Mcfadden Has Big First Half; Arkansas Routs North Texas 66-7
Saturday, September 29th 2007, 9:41 pm
By: News On 6
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Darren McFadden rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns _ all in the first half _ to lead Arkansas past an overwhelmed North Texas 66-7 Saturday night.
The Razorbacks (2-2) snapped a two-game losing streak, gaining 507 yards in the first half against a North Texas team that has allowed 220 points in four games. The Mean Green (0-4) are still winless under new coach Todd Dodge, who appears to have a substantial rebuilding project on his hands at what was once the Sun Belt Conference's top program.
North Texas lost its season opener at Oklahoma 79-10. Arkansas appeared headed for a similar point total before slowing down in the third quarter. The Razorbacks led 45-7 at halftime.
Felix Jones ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns, and like McFadden didn't carry the ball once in the second half. The Razorbacks were coming off tough losses to Alabama and Kentucky that had coach Houston Nutt under fire, but Arkansas fans didn't have much to be upset with on this night.
North Texas' defense actually held on Arkansas' first drive, but a penalty on a punt gave the Razorbacks a first down. They went on to score on that possession _ and on each of their next four.
Jones opened the scoring with a 35-yard run, and Casey Dick made it 14-0 with a 61-yard touchdown pass to London Crawford. That was the longest pass of Dick's career. He finished 12-of-21 for 210 yards and three touchdowns, and backup Nathan Emert entered in the third quarter.
McFadden, last year's Heisman Trophy runner-up, made it 24-0 late in the first with a 2-yard touchdown run. Earlier that drive, North Texas' Antoine Bush tried to catch McFadden near the sideline. McFadden stiff-armed Bush so powerfully he knocked the defensive back's helmet off.
Dick threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Robert Johnson early in the second quarter, and Jones made it 38-0 with a 71-yard touchdown run. Jones appeared to be trapped near the line of scrimmage, but he was able to elude a tackle and cut toward the sideline. He then changed direction, barely staying in bounds, and sprinted up the sideline to the end zone.
McFadden added a 4-yard touchdown run, and North Texas quarterback Giovanni Vizza scored on a 1-yard run with 1:24 to play in the half.
Arkansas finished with 713 total yards, 446 on the ground. The Razorbacks scored early in the third on a 5-yard pass from Dick to Lucas Miller.
Arkansas wasted a couple good scoring chances late with fumbles near the North Texas goal line, but Brandon Barnett scored on a 5-yard run with 5:36 remaining. Barnett, a junior college transfer who had no career carries entering the game, ran for 105 yards.
North Texas' Jamario Thomas, who led the nation in rushing in 2004, was held to 48 yards on the ground.
Arkansas' Jerell Norton scored on a 100-yard interception return in the final minute.
Attendance was 66,343, the lowest in Fayetteville since the Razorbacks went 4-7 during the 2005 season.