Hogs host Auburn, honor D-mac

The Saline Courier Weekend - - SPORTS - By Nate Allen

FAYET­TEVILLE - While hon­or­ing their great­est run­ning back of the past, it seems the Arkansas Ra­zor­backs presently run into trou­ble host­ing the Auburn Tigers.

As a 19-point un­der­dog, Coach Chad Mor­ris’ Ra­zor­backs, 2-4, 0-3 in the SEC West, meet Coach Gus Malzahn’s na­tion­ally No. 11 Tigers 5-1, 2-1 in the SEC West, in to­day’s 11 a.m.

SEC Network tele­vised SEC game at Reynolds Ra­zor­back Sta­dium.

Si­mul­ta­ne­ously at

Reynolds Ra­zor­back Sta­dium, the Univer­sity of Arkansas and the Na­tional Foot­ball Foun­da­tion co-honor Dar­ren Mc­fad­den, the 2005-2007 Ra­zor­backs great with two Doak Walker Awards as col­lege foot­ball’s best run­ning back and two Heis­man Tro­phy run­ner-ups, hon­ored with an on-cam­pus sa­lute for D-mac’s up­com­ing De­cem­ber in­duc­tion into the Col­lege Foot­ball Hall of Fame.

Un­for­tu­nately for Mor­ris, he doesn’t have Mc­fad­den run­ning for him like for­mer Arkansas Coach Hous­ton Nutt had. And the presently clos­est Arkansas Mc­fad­den fac­sim­ile, ju­nior run­ning back Ra­keem Boyd, has been lim­ited in this week’s prac­tices since in­jur­ing a shoul­der while rush­ing 15 times for

134 yards and two touch­downs in last Satur­day’s 24-20 SEC loss to the Ken­tucky Wild­cats in Lex­ing­ton, Ken­tucky.

Per­haps even big­ger trou­ble the Hogs run into, their de­fense again must try to run down a run­ning quar­ter­back.

Last week, with in­juries sidelin­ing Ken­tucky’s con­ven­tional quar­ter­backs, the Wild­cats’ most tal­ented of­fen­sive player, wide re­ceiver Lynn Bow­den, moved to the quar­ter­back po­si­tion he played in high school. High school hardly could have been any eas­ier for Bow­den than it was run­ning 24 times

af­ter a year un­der the late Gayle Kaun­dart in Fort Smith at Wes­tark Ju­nior Col­lege be­fore a long pro­fes­sional ca­reer play­ing then coach­ing in the NBA.

“I think it’’s go­ing to be a great game for the en­tire state,” Mus­sel­man said. “Great event for Coach Walker’s team and cer­tainly for our group as well. And then you add in the fact that it re­ally is a spe­cial op­por­tu­nity to honor Coach Richard­son and then the new court. Re­ally, re­ally a spe­cial day. Much more mean­ing­ful than just a nor­mal ex­hi­bi­tion game. And then you add the fact that Coach Walker, an all-time great Ra­zor­back player is coach­ing the op­pos­ing team, it makes it even more in­trigu­ing. This kind of takes on a life of its own.”

A large con­tin­gent of those who played for Richard­son are ex­pected to at­tend.

“I think a lot of the for­mer play­ers are re­ally look­ing for­ward to this day,” Mus­sel­man said.

Count Walker among that group. For while he played for Sut­ton, Walker be­came a staunch Richard­son friend, sup­porter and ad­mirer who will have his Tro­jans ed­u­cated on Richard­son’s im­pact on and off the court.

“My play­ers don’t know this yet,” Walker said Thurs­day evening a re­turn­ing a phone call. “But to­mor­row af­ter prac­tice we’re all sit­ting down as a team watch­ing “Forty Min­utes of Hell” (the doc­u­men­tary on Nolan named for the “Forty Min­utes of Hell” as­so­ci­ated with his style of play). So when they are out there ded­i­cat­ing that court to Nolan Richard­son they are go­ing to know who the heck he is. I’m ex­cited about the game and I’m ex­cited for Coach Richard­son.”

Mus­sel­man of course would like Vanover to be an ac­tive part in it. A Lit­tle Rock na­tive ap­peal­ing for in­stant el­i­gi­bil­ity both be­cause trans­fer­ring to the UA puts him far closer to his ail­ing grand­mother in Lit­tle Rock than does Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia, and be­cause Cal fired the head coach who signed him, for now Vanover is inel­i­gi­ble play against op­pos­ing schools, even in ex­hi­bi­tions like they can in the Red-white in­trasquad game that the Ra­zor­backs played on Oct. 5 at Wal­ton Arena.

Un­less granted ap­peals, or as grad­u­ate trans­fers, trans­fers from one NCAA Divi­sion I school to an­other must red­shirt and be­gin el­i­gi­bil­ity with their new school on the fol­low­ing sea­son.

Ju­nior guard JD

No­tae, trans­fer­ring from Jack­sonville (Fla.) Univer­sity and def­i­nitely red­shirt­ing, also sits out Sun­day’s game af­ter play­ing in the Red-white game.

While know­ing who won’t play, bar­ring a sud­den NCAA rul­ing on Vanover (Fri­day) or un­less re­cent back spasms adds se­nior for­ward Adrio Bai­ley to be in­ac­tive Sun­day, Mus­sel­man said he’s not ready pub­licly to name a Sun­day start­ing five.

“We know who it is, we’re just not say­ing it right now,”

Mus­sel­man said. He ex­plained why. “Be­cause in the past

I’ve done that, then some­one tweaks an an­kle,” Mus­sel­man said. “So there’s no rea­son to. I have talked to a cou­ple of guys and told them, ‘Hey, you’re go­ing to come off the bench. Here’s why.’ But it’s not etched in stone, mean­ing go­ing for­ward.

Sopho­more guard Isa­iah Joe of Fort Smith North­side, the lead­ing re­turn­ing scorer with two-year cen­ter Daniel Gaf­ford gone to the NBA from last sea­son’s Ra­zor­backs un­der for­mer Coach Mike An­der­son, cer­tainly seems a near cinch bet to be among the start­ing five.

Joe and re­turn­ing sopho­more guard Desi Sills of Jones­boro were the play­ers that ac­com­pa­nied

Mus­sel­man to Wed­nes­day’s SEC Men’s Bas­ket­ball

Me­dia Day in Birm­ing­ham, Alabama.

“We prob­a­bly had a com­bi­na­tion of the two youngest guys,” Mus­sel­man said. “They were awe­some.”

Sills has been voted by his peers as the Ra­zor­backs’ hard­est worker of the pre­sea­son, Mus­sel­man said.

“He thanked me sev­eral times for bring­ing him,” Mus­sel­man said. “And I said, ‘It re­ally wasn’t me, it was your team­mates that felt you’d be a great rep­re­sen­ta­tive for us.”

Joe’s cre­den­tials speak for them­selves, Mus­sel­man said.

“Ob­vi­ously Isa­iah, it goes with­out say­ing why he was there be­cause of his great fresh­man year that he had,” Mus­sel­man said.

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