Defense Plays "Best Game" Against No. 10 Georgia

For the third game in a row, Arkansas' defense surrendered more than 300 yards in the first half.

But unlike games at Florida and Auburn when Arkansas was outscored by a combined 65-14, the Razorbacks held a 14-10 lead at intermission against No. 10 Georgia thanks to some timely playmaking by the Code Red unit.

The defense forced two turnovers, scored a touchdown and came up with a crucial goal line stand to turn away Georgia after it drove 85 yards to the Razorback 1, keyed by a 79-yard catch-and-run from David Greene to Fred Gibson.

Even the go-ahead touchdown by Georgia in the third quarter wasn't really the defense's fault after senior Jeb Huckeba sacked Greene for a six-yard loss to push the Bulldogs back and force a missed field goal.

Arkansas tailback DeCori Birmingham fumbled on the next play and Georgia was set up for a 34-yard touchdown drive to go ahead for good in its 20-14 win to spoil Arkansas' homecoming.

"The defense played its best ball game," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "They played well enough to win the game. But it's a team game. I just can't say enough about their heart and passion."

Huckeba had 12 tackles (4 for loss), 3 sacks, 2 quarterback hurries and forced a fumble on third down by Greene, recovered and returned for an 18-yard touchdown by freshman defensive end Marcus Harrison to put Arkansas up 14-10.

"We do that drill all the time," Harrison said of his scoop and score. "If we have a chance to pick it up, pick it up and go with it. Eventually it pays off like it did tonight.

"I sort of got cut, but I kept my balance, I managed to get up and get the ball."

Huckeba was named the Crip Hall winner as the top senior of Arkansas' homecoming game and Nutt said it was "probably his best game," but he spread around the credit.

"I think everyone played well," Huckeba said. "The thing about defense is if everyone is playing hard, you'll make plays. Turnovers are contagious and one usually leads to another."

The turnover bug started spreading right away when Greene hit Reggie Brown for a 33-yard gain on the first play of the game and free safety Vickiel Vaughn, making his first start since losing his job for the Auburn game, forced a fumble recovered by Darius Vinnett.

Vaughn was one of the most maligned members of Arkansas' rookie secondary after several missed assignments and tackles in his first few games as a starter.

He broke out of his slump last week against Auburn with a fumble recovery and an interception to set up Arkansas' last touchdown. He was also one of four Razorbacks along with Sam Olajubutu, Harrison and Clarke Moore to stop Danny Ware short of the goal line in the first half.

"We got together and said we have to turn our game around," Vaughn said. "We have to help our offense any way we can. We stepped up and did it."

While Arkansas gave up 513 yards and a career-best 382-yard day to Greene, the Razorbacks twice held to force field goals from inside the 15-yard line, twice forced missed field goals, stopped the Bulldogs on fourth-and-goal and created two turnovers.

"I'll live with that every day," Nutt said. "I have no problem with that."

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