Mississippi State spent so much time last week waiting for Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones to run the option or the draw or to take off running on a pass play that it opened up opportunities for his teammates, as he handed off or threw from the pocket.
"If you notice," Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said, "we got seven or eight runs of 7, 6, 7 and 8 yards early because they are waiting on Matt. It took them about the middle of the second quarter to realize, 'Hey, this guy ain't running today.'"
Arkansas coaches figured out Jones wouldn't be doing much running Saturday earlier in the week because of a pulled hamstring he suffered the previous week against Ole Miss.
Nutt did a successful job of talking his way around it during the week, and the Bulldogs weren't ready for a different version of Jones come game time. Regardless of the state of Jones' hamstring this week, Nutt hopes to keep LSU guessing going into Friday's game in Little Rock.
"I wouldn't ask me this week how is Matt doing," Nutt said. "Because I won't know. You know how he practices... We don't know he won't be 100 percent by Friday."
Arkansas (5-5, 3-4 SEC) must beat No. 12 LSU to earn a winning regular-season record and bowl eligibility. The Razorbacks have earned six consecutive bowl trips.
Copyright (C) 2004 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.