McFadden Takes Place At Quarterback

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas running back Darren McFadden found himself in a unique position Saturday: He lined up at quarterback.

Arkansas' second touchdown — a 4-yard run by McFadden with 9:43 left in the first quarter — came when the sophomore took a direct snap from center.

McFadden caught the snap, faked a handoff to fellow running back Felix Jones like an option quarterback and ran up the middle for the score.

"It was just something we put in the offense this week. We were just trying it out," McFadden said of the trick play. "We worked on it in practice, and it was doing pretty good in practice so we went ahead and tried it in the game."

McFadden lined up at quarterback several times throughout the 38-3 win over Ole Miss. Quarterback Mitch Mustain lined up at wide receiver, and McFadden either handed the ball to Jones or ran it himself.

Call the play an homage to honorary captain Don Christian, who wore No. 41 for the Hogs as a quarterback and sometimes single-wing tailback in the 1950s. In the single wing, the snap went directly to the tailback.

Arkansas, Fans Impress Bowl Representatives

Representatives of the Capital One Bowl and the Cotton Bowl attended Saturday's game.

Sam Etheridge and Dan Becker of the Capital One Bowl selection committee said they liked what they saw of the Razorbacks and their fans, as did Cotton Bowl vice president Charlie Fiss.

"We enjoyed having Arkansas in our bowl in 1999, and maybe it's about time to have them back again," Etheridge said.

Arkansas lost 45-31 to Michigan in the 1999 Florida Citrus Bowl, the forerunner to the Capital One Bowl.

The Orlando, Fla., bowl game generally matches the second-best team from the Southeastern Conference against the second-best from the Big Ten Conference, although there are exceptions.

"This year, the Big Ten could possibly have both Ohio State and Michigan in BCS games," Etheridge said. "Then we would get the third-best Big Ten team."

Speaking of appeal, Etheridge said, "Arkansas' fans were pretty good last time, as I recall. We walked around the stadium today, and it was fun to talk to them. They have a lot of enthusiasm.

"If that's an indication of a good traveling team, we need to go back and report that to the committee."

The Capital One Bowl game will be played at noon on New Year's Day.

Arkansas has played in the Cotton Bowl 11 times, most recently in 2002 when the Hogs lost 10-3 to Oklahoma.

"We always love to have Arkansas and its fans," said Fiss, a Springdale native.

The Cotton Bowl matches teams from the SEC and Big 12 conferences.

Prior to Saturday's games, Fiss said Nebraska, Missouri and possibly Oklahoma or Texas A&M appeared to be top possibilities as the Big 12 representative.

The Cotton Bowl is played at 10:30 a.m. on New Year's Day.

Electric Start

Weather for Saturday's game was listed as 60 degrees, with a 13-mph wind from the south and scattered clouds.

But the sun broke through brightly just before kickoff, perhaps portending a dynamic start by Arkansas.

There were more empty seats than for the previous Saturday's homecoming game against Southeast Missouri State. But the announced crowd of 73,445 erupted when Felix Jones took the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.

Jones, flanked by fellow deep man Darren McFadden, used an early block by Farod Jackson, broke left and followed Mitch Petrus, Kevin Woods and Elston Forte along the sideline. Only the Ole Miss kicker, Will Moseley, remained.

Petrus used good judgment in tagging Moseley without clipping him, and Jones was on his way for the eighth 100-yard kickoff return in Arkansas annals. Jones had the most recent one, against Mississippi State last year.

Boyd Cypert also had two 100-yard returns for Arkansas, against Missouri School of Mines and Drury in 1911.

Jones' play took just 18 seconds, which included the time the kick was in the air.

Costly Win

Hogs defensive coordinator Reggie Herring said Saturday's game left his defense with major injury issues. Defensive end Antwain Robinson hurt his left ankle, and linebacker Sam Olajubutu hurt his left knee.

"Robinson's ankle is not broken, but it's so tender right now," Herring said. "Sam got a (neck) stinger, but the knee is a lot more serious. We hope it's a bruise, not a turn or twist. He's got a pro career on the line and yet he begged to go back in. He put his teammates first."

Asked if Olajubutu had cartilage damage, Herring said, "There's no way to know right now. I do know I'm not gonna play him next week, regardless. I can't take a chance."

Robinson is termed "doubtful" for the Louisiana-Monroe game.

Quick Strike

Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick said about his fourth-quarter, 45-yard TD pass to London Crawford: "Coach (Houston) Nutt and coach (Gus) Malzahn wanted to take another shot down the field, and I agreed completely. I told London to just start running and I'd throw him the ball. He caught it in the end zone. Yes, the play is in our offense."

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