Jones Sparks UA's Offense Early

LOS ANGELES -- True freshman Felix Jones made his first start at tailback and provided Arkansas with an instant spark against top-ranked Southern California.

On the game's opening play, Jones caught a screen pass from Robert Johnson for an 11-yard gain and a first down. He then was replaced on the next play by De'Arrius Howard, who coach Houston Nutt said Thursday would start.

Jones, a 6-foot, 195-pounder from Tulsa, also ignited the offense with 67-yard kickoff return after USC scored on its opening drive. Jones wasn't stopped until the 1, but officials ruled he was forced out of bounds at the Trojans' 29.

Three plays later, it led to an 11-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Marcus Monk which tied the score at 7-7 early in the first quarter.

Jones, who only had one carry in last Saturday's 28-24 loss against Vanderbilt, made several key runs in the first half, including a 17-yard gain on a counter draw play on third-and-7.

Arkansas' offense also received some help with the return of right guard Zac Tubbs and tight end Wes Murphy, who made their first appearances this season after being hobbled by ankle injuries.

Tubbs, a 6-6, 360-pound senior, came in on the Razorbacks' third possession. He also saw action on the next possession, but got winded after several snaps which brought back in starter Jonathan Luigs, a redshirt freshman. Luigs, however, reportedly sprained his left ankle in the second quarter.

Murphy didn't start, but was back in the rotation from the onset. The Hogs need help desperately at tight end since Jared Hicks (ankle) and Lance Thompson (knee) are sidelined with injuries.



Hog Ties

Entering Saturday's game, USC was 2-1 against the Razorbacks with a 31-10 win in Little Rock in 1972 and a 17-0 win in 1973 at the Coliseum. In 1974, Arkansas won 22-7 in Little Rock.

USC reserve quarterback John David Booty's father, Johnny Booty, played quarterback at Arkansas in 1972 before transferring to Mississippi State and then Louisiana Tech. USC center Ryan Kalil's father, Frank Kalil, was a center at Arkansas in 1978 before transferring to Arizona.

In addition, Trojans coach Pete Carroll was a graduate assistant for the Razorbacks in 1977. USC offensive line coach Pat Ruel also was a member of that staff. Chris Carlisle, USC's strength and conditioning coach, was a graduate assistant for Arkansas's strength program from 1992-93 and earned his master's degree in history from Arkansas in 1997.



High On Heisman

Matt Leinart's No. 11 jersey was the sixth added to the row of giant jerseys of other USC Heisman Trophy winners that adorn the east side of the stadium. However, Leinart's jersey won't officially be retired and encased in glass at Heritage Hall until after the season.

The other Heisman winners' jerseys on display are No. 20 Mike Garrett (1965), No. 32 O.J. Simpson (1968), No. 12 Charles White (1979), No. 33 Marcus Allen (1981) and No. 3 Carson Palmer (2002).

Prior to kickoff, the 2004 National Championship banner also was unveiled on the stadium's east side, joining the 2003 National Championship banner.



Around The Stadium

Loud chants of "We are SC! We are SC!" rang through Memorial Coliseum as the Razorbacks lined up in the tunnel before taking the field for pregame warmups.

Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles, who rarely makes road trips, was in attendance Saturday. His VIP seat was located to the back and on the east side of the press box, obstructing his view of the west end zone.

Cotton Bowl representative Charlie Fiss took in a doubleheader Saturday, attending the Oklahoma game at UCLA earlier in the day before catching the USC-Arkansas nightcap.

Also at the game were NFL scouts from the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.



Bing Banged Up

USC sophomore Josh Pinkard started at strong safety in place of injured regular Darnell Bing (hip). The Trojans lost two more key defenders to first-quarter injuries when strongside linebacker Dallas Sartz (dislocated shoulder) and cornerback Terrell Thomas (knee) went down.

Arkansas had several players not dress because of injuries. The notables, other than Hicks and Thompson, were Chris Baker (knee), Rick Culbert (shoulder) and Pierre Brown (knee). True freshman Freddie Fairchild made his first start in Brown's place at strongside linebacker.

Hogs cornerback Chris Houston started in place of Darius Vinnett, who's been slowed by tendinitis in both knees. Vinnett did see limited action, though.

Several Razorbacks freshmen, who are redshirting, also made the trip, but did not dress.



USC 34, Arkansas 6

Less than two hours before Saturday's kickoff, the digital scoreboard was turned on and already had the game in the third quarter, with USC leading Arkansas 34-6.

It remained for a few minutes before being noticed and changed to 0-0.

Another minor miscue showed up on the media flip card for Saturday's game, which read that Arkansas' campus location was in Little Rock.


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