Dixon Suspended For First Half

Texas' Vince Young didn't miss a play, but Arkansas' Arrion Dixon missed an entire half after tangling with the quarterback during last Saturday's 22-21 Longhorns win in Fayetteville.

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt announced he was suspending Dixon for the first half of Saturday's 49-20 win against Louisiana-Monroe in War Memorial Stadium.

"After much consideration, I've decided to hold Arrion Dixon out of the first half of the Louisiana-Monroe game," Nutt said. "Although I'm convinced that Arrion did not intentionally attempt to injure Texas quarterback Vincent Young, it is important that our players understand that their actions on the field are reflective of our program. Even the perception of unsportsmanlike conduct is something that I take very seriously."

The key word there may be "perception" since the play -- in which Dixon kept hold of Young's foot well after the whistle -- caused quite an uproar in Texas.

Trainers sprinted to Young's aid and he needed help as he limped to the sidelines. Reserve quarterback Chance Mock came on the field for one snap, but a penalty nullified his participation as Young re-entered for the following play.

No flag was thrown, but ESPN commentator Ron Franklin's comments that Dixon "looks like he twisted his ankle" may have helped fuel speculation about the senior defensive tackle's intentions.

"I wasn't intentionally trying to hurt his ankle," Dixon said. "I was just trying to make the tackle and bring him down, but they didn't look at it that way."

Nutt reportedly had conversations with Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive earlier this week about the situation.

Dixon spent the first half giving pointers to young defensive linemen Keith Jackson and Fred Bledsoe.

"I just saw some things that they need to work on," Dixon said. "I was getting upset when (ULM) starting catching up and wanted to go in there.

"But all I could do was boost them on and cheer them on because I don't think we were playing as hard as we could (in the first half)."

Dixon was named SEC defensive linemen of the week after forcing and recovering a fumble and having three tackles for loss in a 63-13 win against New Mexico State in the season opener. He had three tackles against Texas and none against ULM.

"I just accepted (the suspension) the coaches gave me," Dixon said. "At first, they were going to hold me out of two games, so I was happy it was just a half."

Return To Returner

Arkansas sophomore Cedric Washington lined up at kick returner against the Indians for the first time this season. He was in true freshman Peyton Hillis' spot on the opening kick and in DeCori Birmingham's spot on the rest of the kickoffs.

"It felt pretty good to be back in there," Washington said. "It's kind of a relief. It felt kind of like I was home because that's where it seems I'm supposed to be."

The Razorbacks were not credited with a return against Texas and were short kicked all game against New Mexico State. They entered the game with two returns for 21 yards as a team.

Hillis had three returns for 72 yards Saturday, while Washington, who led Arkansas with 25 kick returns for 497 yards last season, had a 34-yard return on his only attempt.

It's Arkansas' longest kick return this season.

"Initially, it was a wedge return," Washington said. "I looked back to the left and saw a bunch of people coming so I just stepped back to the right and followed (Brandon Kennedy) through the seam."

Injury Report

Junior rover Lerinezo Robinson reaggravated a right ankle injury midway through the second quarter, but returned to start the second half and picked off a pair of passes.

He saw limited action while nursing a similar ankle sprain last season at Kentucky.

Junior fullback Brandon Kennedy was shaken up on a 1-yard touchdown run by Hillis which made it 35-20 late in the first half. He also returned in the third quarter with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Junior tight end Jared Hicks, who sprained his right shoulder against New Mexico State, but was used sparingly against Texas, did not play Saturday.

In addition, there were a plethora of minor injuries to Washington (bruised ribs), John Jackson (bruised right knee), Chris Houston (sprained right ankle), Jamaal Anderson (bruised right shoulder) and Dedrick Poole (strained hamstring).

Mixing It Up

Sophomore Keith Jackson made his first career start in Dixon's spot. He had four tackles and forced a fumble.

In place of injured noseguard Jeremy Harrell (high-ankle sprain), senior Titus Peebles made his first career start.

Bledsoe and sophomore Lucas Jackson also saw increased snaps on the interior defensive line after Arkansas took an early 14-0 lead.


Arkansas linebacker John Jackson was whistled for a personal foul while appearing to exchange words with ULM tailback Kevin Payne (Junction City) during the first quarter.

Jackson did not return during the series which ended on a 26-yard field goal by Ragan Walters that cut the Hogs' lead to 14-3.

Hogs receiver Chris Baker was flagged for a personal foul after a shoving match with ULM corner Chaz Williams to end the third quarter. He did not return.

Jones Ties Records

Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones' four touchdown passes tied a school record. He also tied former quarterback Clint Stoerner for touchdown responsibility with 62 touchdowns.

Jones has passed for 43 touchdowns and rushed for 19.

He also became the first UA quarterback since Robby Hampton in 2000 to pass for more than 200 yards in consecutive games.

Nifty Fifty

Saturday's win was Nutt's 50th as Arkansas' head coach and he improved to 17-0 in his hometown of Little Rock.

Only four other UA coaches have won 50-plus games. They are Frank Broyles (144 wins), Lou Holtz (60), Fred Thomsen (56) and Ken Hatfield (55).

Minus Murphy

Junior defensive end Wes Murphy was the only UA scholarship player not to dress for Saturday's game. Murphy, who played in 20 games in his first two seasons, has worked with the scout team since regular season practices began.

Nice Turnout

An impressive crowd of 55,652 attended the Hogs' nonconference game against Louisiana-Monroe. It was the 10th largest crowd in War Memorial Stadium history.

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