This Week in the SEC: Arkansas

<b>INSIDE SLANT</b><br> Say this for the Arkansas Razorbacks: they don't give up without a fight.<p> Predicted by many preseason polls to finish last in the SEC West after losing 18 starters and 29 starters from last year's team, the Razorbacks opened the season with three wins and a two-point loss to No. 5 Texas in their first four games.

The Razorbacks also opened at Florida on Saturday with a 38-7 third-quarter deficit, but rallied to make it a game and trailed just 38-30 with 6:47 left in the game.

"We never feel like we're out of the game," Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones said.

Unfortunately for the Razorbacks (3-2, 1-1 SEC), they were too far out of the game to come all the way back against the Gators.

"We waited a little too late," Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said. "And you cannot do that against a good team."

While the Razorbacks refused to accept any moral victories, they did learn something about themselves that could carry over to the rest of the season, starting with this week's open date preparation for an Oct. 16 game at eighth-ranked Auburn.

"I could tell we weren't out of it by the faces I was looking into," Nutt said. "I felt like these guys really felt like they could win, and they proved it by fighting back.

"It's easy to give up in a game like that, but our guys stuck together, and that's what you love. We've got a lot of young guys who refused to quit and kept fighting."


GAME BALL GOES TO: QB Matt Jones -- He's not supposed to be a passer, but he completed 23 of 39 passes for 252 yards and rushed 10 times for 68 yards, becoming Arkansas' all-time leader in total offense with 7,100 yards, and pushing the Razorbacks back into the game. "Matt is the magic man," wide receiver Steven Harris said. "He always finds a way to bring us back."

KEEP AN EYE ON: WR Steven Harris -- He teamed up with Jones to catch six passes for 114 yards.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Coach Nutt told us that anybody who didn't think we could come back and win should leave. That gave us a lot of motivation, and we came back out and gave it our all. "I just wish we could have gotten that game into overtime. I think we could have won it then." -- Arkansas freshman receiver Marcus Monk.


LOOKING GOOD: The Razorbacks trailed 38-7 in the third quarter but rallied to cut the deficit to 38-30 with 6:47 left in the game.

NEEDS SOME WORK: What are the Razorbacks doing trailing 38-7 in the third quarter anyway? The comeback gives Arkansas something to build on in the near future, but the Hogs can't expect to beat good SEC teams on the road after falling behind by 31 points. "In the second half we played Razorback football," DE Jeb Huckeba said. "But in this league, if you give a team that big of a head start on you, not many times are you going to come back."

ROSTER REPORT: Arkansas came back without one of their most productive players. Freshman RB Peyton Hillis suffered a bruised back and kidneys in the first half and spent the second half in street clothes on the sidelines. TE Jared Hicks (shoulder), TE Mason Templeton (hand) and WR Carlos Ousley (bruised ribs) all suffered injuries during the Florida game. CB Chris Houston did not play because of a high ankle sprain. All five are expected to rest and heal during this week's open date and be ready for Arkansas' Oct. 16 trip to Auburn.

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