Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Pigs

Its that time yet again. The Rebels and the Arkansas Hogs meet each other this weekend. Neither team has won an SEC game this year and this should be an interesting game. The Arkansas run game vs the Ole Miss defense probably means alot of yards for the duo in the Razorback backfield.

Houston Nutt, the coach of Arkansas, is probably making his last trip to Oxford. Many of the Razorback faithful are ready to get rid of Houston and find a new guy to lead the Hogs. There have been lots of on the field and off the field problems for Arkansas, and it has evidently taken a toll on the Razorbacks this year. Personally I do not think Houston Nutt is that bad of coach, he has taken Arkansas to Atlanta multiple times in his tenure.

As far as this game goes, the Rebels are looking to bounce back from a very emotional loss last weekend. The have evidently had a very good couple of days of practice this week. I think that loss last week took the focus off the record this year for a little while and brought the fanbase together to rally around this team. So I will pick the Rebels to win this game by 4 points. I figure they will eventually win one I pick them to. We have said it once and we will say it again: "The Rebels really need this win."

A few notes from UMAA

ARKANSAS HEAD COACH HOUSTON NUTT: Houston Nutt (Oklahoma State, 1981) is in his ninth season as the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks. He is 70-47 with the Razorbacks and has a career mark of 106-69 in 15 seasons a collegiate head coach. Prior to Arkansas, Nutt served four seasons as the head coach at Murray State from 1993-1996, posting a 31-16 record, and coached Boise State for one season in 1997, leading the Broncos to a 5-6 mark. Nutt is 6-3 against Ole Miss.

ARKANSAS SCOUTING REPORT: After consecutive non-conference victories over North Texas and Chattanooga, the Razorbacks remained winless in SEC play with a 9-7 home loss to No. 22 Auburn on Saturday. The Arkansas offense is scoring 36.7 points per game and boasts the SEC’s top rushing attack with a 293.2-yard average. Heisman Trophy candidate Darren McFadden leads the conference in rushing at 137.0 yards per game, while fellow junior RB Felix Jones is third with a 112.2-yard clip. Jones also tops the league in kickoff return yards (31.6 ypr) and all-purpose yards (188.5 ypg), just ahead of McFadden (167 ypg). Jones and McFadden are second and third, respectively, on the team in receptions with nine for 79 yards and eight for 61. The team’s top receiver also comes out of the backfield in senior FB Peyton Hillis, who boasts 22 catches for 237 yards and two TDs. Junior QB Casey Dick has completed 72-of-140 passes for 847 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions. The Razorback defense is allowing 23.3 points and 342.0 yards per game. Senior SS Matt Hewitt leads the D with 52 total tackles and eight QB hurries. Senior CB Michael Grant has 40 tackles and nine pass break-ups, while sophomore Jerrell Norton has 22 stops, three interceptions and seven break-ups at the other corner. On the line, sophomore Malcolm Sheppard tops the unit with 7.5 TFLs, while fellow end junior Antwain Robinson has the most sacks with two. True freshman K Alex Tejada has connected on 10-of-12 field goals and 26-of-27 PATs

ARKANSAS REBELS: The Ole Miss roster features only one player from the nearby state of Arkansas: Maurce Miller (West Helena).

HOG TIES: Rebel head coach Ed Orgeron and defensive coordinator John Thompson have strong Arkansas ties. One of Orgeron’s first coaching jobs was as an assistant strength coach for the Razorbacks, 1986-87. In addition, Orgeron’s wife Kelly is a native of Jonesboro, Ark. Thompson also hails from the Natural State and had two separate stints on the Arkansas football staff. In 1982, he served as a graduate assistant working with the defensive line, and in 2000, he returned as co-defensive coordinator, helping the Razorbacks rank second in the nation in pass defense and first in the SEC in total defense. Thompson was defensive coordinator in 2001, when the team earned a Cotton Bowl berth. Before arriving in Oxford, he spent two years as the athletics director at his alma mater Central Arkansas.