He hit open receivers, made plays and avoided costly turnovers, bouncing back from last week's struggles at Tennessee. Arkansas' coaches said Dick hasn't been the reason for the four losses this season. But he was an integral part of Saturday's win.
Running Backs — B+
No Felix Jones? No problem. The backfield churned out 206 yards without one of its biggest weapons Saturday. The big play was missing, but McFadden (88 yards) teamed with fullback Peyton Hillis (65 yards) to form a solid one-two punch against an MSU defense determined to stop Arkansas' ground attack. McFadden and fullback Farod Jackson also caught touchdown passes. McFadden threw one, too.
Wide Receivers — B+
Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said the biggest reason for Saturday's offensive success was receiver Marcus Monk, who looked healthier than he had at any other point this month. Nutt said Monk remains limited and played only 10 to 12 snaps, but caught three passes for 52 yards and a touchdown. Senior Robert Johnson was equally impressive, pulling down three balls for 71 yards and two scores.
Offensive Line — A
The Razorbacks' new lineup in the trenches held its own against the Bulldogs. Senior Robert Felton moved from right guard to left tackle. Redshirt freshman DeMarcus Love stepped on the field at right guard. The front five didn't allow a sack against the Bulldogs' physical defensive line. It also paved the way for Arkansas' running backs. The line helped the Hogs gain 429 yards.
Defensive Line — B+
The defensive line set the tone early in the game, when tackle Ernest Mitchell forced a fumble on MSU's first possession. The Razorbacks used a five-man front in the first half and held the Bulldogs to 80 rushing yards. Defensive end Adrian Davis had two tackles for losses. Backup Antwain Robinson turned in the biggest play, intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter and returning it 30 yards for a touchdown.
Linebackers — C
Arkansas' linebackers didn't make much of an impression against MSU. Was it because the Razorbacks used a five-man defensive front early in the game? Or was it because MSU spent the entire second half chucking the ball downfield? Either way, senior Weston Dacus led a group that didn't turn in much visible production with four tackles. Junior Freddie Fairchild added three tackles.
Secondary — D
Yes, safeties Kevin Woods and Matt Hewitt, and cornerback Michael Grant intercepted Wesley Carroll passes. But Arkansas' secondary gave up too many big plays against an anemic passing attack. Carroll threw for a career-high 421 yards against the Hogs. Receiver Jameyel Smith caught 10 passes for 208 yards. The Bulldogs scored on 80- and 35-yard touchdown passes. Not good.
Special Teams — B
Placekicker Alex Tejada made his only field goal attempt and added six extra points. It gave him 102 points, which is tied for the school's single season record for kickers (Kendall Trainor — 1988). Punter Jeremy Davis was solid, averaging 41.7 yards a punt. He knocked one out at the MSU 4. Arkansas had no big returns, but wasn't hurt much by MSU's dangerous returner Derek Pegues, either.
Coaching — A
The questions surrounding Nutt's job status were on the players' minds, but the staff found a way to use it as a rallying cry instead of a breaking point. The baseball bats worked, too. The Hogs did a solid job on offense, getting other weapons involved with Jones on the sideline. Defensive coordinator Reggie Herring's plan stopped MSU's run game, but the secondary couldn't put the clamps on receivers.
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