South Carolina Success

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas coach Houston Nutt has led the Razorbacks to an impressive 5-1 record against South Carolina in his six seasons on the sideline.

That total includes a 4-1 mark against former Arkansas and current South Carolina coach Lou Holtz, who tutored Nutt during his first season with the Hogs. But Nutt said Monday his success against the Gamecocks has nothing to do with extra emphasis being placed on beating a Holtz-led team.

"I try to be consistent. I try to get juiced every game," Nutt said. "I don't know exactly what you're seeing. Hopefully seeing an enthusiastic coach with passion and trying to give your guys the best chance to win. Do I look up to Holtz? Yes. Do I admire him? All those things, yes.

"Naturally as a former player and a former coach of his you always want to do well against people that you admire and people that you've been on the same sideline with. I think that goes without saying."

Holtz, of course, was 60-21-2 as Arkansas' coach from 1977 to 1983 and guided the Hogs to a school record, six straight bowl games in his tenure, a mark equaled by Nutt and former coach Ken Hatfield. Holtz also coached Nutt in 1977 before the quarterback transferred to Oklahoma State and finished his career.

Nutt and the Hogs have won the past three meetings between the schools by a combined score of 61-13. Two of those games were in Little Rock, a place Holtz believes is reserved for special occasions because of War Memorial Stadium's wild atmosphere.

Nutt said there's no question the state gets excited about playing Holtz and South Carolina every season. He said there's "always going to be a bond there," but Arkansas' recent success won't have any factor on Saturday's game.

"It doesn't mean anything," Nutt said. "New year and new season. I think both of us, our back's are against the wall. You don't go into the game thinking about records. I don't keep up with that."

Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones and defensive end Jeb Huckeba agreed the Holtz connection isn't a source of motivation. The only thing they're eyeing is the possibility of inching closer toward bowl eligibility with a win at South Carolina.

The Hogs must win three of their final four games to reach six-victory mark.

"I don't know if it's anything personal," Jones said. "We understand this game is a big game as far as, it's the biggest game of the year for us. If you've got a friend or old coach you always want to have a one up on him. So who knows what (Nutt's) really thinking. But he doesn't give any indication that anything is personal."

Said Huckeba: "I know every SEC game, you treat it as a must win and you find whatever motivating factors you can to help yourself. I wouldn't really say that's a big motivating factor for him or the team. I think our biggest thing is we really want to go down there and get the win, however we can do it."

TV Time
The Nov. 13 Arkansas-Ole Miss game in Fayetteville was picked up by Jefferson-Pilot Sports and will kick off at 11:30 a.m. It will be Arkansas' second consecutive appearance on Jefferson-Pilot after Saturday's game at South Carolina.

Television networks have broadcast five of Arkansas' first seven games and one more, the LSU game on Nov. 26, already has been selected by CBS for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff. The Hogs have played three games on CBS (Alabama, Florida, Auburn) and one apiece on ESPN (Texas) and ESPN2 (Georgia). The Ole Miss game will be Arkansas' sixth consecutive game on television and seventh overall.

Arkansas is 1-4 in televised games so far this season.

Jones Feels Fine
Jones said he's not quite back to 100 percent after being slowed by groin and hamstring injuries the past few weeks. But the senior said he'll be close when the Razorbacks meet South Carolina on Saturday.

"I feel fine," Jones said. "I've been getting treatment all last week and again this week. It's coming along. I think that I'm going to be all right."

Jones has turned in some of his sharpest passing performances against the Gamecocks the past two seasons. He has combined to complete 21 of 32 passes for 261 yards and 5 touchdowns without an interception, leading the Hogs to wins.

He hasn't missed a game because of injury in his career and started the 20-14 loss to Georgia despite a sore groin. Jones left late in the fourth quarter because of a strained hamstring, but took all of last week off and returned to practice Sunday.

"He's good to go," Nutt said.

Tearful Loss
Holtz did something he normally doesn't do after a loss: He cried.

The sixth-year coach said in an Associated Press story Monday he teared up early Sunday morning while watching game film of South Carolina's 43-29 loss to Tennessee. Holtz was heart broken that the Gamecocks' effort -- one of the best performances he has seen in his tenure -- still resulted in their 12th consecutive loss to the Volunteers.

"Yeah, I get downhearted, but I cried and I don't do that," Holtz said. "To play that well, to sell out in so many things and have nothing to show for it."

Rocker Elected
Arkansas defensive line coach Tracy Rocker has been selected to the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. He can add one more enshrinement to his resum after being elected to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

It recently was announced that Rocker was one of eight inductees in a 2005 class that'll be honored during an official induction banquet on June 12, 2005 in Birmingham. Rocker was a two-time All-American at Auburn, won the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award as a senior and was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in 1988.

Other inductees include Auburn basketball great Chuck Person, Alabama All-American defensive back Jeremiah Castille, Auburn broadcaster Jim Fyffe, Auburn football player Billy Atkins, Jacksonville State baseball player Rudy Abbott, Jackson State football player Robert Brazile and journalist Bob Phillips.

Minor Dings
The Gamecocks were hit with a few emotional wounds after the close loss to Tennessee, but South Carolina escaped the game relatively unscathed physically.

Backup quarterback Syvelle Newton (ankle), starting left tackle Jabari Levey (ankle), defensive lineman Chris Tucker (knee) and linebacker De'Adrian Coley (knee) are the only banged up Gamecocks. Holtz aid none of the injuries are severe and believes all four should be available against the Razorbacks.

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