ARKANSAS HOOKS 'EM
The Arkansas-Texas rivalry has such a rich history that it's hard
to believe that before last Saturday, the two teams hadn't met in
the regular season since 1991. After the Razorbacks beat the No.
6 Longhorns 38-28 in Austin, Texas might wish it hadn't revived
the matchup. "I'm the one who scheduled the game," Longhorns
coach Mack Brown said. "So you don't have to look anywhere but
here to place the blame."
Brown pushed for the home-and-home series largely because he
wanted to honor legendary former coaches Darrell Royal of Texas
and Frank Broyles of Arkansas. In the 1960s Broyles and Royal met
in several games with the national championship in the balance,
including the No. 1 Longhorns' 15-14 victory over the No. 2 Hogs
in 1969, a battle that became known as the Game of the Century.
The Razorbacks celebrated Saturday's win by waving an Arkansas
state flag on Texas's home field, exactly the kind of scene that
Texas AD DeLoss Dodds had hoped to avoid. Dodds was leary about
scheduling the game because he feared it would help the Hogs gain
a recruiting foothold in Texas, but Brown and Royal helped
Georgia's 31-7 win over South Carolina was more than a key SEC
matchup, it was a showdown between creative statistics keepers.
Gamecocks coach Lou Holtz has added the category of "loafs" for
his offensive linemen as a way of measuring their hustle. If a
lineman is caught on the game tape walking downfield behind the
ballcarrier, for instance, he is charged with a loaf.
In the coaches' meeting room at Georgia, Mark Richt keeps a board
showing thermometers that display the number of penalties
incurred by position. The idea is to motivate each assistant to
make sure his unit doesn't have the highest reading. The final
score on Saturday suggests that Richt's idea is more effective.
Although the Bulldogs were flagged eight times for 68 yards
(compared with South Carolina's seven times for 71 yards), the
Gamecocks were called for the most crucial penalty, a holding
call that negated a 27-yard TD pass in the second quarter.
FACES IN THE GAME
Name: Tom Ables
Occupation: Public relations and marketing executive
Claim to Fame: Ables, a 1950 San Diego State grad, has missed
only two Aztecs games in the last 58 seasons. San Diego State's
34-0 win at Texas-El Paso on Saturday was the 612th game he has
attended during that span.
The Games He Missed: In 1950 he couldn't afford to fly to Hawaii,
and in 1964 his doctor told him he was too ill to attend a game
against Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. "I know I was too poor for the
first one," he says, "but I'm still not convinced I was too sick
for the second."
Most Memorable Road Trip: He once ducked out of a business
seminar in Phoenix on Saturday morning, flew to the Bay Area to
watch the Aztecs play San Jose State, then flew back in time for
the evening portion of the program.
Why He Keeps Going: "We almost pulled off a huge upset at Ohio
State [on Sept. 6]--outplayed them in every department. If I had
missed it, I'd still be kicking myself."
Call Louisiana Tech coach Jack Bicknell the king of late-game
miracles. He was the center for Boston College in 1984 when Doug
Flutie threw the famous Hail Mary pass to beat Miami, and he now
has three last-minute wins in his five seasons as Bulldogs coach.
In '99 Louisiana Tech defeated Alabama on a 28-yard touchdown
pass with :02 remaining; last season the Bulldogs beat Oklahoma
State with a 23-yard TD pass with 1:00 left; and on Saturday they
overcame a 12-point deficit in the final 1:09 to knock off
Michigan State 20-19 on an 11-yard touchdown pass with two
seconds to go. Afterward Spartans senior guard Paul Harker said,
"We didn't just shoot ourselves in the foot. We took a bazooka
and blew it off."