victory over the No. 9 South Carolina Gamecocks.

Tailback Fred Talley carried the ball a career-high 33 times for 111 yards, marking his second straight game over the century mark, as the Hogs remained unbeaten in Little Rock under HOUSTON NUTT.

Quarterback ZAK CLARK connected with RICHARD SMITH on a 10-yard touchdown pass to regain the lead after South Carolina scored its only touchdown on a 41-yard run by backup quarterback Corey Jenkins in the third quarter.

BRENNAN O'DONOHOE'S 21-yard field goal in the first quarter was the only score of the half. The Razorbacks held South Carolina to six yards of offense in the first quarter and only 62 for the half.

NOTING THE SOUTH CAROLINA GAME: * Arkansas defeated a team ranked in the top 10 nationally (USC - #9) for the first time since the Hogs defeated No. 3 Tennessee 28-24 in 1999. * The Razorbacks are a perfect 11-0 under Houston Nutt in Little Rock, Ark., including wins in all six conference games played at War Memorial Stadium. * Arkansas is now 20-3 in home games under Houston Nutt.

AFTER A BREATHER: Arkansas is 5-2 after a week off in the regular season during Houston Nutt's tenure including a 2-1 record vs. Auburn in that situation. After winning five consecutive games following an open date, the Razorbacks have dropped their last two contests following an off week.

The Razorbacks were 2-0 in 1998 after an open date including a 24-21 win over Auburn. Arkansas was also 2-0 in 1999 including a 34-10 victory over the Auburn Tigers. The Hogs were 1-1 in 2000 with their first loss after an open date coming at Auburn 19-21. Arkansas lost a 31-10 decision at Alabama earlier this season after the postponement of games on Sept. 15.

AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Arkansas is 7-7 against nationally ranked teams in HOUSTON NUTT's tenure. That mark also includes a 2-2 mark against teams ranked in the top 10.

The Razorbacks evened their record against ranked foes in their last outing with a 10-7 win over No. 9 South Carolina. Auburn is ranked 17th in both national polls this week. (See Chart)

BAMA HOGS: Four Razorbacks on the current squad hail from Alabama. Freshmen PIERRE BROWN and MICHAEL ROBINSON are from Birmingham while PAT WINN is from Holt. Freshman quarterback TARVARIS JACKSON is from Montgomery.

In addition, UA wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator GEORGE PUGH is from Montgomery.

AUBURN ARKIE: Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville will be returning to his home state when the Tigers travel to Fayetteville to take on the Razorbacks. Tuberville is from Camden, Ark., and attended Harmony Grove High School. He also went on to play football at Southern Arkansas University. Tuberville served as an assistant coach and then head coach at Hermitage [Ark.] High School before working as an assistant coach at Arkansas State.

FAMILIAR FOE: Arkansas assistant coach JAMES SHIBEST will see a familiar face when the Hogs take on the Tigers this weekend. Auburn quarterback DANIEL COBB played for Shibest at Butler [Kan.] Junior College prior to transferring to Auburn. Cobb led Shibest's squad to a national junior college championship in 1999.

Cobb earned his first career start at quarterback for Auburn last weekend and has racked up 579 yards and five touchdowns on 44 of 79 passing this season.

In addition, current Razorback wide receiver SAM BREEDEN played with Cobb at Butler.

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.

ARKANSAS HEAD COACH HOUSTON NUTT: In his fourth year as head coach at Arkansas, HOUSTON NUTT (Oklahoma State, 1981) has compiled a record of 26-16 (.619) with a record of 14-14 in Southeastern Conference play.

Following back-to-back 4-7 campaigns, Nutt came in and in his first three years he posted records of 9-3, 8-4 and 6-6, and joined former coaches LOU HOLTZ (1977-83) and KEN HATFIELD (1984-98) as the only Razorback coaches to lead the Hogs to bowl games in each of their first three seasons. Holtz and Hatfield each coached Arkansas to six consecutive bowl appearances.

In his first season, 1998, Arkansas was 9-3 and shared the SEC's Western Division championship with Mississippi State. The Razorbacks played Michigan in the Florida Citrus Bowl and The Football News named Nutt National Coach of the Year.

In 1999, Arkansas beat No. 3 Tennessee and No. 12 Mississippi State during the regular season, and then dominated Texas, 27-6, in the Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl as the Hogs went 8-4.

Last year, UA finished 6-6, but rallied with two wins over No. 13 MSU and No. 24 LSU in the final two regular season games to earn a trip to the Las Vegas Bowl.

Nutt's bloodlines are in Arkansas. He grew up in Little Rock, signed with the Razorbacks in 1976 and played a year for FRANK BROYLES, then a year for Holtz as a quarterback. He started four games as a freshman. Nutt also lettered as a guard on Arkansas' basketball team in 1976-77, which went 26-2. Following his sophomore year, he transferred to Oklahoma State where he also played football and basketball.

He returned to Fayetteville as a graduate assistant on Holtz's staff in 1983 and was wide receivers coach for the Razorbacks in 1990-92. He became head coach at Murray State where his last two teams won conference championships and played in the I-AA playoffs. He led the Racers to their first-ever playoff victory.

In 1997 he moved to Boise State and posted a 5-6 record in his only year at BSU. The Broncos were 2-10 the previous season and Sports Illustrated had ranked BSU last among the 112 I-A schools in its preseason issue.

His parents, Houston Sr. and Emogene, spent 35 years teaching at the Arkansas School for the Deaf in Little Rock. His father, a 2001 inductee into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, also served as athletic director and head basketball coach. The oldest of four Nutt boys, Houston isn't the only one carrying on his father's coaching legacy. Dickey is the head basketball coach at Arkansas State, Danny is the running backs coach on Houston's staff and Dennis is the head basketball coach at Southwest Texas State.

In his ninth season as a head coach, Nutt owns an overall record of 62-38 (.620).


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