Keys To Arkansas' 17-14 Loss To Wisconsin
"You've got to score points, especially when you get opportunities on their end of the field," Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said. "When you come away empty-handed, that really hurts." Right away, the Razorbacks showed a knack of struggling to score when the chances came their way as Jeremy Davis missed a chip-shot 30-yard field goal after Arkansas had driven to the Wisconsin 9-yard line. Then on three consecutive possessions in the third quarter, Arkansas failed to come away with even a single point despite driving inside the Badgers' 40 on each drive. Missed opportunities. "The defense was out there playing so hard and you want to put it in there for them," Arkansas wide receiver Marcus Monk said. "We just couldn't do it, so we've got to put it behind us and move on." -- VERNON TARVER 2: McFadden Not Himself Darren McFadden hurried out of the Citrus Bowl stadium lockerroom following Arkansas' 17-14 loss to Wisconsin. Unfortunately for Razorbacks' fans, McFadden wasn't as elusive on the field. That's because McFadden was clearly still suffering the ill effects of a high ankle sprain he suffered during Arkansas' SEC Championship Game against Florida nearly one month ago. "He wasn't 100 percent coming into this thing, no doubt," Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said. "But he came out and gave a good effort and still did some good things for us." Still, McFadden was limited and due to that, Arkansas' offense was limited as well. Despite finishing with 89 yards on 19 carries, McFadden -- the Doak Walker Award winner and Heisman Trophy runner-up -- was unable to perform his full duties, lining up in the Wildcat package on only a handful of plays while attempting just one pass. "He played hard," wide receiver Marcus Monk said. "He played hard and gave it all he could. And with his leg and all, I give credit to him." McFadden refused to give excuses, injury or not. But there's no doubt Arkansas would have been better off with a healthier star in this one. "I was a little banged up, but it's a ballgame," McFadden said. "You know, I'm going to play banged up." -- VERNON TARVER 3: Badgered On Special Teams Special teams gaffes by Arkansas and big plays on special teams by its opponents cost the Razorbacks in losses to LSU and Florida. And once again, the Hogs failed to win the special teams battle Monday in their loss to Wisconsin. Nothing personified this more than the wacky, and heady, play made by Wisconsin punter Ken DeBauche. Arkansas senior Darius Vinnett broke around the edge of the Badgers' blocking and dove to deflect a DeBauche punt early in the second quarter. DeBauche chased down the ball, scrambled and fired a pass to Joe Stellmacher for an apparent first down. "We practice that situation early in the fall," Bielema said. "Well, not exactly that, but situations like that." The play didn't stand -- Wisconsin had an ineligible player downfield. But DeBauche's surprisingly accurate throw did earn him another punt attempt. Arkansas ended up losing 55 yards of field position. The Razorbacks went three-and-out, and Wisconsin immediately drove for a touchdown to go up 17-7. Then, there was the missed 30-yard field goal by Jeremy Davis on the Hogs' opening possession, his sixth straight miss. Minutes later, Wisconsin's Taylor Mehlhaff drilled a Capital One Bowl record 52-yarder. The greatest source of frustration for Arkansas coach Houston Nutt, though, didn't come until late in the second quarter. Wisconsin's Ben Strickland broke through the Arkansas line, blocked Jacob Skinner's punt and recovered it. "You can't give up a blocked punt. You just can't do that," Nutt said. -- Ryan Malashock 4: Hill Stuffed By Hogs Defense Arkansas figured to have trouble stopping burly Wisconsin freshman running back P.J. Hill. Behind a massive, 1,596-pound offensive line, Hill amassed 1,533 yards this season. Monday in the Capital One Bowl, he gained just 36, averaging just 1.9 yards on 19 carries. "We just wanted to be physical with them," Arkansas defensive tackle Keith Jackson Jr. said. "That's how we stopped the run. That's about it." A pretty simple game plan netted a pretty ugly rushing total for the Badgers. It wasn't enough for the Razorbacks. Wisconsin's passing game torched Arkansas' secondary at times. But the Hogs' physical dominance ensured the Badgers wouldn't eat up clock like they had in the most of their 12 wins this season. Hill's six first-half carries went for 11 yards. Different Razorbacks stepped up in stopping Hill on every carry. Jackson, Ernest Mitchell, Sam Olajubutu, Matt Hewitt, Weston Dacus and Jamal Anderson all recorded stops on Hill in the first half. Things didn't get much better for Hill in the second half. In fact, Hill gained 23 of his 36 yards in the fourth quarter, 20 on Wisconsin's final drive that took almost four minutes off the clock. "They really stuffed the running game, and they didn't let us get going there," Stocco said. -- Ryan Malashock 5: Badgers Bear Down On Last Drive Nothing Wisconsin did on offense in the second half seemed to work against Arkansas on Monday. That is, until late in the fourth quarter when the Badgers needed to move the ball to keep the Razorbacks from getting one more shot on offense with significant time left on the clock. Wisconsin's offense went three-and-out on its first five possessions of the second half, for a total of minus 10 yards. Running back P.J. Hill, whose 1,533 yards rushing coming into the game were the seventh-best total for a freshman in NCAA history, had just 13 yards on 10 carries after three quarters. Ahead 17-14 with 4 minutes, 5 seconds remaining, however, the Badgers got the ball back and the offense finally broke through -- driving deep into Arkansas territory until finally giving the ball back on downs to the Razorbacks with seven seconds remaining. "We had a little strategy that we go to to milk the clock down as much as we could," Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said. On the drive, Hill rushed seven times for 20 of his 36 yards in the game. "I think that last drive is just classic Wisconsin football," Badgers quarterback John Stocco added. "Time left on the clock at the end of the game and we just want to go down and run the clock out -- that's just classic Wisconsin football." -- KURT VOIGT
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Cats Picked To Win SEC CrownThe voters at SEC Media Days are convinced: Kentucky has reloaded.
AllWildcatsWednesday at 10:13 AM
Arkansas On Game Days | Tailgate TravelsAs much fun as it is being at an Arkansas football game, the pregame can be just as enjoyable, especially if you have an RV. Head out to Fayetteville to see what makes the…
Scout CFBYesterday at 9:20 AM
"They Are Playing Really Good Football"Arkansas Coaches Bret Bielema and Dan Enos talk about facing Auburn this weekend and the challenges that presents for the Razorbacks.
Inside The AU TigersWednesday at 9:26 AM
Scout's Top 25 Recruiting ClassesScout has a new top school in the recruiting rankings. Take a look at capsules for the top 25 classes in the country, including a new number one.
Scout FootballMonday at 10:20 AM