Arkansas Defensive Rotation Finally Settled

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas defensive coordinator Reggie Herring said he's finally got an accurate picture of where his team is this season.

And he hopes to build on it.

Last weekend, the Arkansas defense continued to improved after holding No. 4 Georgia to just 52 rushing yards in a 23-20 loss on the road.

And the Razorbacks held the Bulldogs to 217 total yards of offense.

"I think we're pretty much set for the year, finally," Herring said. "We obviously. ... We've lost (Darius) Vinnett (cornerback) and (Anthony) Brown (defensive end) for the year. Sure could have used them Saturday.

"We just have to fine tune what we are doing. Probably the most critical mistake (last Saturday) was the play right before halftime. We told them to get back for a pass. We didn't get it done. Things like that. Game smart.

"We had no excuse for it.

"We just had a mental break. That can't happen. That's basic football. Just fine tuning out techniques and fundamentals. That's what we've got to do right now for four good quarters and find a way to win a game."

Did Arkansas make any strides defensively?

"You hate to go into that moral victory thing," he said. "The bottom line is, considering where we've come from, you're on the road, playing the fourth-ranked team. Nobody gave us a chance. We were 20-point underdogs.

"We go in there with a 2-4 record and hold them to those yards and create turnovers and really, if you look at, we gave up 13 points with the exception of turnover points.

"Played a real solid game defensively, but the bottom line is, we have to find a way to win. After that, there's something to build on. There's something positive there at the end of the season.

"We've got to pull out all of the stops."

Another Good Practice
Arkansas had its first practice of the bye week on Tuesday with a 90-minute workout.

"We had a good practice today," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "We were going to try and go in full pads today and scrimmage a little bit, but we have a few more bumps and bruises than we anticipated.

"So we just had a good learning day with a lot of corrections. It was the first time we had watched the film (from last Saturday), and we made those corrections and had a good fundamental day of practice.

"The main thing for us to accomplish during the off week is to get better. When you watch the film you see a lot of effort and a lot of good things, but there is just some little mistakes like penalties and executing in the red zone after a turnover.

"Everybody has to carry out their responsibilities. There were about five plays that we really zeroed in on that if everyone does there part it takes 11 you are going to get points out of that."

Nutt said he's been impressed with the way his team has focused of South Carolina, which comes to Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Nov. 5.

"They have done a good job of coming out here with a good attitude and trying to get better," Nutt said. "That is all you can ask for to have your team come out and get better each time you take the field. They have really laid it on the line this season."

Arkansas returns to the practice field today. Nutt said he is looking to get some scrimmage time in for the younger players.

Another Honor For McFadden
Arkansas freshman tailback Darren McFadden quickly is becoming a national celebrity.

On Tuesday, McFadden picked up his second honor in as many days when Rivals.com selected him as the national Freshman of the Week.

McFadden, a 6-foot-2, 210 pounder from Pulaski Oak Grove, learned about his latest award shortly after practice Tuesday.

"Yeah, just heard about it two minutes ago," McFadden said. "It's a great honor to be considered one of the top freshmen in the nation.

"It feels real good.

McFadden said he had no individual goals heading into the season.

"No," he said. "I just told myself I was going to come out there and work my way into the rotation."

On Monday, McFadden was named as the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week for the second-consecutive time.

Talk about a breakout season.

McFadden rushed for a career-high 190 yards on 31 carries and scored 2 touchdowns in last Saturday's 23-20 loss against No. 4 Georgia on the road. It was the third-consecutive 100-yard rushing performance setting a school record for 100-yard games by a freshman.

In addition, McFadden set the Arkansas single-game rushing record by a freshman held previously by Darryl Bowles (169) and eclipsed the school single-season freshman rushing mark previously held by Cedric Cobbs (668). McFadden has rushed for 682 yards in seven games this season.

And oh by the way, McFadden also earned Hogwired.com Offensive Player of the Week honors for the fifth-consecutive time this season.

Hogs On TV Again
Don't touch that dial!

Arkansas hosts South Carolina in its final game in Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Nov. 5. The homecoming game is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports (Cable Channel 7).

It marks the Razorbacks' third appearance on JP Sports this season. Arkansas appeared on the regional network earlier this year at Alabama and at Georgia. The Arkansas-Southern California game was televised by FSN on Sept. 17.

Arkansas' season finale against LSU will also be televised nationally at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 25 by CBS Sports from Baton Rouge, La.

Aren't You?
Razorbacks freshman tailback Michael Smith worked out Tuesday for the first time since his team went into pads.

"Yeah, he came back out today," Nutt said. "He looked good. He looked good. He was on the scout team for us today, got in some individual work.

"He did some good things."

Nutt, however, said Smith still would redshirt this season.

Nutt also said tight end Mason Templeton and linebacker Weston Dacus missed practice because of banged up knees.

Both injuries were minor.

Here's Your Sign
Arkansas players were greeted with a couple of motivating signs as they headed to practice Tuesday afternoon.

Both signs were on white sheets of paper with black lettering.

One read: "WIN in FAYETTEVILLE." The other read: "THEY REMEMBER in NOVEMBER."

For the record, Arkansas is 14-4 in November since 2001. It is 20-10 since Nutt arrived in 1998.

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