Brown Honored By SEC

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas linebacker Pierre Brown was named Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance during the Hogs' 24-21 win at Mississippi State last Saturday.

Brown snatched the ball out of mid-air after Mississippi State place-kicker Keith Andrews' 37-yard field goal attempt was blocked by teammate Elliott Harris and returned it 76 yards for his first career touchdown. The score gave the Razorbacks a 24-14 lead and was Arkansas' first on special teams since the 63-13 season-opening win against New Mexico State.

"I'm honored to get (the award) but it's really a reflection of the entire team," Brown said. "That play, that was a team effort because it took every one of us to make it happen."

Brown also had a big day on defense, recording eight tackles and a career-high three for losses. He nudged Mississippi State tailback Jerious Norwood out of bounds inches short of the goal line in the final minute of the second quarter, helping the Hogs maintain a 17-14 lead.

The Birmingham, Ala., native has started nine games this season, recording 55 tackles, 5 1/2 tackles for losses, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery.

"Pierre played an outstanding game at Mississippi State," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "He made the play of the game when he ran the blocked field goal back 76 yards. He also made some big-time tackles for us when we needed them.

"I'm proud of the way he has played down the stretch."

Matt's Day
As expected, Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones was limited during Monday's practice because of a strained right hamstring. The senior worked out during fundamental drills, threw the ball during pass skeletons and, according to Nutt, did "just what we wanted him to" during practice.

Backup Robert Johnson handled most of the first-team repetitions.

The 6-foot-6, 237-pound Jones continued to receive treatment for his sore hamstring and will be limited during practice the next two days. Jones, who is expected to play Friday, said his leg has been "getting better each day."

"The Mississippi State game didn't hurt it any worse," Jones said. "I didn't really have to run the ball. So hopefully we can continue the progress and get positive news back every day from the training room. Hopefully we'll be ready to go."

Lou's Swan Song
Former Arkansas and current South Carolina coach Lou Holtz announced his retirement Monday, ending several days of speculation about the 67-year-old's future. Holtz led six different programs -- including the Hogs -- to bowl games in his 33-year career and is eighth on the all-time, Division I list for victories (249).

He was 60-21-2 in his six seasons at Arkansas (1977-83).

"We wish him nothing but the best," Nutt said. "We have a lot of respect for coach Holtz. He's been a great example for me personally. I learned a lot from him as a player and a coach. I wish him nothing but the best.

"I hope retirement or whatever he chooses to do, I hope it's great."

Also, one of Nutt's former assistants, Fitz Hill, resigned Monday after spending four seasons as head coach at San Jose State. Hill, who worked at Arkansas from 1992-2000, accepted a position as an instructor at Central Florida.

Fight Night
South Carolina and Clemson declined an opportunity to play in bowl games Monday afternoon because of the brawl that broke out during last Saturday's game. The ugly incident, along with the melee between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons last Friday night, dominated the sports world last weekend.

Nutt called both incidents "ridiculous" and said there's no room for that type of behavior in college football. He emphasized his feelings during a team meeting Sunday and reiterated his message to players before Monday's practice.

"It makes no sense to do that," Nutt said. "To take off a helmet and start chasing somebody around and start fighting, that is ridiculous. Football is a physical game as it is. You get to hit all you want the right way. It just makes no sense."

Extra Points
The Hogs practiced in full pads Monday to prepare for a physical game against the Tigers. Arkansas didn't practice in full pads last week. ... Tight end Jared Hicks (shoulder) didn't practice, but Nutt believes he'll be available for the Tigers. Backup Mason Templeton worked with the first team. ... Receiver Chris Baker missed Tuesday's practice to attend a night class.

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