UA Grid Update

That was the reaction of Arkansas coach Houston Nutt when asked Sunday whether he'd let Darren McFadden break the school's career rushing mark Saturday night in the running back's hometown.



McFadden has gained 3,417 rushing yards in his Arkansas career, 153 short of the all-time record held by Ben Cowins.

"If it works out that way, then fine," Nutt said. "But if (he's) at 138 (yards) at halftime, and if we're up 45-7, then he probably won't get (the record) in Little Rock.

"There's plenty of ball left."

Nutt spent a few moments comparing McFadden to Cowins, one of his teammates at Arkansas.

"Well, I handed off the ball to Ben Cowins," Nutt said. "I know how tough Ben Cowins is. He was a great, great back. Darren McFadden is a back who's just as tough as Ben Cowins, and that's saying a mouthful because Ben's very, very tough.

"But Darren probably has an extra gear. I think Ben would agree with me. He has a little faster twitch, more take-home speed."



Smith Returns

Sophomore running back Michael Smith returned to team activities Sunday. Smith was suspended by Nutt after being arrested last Sunday on felony charges of forgery and theft by receiving a stolen credit card.

Nutt said Smith, previously Arkansas' third-string back, would lift and run Sunday. He said Smith still had duties to fulfill with Arkansas student life director Rodger Hunter before returning to practice this week. He said he wasn't sure yet if Smith would be available for Saturday's game.

"He'll probably start practicing (this week)," Nutt said. "We may even go scout team with him a little bit, maybe a day or two. We'll go one day at a time.

"I think it probably hurt him pretty good missing a game like (North Texas). It's a pretty good lesson, where, ‘You're not there? OK, somebody else (Brandon Barnett) will go for 100 yards.'"



Defensive QB

Arkansas succeeded in stopping a North Texas passing game that was ranked third nationally before Saturday's game. The Razorbacks held the Mean Green to 189 passing yards, and Nutt singled out a handful of his defensive backs Sunday.

He saved his most praise for last, though, for his starting free safety.

"Kevin Woods has been very, very valuable because of his special teams play, because he can play strong safety, free safety," Nutt said. "He's really been a quarterback for us back there with his leadership. He's been excellent."



Barnett Progress

Nutt commented on Thursday that he was concerned about Barnett because the junior college transfer hasn't taken any hits. Barnett rushed for 105 yards on 16 second-half carries but lost a fumble right at the goal line.

"He got a little winded, he got a little tired," Nutt said. "He was a little out of shape. He did some good things. ... But he's got to protect the ball. That was really the first time he's been hit since the scrimmage in the fall."



Under Control

True freshman defensive end Damario Ambrose tied for the team lead in tackles with eight. Nutt said he'd see more snaps as the season wore on, as long as he plays under control.

"He's sometimes out of control, but here's what you know about Ambrose, he's going to go 100 miles an hour. He's going to play real, real hard," Nutt said.



Extra Points

Arkansas' opponent Saturday night, Division I-AA Tennessee-Chattanooga (1-3), will take home $325,000 for traveling to Little Rock. ... Nutt said Jerell Norton would receive more attention this week during punt return practice and possibly contribute more in that area. ... Nutt commended backup quarterback Nathan Emert for his calmness and composure throughout Saturday's second half.


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