Mocs Run Toward Respect

LITTLE ROCK -- This was supposed to be Darren McFadden's day. Making a return trip to his hometown of Little Rock, McFadden was supposed to set the Arkansas career rushing record in front of his loyal fans, against a more-than willing cupcake from little ol' Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Apparently, someone forgot to get the McFadden memo to Bryan Fitzgerald and his Tennessee-Chattanooga teammates.

Instead of an easy pushover for the second week in a row, Arkansas found itself in a struggle for most of the night at War Memorial Stadium against the Mocs. And much to the disappointment of the 54,836 in attendance, it wasn't the McFadden show turning heads.

No, Fitzgerald was the one who took those honors.

"It feels real good today to put the numbers up," Fitzgerald said. "I just do what I do."

What Fitzgerald did, exactly, was stun the Razorbacks' defense and silence the War Memorial crowd late in the third quarter. With the Mocs (1-4) keeping things interesting -- at least on the scoreboard -- in a 24-9 game at the time, Fitzgerald really put Arkansas fans on the edge of their seats with a 65-yard run reminiscent of a McFadden dash to paydirt.

"I was just running hard. I saw one man and jumped over him and then I saw another man and made a move on him," Fitzgerald said. "After that, that was it."

Fitzgerald leaped over Jerell Norton, then made a move on Arkansas safety Kevin Woods which could only be described as special. Suddenly, one long scamper later, Fitzgerald was the running back with over 100 yards -- he'd finish with 123 on just 14 carries -- and UTC was the team turning heads.

"We've always thought (Bryan) was a quality back and that was a great run," UTC coach Rodney Allison said. "I mean the game wasn't over when he made that run, and I thought he made a terrific run."

Of course, Arkansas (3-2) eventually wore down the Football Championship Subdivision school -- formerly Division 1-AA to most -- in a 34-15 decision, but not without a scare. And for the Mocs, they'll walk away more than happy knowing they took the Razorbacks' best shot and left the ring standing.

This feels real good," Fitzgerald said. "I've been thinking about this game the whole year, thinking about what I can do against Arkansas.

"They overlooked us. There's no doubt they overlooked us. Then they came out in the second half and saw it was a ballgame down to the end."

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