RB Darren McFadden (PHOTO CREDIT: Arkansas Sports Information)

2006 Statistics

Coach: Houston Nutt
67-44, 9 years
2006 Record: 10-4
USC LOST 14-50
at Vanderbilt WON 21-19
at Auburn WON 27-10
at South Carolina WON 26-20
at Mississippi State WON 28-14
vs. Florida LOST 28-38
Wisconsin LOST 14-17

2006 Final Rankings
AP-15, Coaches-16, BCS-12

2007 Outlook

Even with the struggles at quarterback in ’06, head coach Houston Nutt was able to establish a ground attack that literally and figuratively carried his team to the SEC championship. Nutt gets almost all of his talent position guys back for his run-first approach, so all he has to do is replace the outside parts of his line to keep the offense going. But for being such a great running team (No.4 in I-A), the Hogs didn’t win the time-of-possession battles. QB Casey Dick bringing consistency to his modest efforts will cure what ails their ability to move the ball. Defensively, there are enough important cogs back in each unit to make us think improvements to their No.26 total defense can eventually occur. Only an early trip to Tuscaloosa looks like it can upset the learning curve for Arkansas as they ease in the new blood. Overall, only five real challenging contests will have some talking about the Razorback’s greased path to another West division crown. But going to Knoxville and Baton Rouge for two of their last three means this squad earns anything they get. Nutt has done more with less in the past, so their momentum from ’06 and their potentially superior ground game has us believing Arkansas can again run over even their best foes and remain a top 15 team.

Projected 2007 record: 8-4
QB - 2.5 DL - 3.5
RB - 5 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 3
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Casey Dick, 65-132-6, 991 yds., 9 TD

Rushing: Darren McFadden, 284 att., 1647 yds., 14 TD

Receiving: Marcus Monk, 50 rec., 962 yds., 11 TD

Scoring: Darren McFadden, 16 TD, 1 2-pt. conv., 98 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: Jeremy Davis, 6-13 FG, 46-48 PAT, 64 pts.

Tackles: Weston Dacus, 95 tot., 59 solo

Sacks: Antwain Robinson, 8.5 sacks

Interceptions: Michael Grant, 3 for 0 yds.

Kickoff returns: Felix Jones, 23 ret., 24.1 avg., 1 TD

Punt returns: Reggie Fish, 16 ret., 6.1 avg., 0 TD


RB/KR Felix Jones (PHOTO CREDIT: Arkansas Sports Information)
OFFENSE: Wes Murphy-TE, Tony Ugoh-OT, Stephen Parker-OG, Zac Tubbs-OT, Mitch Mustain-QB (transferred), Damian Williams-WR (transferred)
DEFENSE: Keith Jackson-DT, Desmond Sims-MLB, Sam Olajubutu-WLB, Randy Kelly-SS, Jacob Skinner-P, Chris Houston-CB (NFL), Jamaal Anderson-DE (NFL)

With just about every starter at a talent position returning, focus will be on securing the tackle spots so all of this offensive potential can be reached. Junior QB Casey Dick won’t be looking over his shoulder (since Mitch Mustain transferred), which will help this solid game manager develop more downfield prowess knowing he won’t be yanked. Dick definitely has 6’6 target Marcus Monk as a deep threat and as the Hog’s ‘go to’ guy, but expect the Lepanto-native to see lots of double-teams former QB Robert Johnson (now a full-time WR) into the spotlight more. Johnson is reportedly in the best shape of his career. Damian Williams has transferred to USC so look for others such as Crawford to step up to the plate. Felix Jones, in an effort to get him touches, will also be found out wide when he isn’t in the backfield. Their TE isn’t often utilized downfield, if at all; two-back sets as the norm mean senior FBs/HBs Peyton Hillis or Farod Jackson often stays on the field in three-receiver sets and either can be productive in the flat if not covered. In an offense that only throws it about 20% of the time, the efficiency of those few passes is all-important to keep the box from getting loaded. Still, even when extra defenders crowd the line, first-team All-American junior tailback Darren McFadden will provide yards in huge chunks. Along with classmate and fellow all-SEC selection Jones, these two are probably the best RB tandem in the country. That is why the new starters along the line are so important. Jose Valdez has the inside track at left tackle while Nate Garner graded well in his extensive reserve roll as a hybrid G/T on the right. There is substantial depth up front that just has to evolve, so expect the running game to do just as well and sacks to stay at a minimum (second in the nation with only nine allowed). This offense, for all of its ground power, only held the ball an average of 28:35 per game in ’06 – more methodical ball-control is needed to keep foes off the field and Arkansas ahead against seemingly better opponents.


C Jonathan Luigs (PHOTO CREDIT: Arkansas Sports Information)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Casey Dick-Jr (6-2, 207) Nathan Emert-So (6-2, 204)
FB Peyton Hillis-Sr (6-2, 238) Farod Jackson-Sr (6-0, 242)
TB Darren McFadden-Jr (6-2, 205) Felix Jones-Jr (6-0, 200)
WR Marcus Monk-Sr (6-6, 217) London Crawford-So (6-3, 200)
WR Robert Johnson-Sr (6-2, 210) Reggie Fish-Jr (5-7, 156)
TE Ben Cleveland-So (6-4, 235) Andrew Davie-So (6-6, 275)
Mason Templeton-Sr (6-7, 275)
OT Jose Valdez-Jr (6-6, 310) Ray Dominguez-Fr (6-5, 285)
OG Mitch Petrus-Jr (6-5, 288) Michael Aguirre-So (6-6, 310)
C Jonathan Luigs-Jr (6-4, 305) Joey Crossland-So (6-6, 325)
OG Robert Felton-Sr (6-4, 316) DeMarcus Love-Fr (6-5, 304)
OT Nate Garner-Sr (6-6, 325) Cody Green-Jr (6-6, 333)
K Jeremy Davis-Jr (5-9, 210) ..



As is true for anyone that succeeds in the SEC, the Razorback defense is taut and well-balanced to keep this team in games when the offense sputters. Junior all-SEC end Antwain Robinson is a monster who piles up stats as he contains his side without over-pursuing. RS frosh Malcolm Sheppard and senior Chris Wade will try to fill the huge shoes of early departure Jamaal Anderson, so expect to see foes pick on the side opposite Robinson until another worthy end is found to keep foes honest. The inside of the line looks better off with two starters and an experienced reserve around which to build. Add two senior starting linebackers to all of this and Arkansas should be close to as good at run stopping (33rd in ’06). MLB Weston Dacus is a lane clogger if there ever was one, while classmate Matt Hewitt is proven in coverage but could improve his bulk for better leverage against big linemen on running plays. Sophomores Wendell and Adrian Davis (no relation) will compete with classmate Freddie Fairchild for the weakside start, and the extensive experience of these three means quality depth for the corps. The secondary can also rebuild with minimal drop off in overall performance level. Matterral Richardson, their senior leader at corner, has to hope either Jamar Love or Jerell Norton can step up enough as the new starter opposite him to give balance to the coverage…otherwise, expect Richardson’s numbers to dwindle while foes pick on his counterpart and move downfield. Safety Michael Grant should be back in full from his season-ending knee injury. Experienced junior Kevin Woods will now start alongside Grant; their health is important without much behind them. There can be no letdowns like there were in ’06 if UA wants to make the bigtime (BCS), so the early tilt at Alabama will tell if this Razorback defense (and therefore the team) is for real or not.


DE Antwain Robinson (PHOTO CREDIT: Arkansas Sports Information)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Malcolm Sheppard-So (6-2, 255) Adrian Davis-So (6-4, 200)
DT Marcus Harrison-Sr (6-3, 310) Fred Bledsoe-Sr (6-3, 305)
DT Ernest Mitchell-Jr (6-2, 292) Cord Gray-Jr (6-2, 290)
DE Antwain Robinson-Jr (6-3, 255) Chris Wade-Sr (6-6, 250)
SLB Freddie Fairchild-So (6-2, 222) Chip Gregory-Fr (6-4, 207)
MLB Weston Dacus-Sr (6-2, 230) Wendel Davis-So (6-1, 205)
WLB Ryan Powers-Fr (6-2, 198) Desmond Williams-Jr (6-2, 210)
CB Jerell Norton-So (6-1, 190) Jamar Love-Jr (6-1, 195)
CB Matterral Richardson-Sr (6-0, 195) Shedrick Johnson-Jr (5-10, 185)
SS Matt Hewitt-Sr (6-3, 205) Dallas Washington-Jr (6-0, 213)
FS Michael Grant-Sr (5-11, 198) Kevin Woods-Sr (5-10, 194)
P Jeremy Davis-Jr (5-9, 210) ..




Kicker Jeremy Davis went 2-for-8 from 30+, making it tough for coach Nutt to rely on coverting for three until the offense gets inside the opponent’s 25 yard-line. Davis looks like the punter, though developments there could last through September. Hillis should be the punt returner over backup flanker Reggie Fish, and RB-tandem Jones and McFadden as kick returners (each ran one back) are so good it almost isn’t fair.