McFadden Earns More Praise

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Darren McFadden is becoming a household name everywhere he goes.

McFadden's whirlwind tour across the Southeastern Conference made a stop in Williams-Bryce Stadium on Saturday, and like most everywhere else McFadden has appeared, the people of South Carolina came away very impressed.

Well, at least most people did.

While you might expect a 25-carry, 219-yard, two-touchdown game to gain the praise of everybody who saw McFadden razzle and dazzle his way through South Carolina defenders, there was one man who appeared to be a bit dazed and confused by what the Arkansas tailback had done.

"We stopped him a lot," said South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier.

Oh, really?

McFadden's evening began with an innocent 3-yard run off tackle, and maybe that's where Spurrier stopped watching. Because after that, the Razorbacks' possible Heisman Trophy contender (at least next year) waxed Spurrier's Gamecocks for 216 more yards, two critical touchdowns and one serious blow to an apparent overblown ego.

McFadden? He was just happy to have another solid game.

"The offensive line, they did a great job of blocking and they always do a great job of blocking," McFadden said. "Fullbacks, tight ends, receivers, everybody did a great job of blocking.

"We just were hitting the holes they opened for us."

With his 219 yards, McFadden became the first Arkansas tailback to rush for more than 200 yards since Fred Talley went for 241 against Auburn in 2002.

His 1,038 yards on the season give McFadden back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, becoming only the third player in school history to accomplish such a feat.

And with 2,151 yards in his short career, the Little Rock native is already 11th on the school's all-time list — and the first sophomore to ever hit 2,000.

Frankly, these are numbers superstars are made of.

After Saturday, even more people are convinced McFadden belongs in this category.

"They'll see. They'll see," Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said. "They'll see (Darren) is one of the best.

"We've got a good football team and a lot of teammates help him, but he deserves to be one of the best backs in America."

Most would agree.

Perhaps even Spurrier will come around one day, as well.

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