Arkansas 58, FIU 10

Arkansas rolls up seven touchdowns on offense - four by Darren McFadden - and forces Florida International into 7 turnovers as the Razorbacks (5-3) roll over the Golden Panthers 58-10 before an announced Homecoming crowd of 60,750 fans at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

Elston Forte causing the fumble and Matteral Richardson scooping it up and running it back 10 yards to the FIU 11.

Arkansas couldn't get anything out of that as Dick threw an interception in the end zone.

Younger returned the favor as Jerell Norton picked off his fifth pass of the season soon afterwards.

Norton returned the pick 23 yards and McFadden eventually scored on a 1-yard run with 14:39 left in the second quarter and Tejada's PAT boosted it to 17-0.

HREF=>Florida International University dropped by Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday afternoon, picked up a paycheck and its 20th straight loss.

The University of Arkansas didn't exactly play to perfection, but got its back-up quarterback plenty of work, its defense a season-high five picks and did take care of its business during an easy win.

Darren McFadden scored four touchdowns for the first time in his brilliant career and reserve quarterback Nathan Emert filled in admirably for injured starter Casey Dick as the Razorbacks downed the Golden Panthers 58-10 before an announced Homecoming crowd of 60,750.

"I'm very proud of the effort today," Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. "I thought we played with a lot of intensity and focus for the entire game. I can't say enough about the improvement of our secondary from the beginning of the year. They are olaying well with their eyes and making plans on the ball."

Alex Tejada added three field goals of 42, 32 and 21 yards and Marcus Monk caught a touchdown pass from Emert as Arkansas (5-3, 1-3) win in advance of next Saturday's SEC game with visiting South Carolina.

"I can't wait to watch South Carolina tonight and get a better feel for their team," Nutt said. "We need to come out and have a good week of practice and get prepared to play."

Florida International, whose head coach is formeer Miami player Mario Cristobal, fell to 0-8 this season and has not won a game since December of 2005.

"We knew those guys were good on film, but they're much better in person," Cristobal said.

Nutt said it was important for his team to continue the momentum built for a 44-8 road win at Ole Miss last week.

"When you win like that and the way we did it," Nutt said, "their intensity is right and their minds and hearts are in the right places."

McFadden, who broke the school record for most rushes in a career during the game, rushed 19 times for 61 yards during the game while Felix Jones added 89 yards and a TD on 16 carries.

"It felt good to get back into the end zone today after not scoring for a couple of weeks," McFadden said. "It's hard sometimes to get up for these games when you step out of SEC play so we knew we had to stay focused and take (Florida International) seriously." As for just having 61 yards, McFadden said that is what happens with the scheme FIU brought.

"They were blitzing off the corner almost every single play so they were able to stop our running game for the most part," McFadden said. "Trying to find the running lanes was real tough today."

Cristobal said that FIU had a simple defensive plan, but it's harder to execute than plan.

"If you want to beat Arkansas, you absolutely cannot let (Felix) Jones and McFadden beat you. We loaded the box all game and they still ran for 250. When you want to tackle them, you have to grab ahold of them and hold on for dear life."

Fullback Peyton Hillis was named the Crip Hall Award winner for outstanding player in the Homecoming game with with 6 catches for 77 yards and rushed a couple of times for 15 yards.

"We played a really good game today," Hillis said. "Everybody - offense and defense - stepped it up. We executed well and had a great passing game going for us.

"We knew the whole time we had the game won," Hillis added. "It was pretty obvious in the early going. Everyone out there was just having fun and enjoying themselves and as a result, played well."

Dick was 4-for-6 passing for 36 yards before being leveled on a blitz early in the second quarter by Ashlyn Parker and being knocked out of the game with a concussion and sore ribs.

"I think he has bruised ribs and a slight concussion," Nutt said of the junior QB who went to the hospital but was back on the sidelines by the end of the game. "He took a real big hit, but hopefully he'll be okay. We will know more tomorrow or Monday."

Emert, a redshirt junior, came on and completed 13-of-25 for 154 yards and the touchdown to Monk, which came near the end of a half that Arkansas took a 31-10 lead to the break.

"I thought he was outstanding," Nutt said. "I thought he came in and gave us a lift. He was calm and collected under pressure. He handled the huddle great, the time clock - I was really proud of him."

Emert was a record-setting quarterback his freshman season at Missouri Southern before injuries hurt his effectiveness as a sophomore and he transferred to Arkansas.

"As a back-up, that's what you have to do and and I was ready to step it up," Emert said. "I was ready to make some plays and hopefully, some good things happen. It felt really good to get all that playing time. It's been a while since I played that much, but I was glad to be out there and play as much as I did."

Emert said he was proud of the passing game, which accounted for a season-high 190 yards.

"I was really happy with the way we played on offense today," Emert said. "Most of the time the opposing safeties are creeping up to the line and stopping our running backs. However, today, we are able to keep the safeties back and and keep them concerned about our passing game as well."

Monk (2 catches, 19 yards) had played only one play this season before Saturday, but started and got a plethora of snaps during this game while playing until halftime.

"It was great to have number 85 (Monk) back out there today," Nutt said. "On the touchdown, he ran a slant and go to perfection and caught the ball in the back of the end zone. He was a 1,000 yard receiver last year so with him out there, the defensive line can't overpopulate the line of scrimmage."

FIU quarterback Wayne Younger shined on the ground with 110 of his 116 rushing in the first half, but also threw five interceptions and was just 8-of-24 passing for 75 yards.

"(The corners) have worked on it long and hard before and after practice," Nutt said. "A lot of ball drills, playing better with their eyes so I have been really proud. The Michael Grant move (from safety to corner) was a very good one and those things have helped us."

Arkansas defense got things started on FIU's first possession when Matt Hewitt forced a fumble that Adrian Davis recovered at the Golden Panthers 20.

The Razorbacks had five wideouts on their first play of the game, but ended up settling for Tejada's 32-yard boot less than three minutes into the game.

The Razorbacks pushed that 10-0 on their second possession – one that began with Monk catching his first pass of the season and Dick completing 4 of 5 passes.

McFadden finished things off with a pair of 3-yard runs, the second for a score that combined with Tejada's PAT at the 7:40 mark.

"Arkansas brought a lot of pressure, which forced us to turn the ball over quite a few times," FIU quarterback Wayne Younger said. Field position is everything in football and we helped Arkansas out too much in that catergory with too many turnovers."

Norton had a pick Rashaad Johnson a pair and Kevin Woods and Michael Grant one in the victory as Arkansas' defense forced seven turnovers in all.

Dick was knocked out on the next Arkansas series, but Emert came in and finished up a 10-play, 68-yard jaunt.

The key play as a 27-yard completion to Peyton Hillis, which set up McFadden's 2-yard run and Tejada's PAT that made it 24-0 with 8:27 left in the half.

FIU cut it to 24-7 when Younger connected with Greg Ellingson on a 33-yard touchdown pass at the 5:04 mark.

Arkansas responded right away as Emert took the Razorbacks on a 10-play, 68-yard drive that culminated with his 13-yard scoring pass to Monk.

Tejada's PAT pushed it to 31-7 with 1:42 left in the half, but FIU did cut it to 31-10 on Chris Abed's 35-yard field goal as time ran out in the first half.

"You can not give a team like Arkansas that many opportunities to score," Cristobal said. "Credit the Razorback players and coaches for capitalizing on our mistakes. Some teams can get turnovers but cannot captialize. They definitely captialized tonight."

Tejada's 42-yard field goal on the Razorbacks' first possession of the second half sent Arkansas ahead 34-10.

Jones raced in from 16 yards out with 20 seconds left in third quarter and Tejada pushed it to 41-10.

McFadden's fourth touchdown came early in the fourth quarter after a bad punt snap set up Arkansas inside the FIU 10.

"We came out and played well, but we were trying to play catch-up in the second half and got away from the run," Younger said. Tejada's 21-yarder in the fourth quarter made it 51-10.

Michael Smith then went 81 yards for a touchdown with just 44 seconds left to cap the scoring.

That sets up the 7 p.m. game with South Carolina next Saturday.

"Now it's November and that is when everybody remembers," Nutt said. "We get right back into the SEC with a national television audience."

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