Zak Clark Picks Up Teammate
Matt Jones said he was feeling low after throwing the interception, then got a big pick-me-up from his buddy, Zak Clark.
"Zak's been great to me all year," Jones said. "He's been a great leader for me to learn under. He came to me and told me to get my head up. He helped pick me back up. My head was down before Zak got to me. That's the kind of leader he is for this team."
"I was shocked after I went back after the interception," Matt Jones said. "I wanted to go out and make up for it.
"Nobody quits on this team. Everybody has a great attitude."
On the 45-yard quarterback draw that set up the winning touchdown, Matt Jones said it was an awesome block by Cedric Cobbs on the blitzing linebacker that made the difference.
"I saw the linebackers coming and knew that it was going to be a big play," Jones said. "There was one guy to get, and Ced got him. It was a great block. I'm sorry I got caught from behind. I told myself not to let anyone catch me, and the guy did catch me. I'm just glad that Zak Clark came in and hit those two big passes, and moved us on to the goal line. That was great.
"I was just hoping I wouldn't be the reason we lost the game, on that interception. I saw Richard Smith open, and didn't see the free safety working his way back. I thought Richard was open."
Shawn Andrews Steps Forward
The right side had a rather nice game today. I can't ever remember a freshman offensive tackle turning in a performance like Shawn Andrews did today. He wiped them out on Cedric's last run, and had enough pancake blocks to keep the IHOP in business for 10 years.
I know it takes more than one man to make an offense click, but he had a big hand in a lot of big plays today. He was so much fun to watch.
There was little doubt he was on after the way he whipped Dorsett Davis on the game's first play. Andrews said Davis tried to talk some smack, but it just fell on deaf ears.
"I don't listen, I just smile," Andrews said. "He said no freshman was going to block him, but I think I did pretty good. This was my best game. On the last play, I got my man and kind of knocked him over into one or two others. That was a fun play. I loved seeing Cedric sprint around me."
Jermaine Petty Thanks His Offensive Mates
Middle linebacker Jermaine Petty said he over ran the play on State's touchdown run with a couple of minutes left.
"Thank goodness the offense took care of us at the end," Petty said. "We'd been playing the run great all day long, and I saw the back and knew the play. I just over ran it. I got an arm, but that's not good enough with a good back like they have. I just over ran it a little, but that's all it takes. I was just sitting over there hoping the offense could do something to bail us out."
Arkansas Coach Houston Nutt Bubbles With Praise
"I'm real proud of our guys," said Houston Nutt. "They showed great heart and character. We didn't make it easy for them. Anytime you only allow 65 rushing yards, you're doing something. Our seniors were awesome.
On State's go-ahead score:
"The first thing I thought about was the seniors. I couldn't look them in the eyes. I had to come up with something to get that ball in the end zone.
"Matt Jones is a threat everytime he touches the ball. But, let me tell you, it took two quarterbacks to win the game. I really believe that. It's just a touch and feel thing (switching QBs). I discussed it with David Lee and the other coaches. We felt like Matt requires the defense to defend the pass and the run. Matt was winded (after the long run). Zak came in and pulled out the victory. He's a winner.
"This was Cedric Cobbs' best performance of the year. He dug down and ran hard when we really needed him. I was really glad for Sparky Hamilton. He got the ball thrown to him more. This was a big-time day for Sparky. Lawrence Richardson's interception was phenomenal. For him to break across a post route and lay out and get the interception was unbelievable.
"I'm really sad we lost Marvin Jackson. He has a severely sprained ankle. We'll go with George Wilson or Gerald Howard returning punts next week."
Cedric Cobbs turns the corner for the winning TD.
Zak Clark prepares to pass against MSU.
Cedric Cobbs finds running room against State's defense.
The Hog defense puts the clamps on the Bulldogs.
Caleb Miller and Sacha Lancaster make a tackle.
Matt Jones puts a move on the Bulldogs.
Matt Jones takes the snap.
Houston Nutt contemplates his next move.
Photos by Lance Davis