|McFadden's first big highlight came against Alabama|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 13 September 2007 01:40|
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -Darren McFadden raced toward the left sideline and into the clear - only one man had a shot to catch him.|
Roman Harper had a decent angle, but McFadden brushed him off with a quick stiff arm and continued to the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown.
Those types of plays are common now for McFadden, Arkansas' Heisman Trophy candidate. But he was a relative unknown in the game in 2005 at Alabama, when that touchdown run past Harper provided the first real glimpse of what the tailback was capable of.
``I was on the sideline. That was a big play he made,'' said Alabama safety Rashad Johnson, whose team hosts No. 16 Arkansas on Saturday night. ``That's something that we can't have Saturday.''
Harper is now with the New Orleans Saints, so that was no stiff McFadden warded off with his arm. In fact, that part of the play helped make it memorable.
``I remember that,'' Alabama cornerback Simeon Castille said. ``We're definitely going to have to look out for that.''
After that game, McFadden rushed for over 100 yards in five of his next six and added another 70-yard touchdown run at Georgia. He finished his freshman season with 1,113 yards rushing.
Last season, McFadden ran for 1,647 yards and finished second in the Heisman voting.
McFadden has never shied away from contact. At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, he can beat defenders with his speed and his power, and he's quick to use his strong arms if anyone gets near him.
``It's something my dad just taught me when I was younger, I guess,'' McFadden said of his stiff arm. ``I've been doing it maybe 10 years now - I guess it's just got better and better as time went on.''
The 2005 Alabama game was McFadden's first start as a Razorback. He finished with 95 yards on eight carries in Arkansas' 24-13 loss.
``He took it almost 80 yards against a great defense,'' Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said, referring to McFadden's touchdown. ``We knew that he was special.''
Last year, McFadden ran for 112 yards and a touchdown against Alabama, and the Razorbacks won 24-23 in double overtime. He scored one touchdown in that game, and his longest run was 29 yards.
Only 29 yards? The Crimson Tide would probably be happy with that this weekend.
Alabama allowed 66.5 yards rushing per game in wins over Western Carolina and Vanderbilt to start the season. But those were barely warmups for what the Tide will face when the Razorbacks come to town.
Alabama's defense will try to avoid the big play - and avoid McFadden's stiff arm.
``He hasn't gotten one on me, thank the Lord,'' Castille said. ``I need to knock on some wood. I have seen it, you know.''
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