Thursday, October 16, 2003
Does Nutt have magic to pull off feat no other Arkansas team has?
LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas' game with Florida this weekend
could look a lot like the Razorbacks' game last week against Auburn
-- or Florida's game against LSU.
One key on Saturday will be how quarterback Matt Jones responds
to a Gator defense that can control the run -- and one that will
dare Jones to pass.
"He can beat you. You have to stay in front of him, get
pressure on him, and close him in," Florida defensive end Darrell
Lee said. "If you let him out, he can do a lot of damage to you
with his feet. He has the arm to beat you too. We just have to play
solid line and get after him."
Another key will be how well Arkansas will be able to rattle
Florida quarterback Chris Leak, a true freshman. Although Arkansas
has only four sacks in five games, it has harassed opposing
quarterbacks into mistakes; last week, for instance, Auburn threw
its first interception in four games.
Florida's defense last week bottled up the LSU offense, forcing
punts on eight of the Tigers' 12 possessions and turnovers on three
more. LSU did not score an offensive touchdown in a 19-7 loss --
just like Arkansas didn't score a TD against Auburn in a 10-3 loss
-- and was held to 56 yards rushing.
Against Auburn, Arkansas was held below its league-leading
rushing average of nearly 250 yards per game. Jones wasn't sharp
passing and Auburn was able to control the game.
Arkansas coach Houston Nutt says that, if he can get his players
to execute, they should be able to score against the Gators. He
cannot enter the game expecting Florida to make costly mistakes:
the Gators have given up only seven points after turnovers.
"I think it will be a physical game but, when it comes down to
it, teams will do what they have to do to win the game," Florida
coach Ron Zook said. "I don't think it will be a 'three yards and
a cloud of dust' type game."
Lee said he sees a lot of LSU in Arkansas, with a running game
supported by a quarterback who's expected to make enough big plays
to win. Describing Jones: "He's a lot like [LSU's quarterback]
Matt Mauck was."
Jones, however, is more dangerous.
ARKANSAS 17, FLORIDA 14.
AP Sports Writer Doug Pils' record last week was 7-2. The season
record is 32-19, a .627 winning percentage.
Predictions for other games being played this week:
Delta State 30, Southern Arkansas 18
Grambling State 35, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 14
Henderson State 22, Harding 21
North Alabama 44, Arkansas Tech 34
Ouachita Baptist 24, Arkansas-Monticello 10
Valdosta State 42, Central Arkansas 20