Nutt Updates Status on His Stars

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt talks about his team's game vs. the Auburn Tigers and updates the injury status of Darren McFadden and Marcus Monk.

Fayetteville, Ark.--Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said on Monday that his star tailback will be ready for Saturday night's football game vs. the Auburn Tigers. However, the status of his star receiver is uncertain.

Tailback Darren McFadden had his sore ribs checked by doctors on Monday, Nutt said, and the report was a good one.

Wide receiver Marcus Monk, who has not played this season due to a knee injury, is trying to come back this week, the coach said.

Arkansas defeated Chattanooga 34-15 on Saturday night while Auburn is coming off a 35-7 win vs. Vanderbilt.

"He had a scan today on his rib cage and I think he is doing good," Nutt said of McFadden, who has rushed for 100 or more yards in all five games this season. "I talked to the doctors and he is going to be fine. There is a little cartilage there...but nothing serious."

Also on Monday, McFadden agreed with his coach that he will be ready on Saturday night to face the Tigers, a team the tailback said features fast and athletic players on defense.

Commenting on Monk, who caught a touchdown pass last year in the Razorbacks' 27-10 victory at Auburn last year, Nutt said, "I would love to say yes, but I don't think he is going to be ready. He is trying every single day. He is getting a little closer. We just don't know for sure if he will be able to play this weekend."

Darren McFadden

Arkansas is the defending SEC West champion and is again putting up huge numbers in the running game with McFadden and Felix Jones leading the charge. Jones is averaging 126.2 yards per contest compared to 155.8 for McFadden.

"The biggest difference (this year) is we don't have Marcus Monk," Nutt said of his offense. "Marcus Monk had almost 1,000 yards catching the ball last year so that's a huge loss."

Auburn will bring a 4-2 record into Saturday's 6:45 p.m. kickoff at Razorback Stadium. The Tigers are 2-1 in the SEC while Arkansas is 0-2 in the league and 3-2 overall.

"One thing our team realizes is this has always been a big time of year for us," Nutt said. "Last year was very, very huge going to Auburn when they were ranked No. 2 ranked in the country and we have always had a lot of respect for Auburn.

"Our guys have always played them very tough because they know it is a big game," Nutt added. "They know we are back in the SEC. They know they are very physical, very athletic. It's that time of year when you get back in the SEC."

Nutt said that he believes his tailback tandem of McFadden and Jones compares favorably to the former Auburn pair of Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown who led the Tigers to an unbeaten season in 2004.

"These guys are special," said Nutt of his stars. He notes McFadden and Jones are also both excellent kickoff returners. "They can catch the ball, they can block for each other and Darren can do all of those things plus throw it. It is a tremendous combination with both them with great speed. When they are both on the field it is just a tremendous weapon for us. I have to rank them up there with Cadillac and Brown and some of those guys."

Commenting on the former Tigers, who moved on to the NFL, Nutt said, "I have a lot of respect for Cadillac and Ronnie Brown. I played against both of those guys and know how good they are. I feel like our guys are very similar in a lot of ways and both of them are just as important to our team as they were to their team."

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