Rocky Topped

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- By the time Tennessee scored its final touchdown Saturday afternoon, Arkansas was on its second quarterback and running back Felix Jones was on one leg.

The images of Darren McFadden running wild for 321 yards against South Carolina's defense while impressing Heisman Trophy voters were long gone.

So were the thoughts that Arkansas' high-scoring offense would have no trouble racking up yards and touchdowns against Tennessee's suspect defense.

Last week, the Razorbacks couldn't do anything wrong offensively. Turns out, they couldn't do anything right in a 34-13 loss to No. 22 Tennessee in front of an announced crowd of 104,459 in Neyland Stadium.

"The whole team was out of rhythm. We never got it going," McFadden said. "I never got it going."

Heading into Saturday, Arkansas (6-4, 2-4) boasted the Southeastern Conference's highest-scoring offense at 41.1 points per game.

But the Razorbacks looked like a completely different team than the one that gained 542 yards rushing and 651 yards of total offense in last Saturday's 48-36 win over South Carolina.

The passing game was ineffective. The offensive line was pushed around. And with Jones forced to miss most of the game with a deep thigh bruise, the WildHog formation proved to be a non-factor against the Volunteers (7-3, 4-2).

"To tell you the truth, I just think they had the right calls to our right plays most the game," Arkansas fullback Peyton Hillis said. "We didn't have very many snaps offensively, and we just couldn't get anything started.

"And I think we put ourselves into positions to fail at times."

Particularly in the first half.

Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick completed only three passes for 13 yards, and McFadden didn't do much more with six carries for 25 yards before halftime.

As a result, the Razorbacks found themselves in too many third-and-long situations and facing a 20-3 deficit at halftime.

Over the first two quarters, Arkansas earned only one first down, fell short on all five of its third-down conversions and held the football for only 9 minutes, 5 seconds.

Tennessee, in contrast, gained 13 first downs to keep the ball for 20:55 in the first half.

"They kept us out of sync. They did a good job of defending the run and putting us in situations where we were going to have to throw the ball up," Dick said. "We've got to be able to go out there and execute."

The loss snapped Arkansas' three-game winning streak. It also kept coach Houston Nutt winless in Knoxville and put him firmly back on the hotseat heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

"We got beat today," Nutt said.

To make matters worse, Jones suffered a deep thigh bruise less than five minutes into the first quarter when he was pulled down by his facemask on a 48-yard kickoff return.

Nutt held out hope that his star tailback would be able to return, but Jones spent much of the game standing on the sideline with his right thigh wrapped in a bandage.

Without the elusive junior, the WildHog formation -- in which McFadden lines up at quarterback -- wasn't nearly as productive as it was in last year's 31-14 win over Tennessee.

"It hurts a lot," Arkansas offensive coordinator David Lee said of losing Jones. "When he's gone, you realize how much of a big-play guy he is."

Jones finished with three carries for three yards, his lowest total since rushing for a minus-1 yard against Vanderbilt as a freshman in 2005.

McFadden had just 22 carries for 117 yards, a far cry from his record-tying night against South Carolina a week ago.

"He's a great back, but he's not going to win the Heisman Trophy in Neyland Stadium, I promise you that," Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo said.

Nutt, meanwhile, decided to bench Dick and replace him with backup Nathan Emert with the Volunteers leading 27-6 with 55 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Nutt had hoped that Emert would have a hot hand and jump-start the offense, but it didn't happen.

In his first series, Emert was flagged for intentional grounding on first down, overthrew 6-foot-6 wide receiver Marcus Monk on second down and was sacked for a 3-yard loss to end the drive.

Arkansas' offensive woes were most evident midway through the second quarter when Nutt opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 from his own 45. The result: Hillis was stuffed at the line of scrimmage for no gain.

"You've got to be able to make six inches," Nutt said.

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