Arkansas and Boise State meet Saturday

Friday, September 15th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ For Boise State, Arkansas is an opportunity to impress. For Arkansas, Boise State is a must for momentum.

The Broncos (2-0) play the Razorbacks (1-0) on Saturday night in Little Rock.

``A win over Arkansas would probably be the greatest thing that could happen to our football team from a national standpoint at this time and could just continue the improvement that this program has made,'' Boise coach Dirk Koetter said. ``The only problem with that is that Arkansas has a pretty good football team and doesn't lose many at all there in Arkansas.''

Under Houston Nutt, Arkansas has won 13 straight in the state and is 7-0 against non-conference opponents.

Nutt says the goal is always to win the non-conference games because that builds momentum. The Razorbacks open Southeastern Conference play next week against Alabama and then meet Georgia.

The Razorbacks opened the season with a 38-0 victory over Southwest Missouri State, but did not play last week.

Sophomore quarterback Robby Hampton made his first start against the Bears and completed 17-of-22 for 227 yards and two touchdowns. The Bears concentrated on stopping tailback Cedric Cobbs, making it easier for Hampton to find open receivers.

Cobbs managed only 57 yards on 18 carries and almost half of that came on one draw play.

Nutt called Cobbs' performance a wake-up call for the sophomore.

``You can never say, `OK, I am going to step out here and run for 150 yards,''' Nutt said. ``It just does not happen.''

The offensive line was partly to blame.

``As far as the execution of finishing a block, we took advantage of the last 10 days and worked extremely hard on finishing, go to the whistle,'' he said. ``You hear Cedric Cobbs' name and you get to think he's going to break one and you just don't concentrate on your job.''

Nutt said he and Boise defensive coordinator Breny Guy go back to their days together at Oklahoma State.

``I just know he's going to be well prepared,'' Nutt said. ``I know there will always be one or two little wrinkles Breny will have in store for us, besides what he's been doing.''

Guy joined the Boise State staff after Nutt left Boise in December 1997 with several of his assistant coaches in tow.

Nutt's relationship with many of Boise's players received a great deal of attention during the week.

Koetter said there is emotion in every football game, but, ``for some of our guys, there may be a little more in this one because of coach Nutt.''

He said the Broncos need to get ready to play against the Razorbacks.

``Let's get ready to play against their schemes and let's leave the emotion out of it, and after the game you guys can have a family reunion if you want to,'' he said.

``Bottom line, I will not make a tackle and I will not make a block,'' Nutt said.