Hogs Tailback Has Tough Time Finding Running

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Arkansas sophomore tailback Darren McFadden had as much trouble finding room to move in a cramped, crowded locker room as he did against Mississippi State defenders on Saturday.

McFadden, a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate, was bottled up most of the afternoon but still managed to put up better-than-average numbers to help lead the No. 5 Razorbacks to a 28-14 win against the Bulldogs.

He took a pounding on every snap and never could break loose from a tough MSU defense.

His numbers weren't eye-popping -- he had 84 yards on 26 carries -- but he raised a lot of eyebrows with a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

That kickoff return moved Arkansas in front 14-7 with 54 seconds left in the opening period.

"We've been waiting to break a big one all year," McFadden said. "I just hit it running and my guys sealed their blocks.

"That was about it.

"We needed some momentum because we were leaving our defense out there too long. We needed some momentum. It didn't matter who it came from, it had to come from somebody.

"I just so happened to get it."

McFadden struggled mightily against a stingy Mississippi State defense from the start. He had only 7 yards on 5 carries in the first quarter, 21 yards on 11 carries at halftime, and only 41 yards on 18 carries after three quarters.

"They got after our butt," Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said. "Yeah, they got after our butt. We figured they would. We were able to hit a play or two and our defense played a great game.

"It wasn't easy."

McFadden, though a bit disappointed, said he halfway expected things to go the way they did Saturday.

"They brought it to the field today," McFadden said. "There's something about schools in Mississippi, they come to play ball. It was frustrating, but that's football.

"Sometimes you know not everything is going to go your way."


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