Brown Banged Up, Doubtful For Saturday

FAYETTEVILLE -- Pierre Brown wasn't about to let a sprained knee get in the way of him helping out his team. But now it turns out Brown's refusal to quit could cost the Arkansas Razorbacks' linebacker even more playing time.

After suffering the injury late in Saturday's 28-24 loss against Vanderbilt, Brown returned on the game's final series when Sam Olajubutu got banged up. But Tuesday Brown felt the ill effects of giving it an extra go, sporting a knee brace while being forced to sit out of practice.

"I'll tell you about the character and guts of Pierre Brown," said Arkansas defensive coordinator Reggie Herring. "Pierre Brown played his butt off Saturday and had a slight tear, or stretch in his knee, in the ligament and saw Sam go down and limped his butt back onto the field to finish the game. And now he can barely walk after the game.

"That's the thing some people don't understand about kids and their heart."

According to Herring, Brown is an unlikely option for Arkansas' game at USC this Saturday, stating the Alabama game would be Brown's more likely target return.

"He's back, he's rehabbing, but there's a good chance he's not going to play," Herring said. "If he shows up at all, it will be for emotional or spiritual help.

"We hope to get him back for the Alabama game. That's about where we're at right now, guessing."

In Brown's place, Herring said true freshman Freddie Fairchild would get the start Saturday.

"We've got a true freshman. Is he ready? No," Herring said. "Are we going to love him and help him? Yeah, because we've got no choice. There is nobody else.

"So it's a big week for Freddie Fairchild this week."

Brown himself said he was working as hard as possible to get back in time for the showdown with No. 1-ranked USC, although the return could be unlikely.

"I'm just going to go out and see what I can do this week," Brown said. "I've been stretching and rehabbing and doing what I can.

"I hope (to play). I'll be doing a lot of praying this week and we'll take it a day at a time."

You Betcha
College coaches tend to avoid talk of betting lines and point spreads when the subject comes up in the media concerning their respective teams.

But at least one Arkansas coach is using this week's spread as motivation.

As of Tuesday, the Razorbacks were listed as a 31-point underdog against the Trojans. And while the lines might be meant for gamblers and prognosticators, Arkansas' defense and its coordinator were paying attention.

"Everybody is kind of taking a laugher and a breather on us playing Southern Cal," said Herring. "But you know what, there's one thing that a point spread or anybody else out there can't judge and that's how they'll respond.

"No bookie in Las Vegas knows the character and heart of this team. Nobody does, and we'll find out Saturday."

Arkansas' defensive players were obviously taking Herring's words to heart, as the defense was heard using the point spread as a battle cry during Tuesday's workout.

"We'll come to play," Herring said. "And we'll see what happens."

Another No. 1
When Arkansas plays USC Saturday in the Los Angeles Coliseum, it will mark the 14th time in school history the Razorbacks have played the No. 1-ranked team in the nation.

In its previous 13 meeting against top-ranked foes, Arkansas has posted a 3-10 record. All three wins in matchups versus No. 1 teams have come against Texas. The Hogs defeated the 'Horns in 1964, 1965 and 1981, each time when Texas was at the top of the polls.

One of Arkansas' losses against No. 1-ranked squads just so happened to come against this week's opponent. In 1973, USC was the top team in the land when the Trojans opened the season with a win against the Razorbacks in Los Angeles.

Arkansas' last game against a No. 1 team was at Tennessee in 1998. The Hogs lost that game, 28-24, giving coach Houston Nutt an 0-1 record all-time against top-ranked teams.

Family Ties
In 1974, Arkansas managed just a 6-4-1 season which produced no bowl appearance. But in the season opener that year, the Razorbacks made plenty of noise, upsetting eventual national champion USC, 22-7, in Little Rock.

In that game, Arkansas' Dennis "Dirt" Winston was named the national player of the week after his monster performance against the Men of Troy. And now, Winston's nephew, Marc Winston, will have the chance to put forth his best effort against another top-ranked USC team.

Marc Winston -- a redshirt freshman tight end from Little Rock -- might not be expected to put up the big numbers his uncle did 21 years ago against USC, but the younger Winston will be using his uncle's performance as motivation.

"It's kind of cool going out there knowing that my uncle had a real big game against (USC)," said Marc Winston. "I just hope that I can go out there and compare to him somehow. Hopefully I can go out there a be a factor like he was."

Breaking A Tie
Entering Saturday's game at USC, Arkansas has played just nine games in its history against opponents from the Pac-10 Conference. In those games, the Razorbacks have posted a 4-4-1 record, including a 1-2 mark against the Trojans.

The Hogs are also 2-0 all-time against Arizona State, 1-0 against California, 0-1 against Stanford and 0-1-1 against UCLA, with Arkansas' 1989 Cotton Bowl loss against the Bruins being the last time it has faced a team from the Pac-10.

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