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College Football Season
Game Of The Week

Tennessee at Arkansas

By Douglas Kroll

If many people across the nation saw Tennessee-Arkansas circled on the calendar, who would have thought, besides Hogs fans, that Arkansas would have the higher ranking? Well, such is the case as the Vols travel to Fayetteville to take on the surprising Razorbacks.

Through nine games, Arkansas is the only team without a conference loss in the SEC. Who would have thought that? The only defeat came in the first week of the year to USC. The Razorbacks need two wins in their last three games to clinch a trip to Atlanta, and a date with the Florida Gators.

All is not that well in Arkansas, though, even with an 8-1 record. Running back Darren McFadden has been one of the best backs in the nation, averaging 115.3 yards per game. Arkansas as a team, runs for 238.9 per game, which is fourth in the nation. McFadden was banged up in the game last week against the Gamecocks, but he has said throughout the week that he should be ready to go Saturday at home.

Meanwhile, last week’s win at South Carolina sparked a quarterback controversy. Starter Mitch Mustain was replaced by Casey Dick who threw for 228 yards. Mustain was replaced after he threw an interception in the first series of the game.

Razorbacks' coach Houston Nutt has said this week that the team needs both of the quarterbacks, meaning we may likely see Mustain in the ballgame at some point.

Tennessee is coming off of a heartbreaking loss to rival LSU last Saturday, in which the Vols came back to take the lead with back-up QB Jonathan Crompton throwing the go-ahead TD pass with 7:29 left in the game. But the Tennessee defense couldn’t hold and the Tigers scored with seconds remaining to take the win in Knoxville.

Crompton, a redshirt-freshman, was in the game due to an injury to starter Erik Ainge. Head coach Phillip Fulmer hasn’t ruled out Ainge starting on the road Saturday, after spraining his right ankle against South Carolina two weeks ago, and tweaking his left ankle against LSU this past weekend.

The loss last week knocked the Vols out of contention to get to Atlanta for the SEC title game, and any real chance of a BCS bowl. After the game, three Tennessee players were arrested for underage drinking, including starting running back Adrian Foster. Fulmer suspended Foster for the first half of this week's game, David Holbert for the entire game, and Antonio Wardlow for two games. Tennessee has now been relegated to the spoiler role and despite the suspensions, that's something Arkansas should be very weary about.

Douglas Kroll is an independent contributor to College Football


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