FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Keith Jackson picked off the pass and
started upfield. Only Kevin Ballatore had a chance to bring him
A 296-pound defensive tackle against a 205-pound quarterback? No
"I just gave him a stiff arm and just kept running," Jackson
Jackson rumbled 69 yards for a touchdown, making his final
homecoming day a memorable one in No. 17 Arkansas' 63-7 win over
Southeast Missouri State on Saturday.
The Razorbacks (5-1) were in the Top 25 this week for the first
time since 2003, and they looked the part while dismantling the
Division I-AA Redhawks. Darren McFadden ran 52 yards for a
touchdown on Arkansas' first offensive play, and Felix Jones added
an 85-yard scoring run in the second quarter.
The Razorbacks were coming off a 27-10 win at then-No. 2 Auburn,
and coaches had been concerned about a letdown. Instead, Arkansas
rolled to its most lopsided victory since a 60-0 victory over Tulsa
"We kept our blinders on, which is what we need to do for every
game," said coach Houston Nutt, who was celebrating his 49th
birthday. "We just had more depth than they did and we were able
to play almost everybody on the sideline."
Southeast Missouri State (3-3) is 1-11 against I-A teams since
moving to I-AA in 1991.
"We expected the game to be like this," Redhawks coach Tony
Samuel said. "Arkansas is a good team and we don't match up."
McFadden finished with 71 yards on only six carries, and Jones
had 106 on just five. Neither running back had a carry in the
Instead, they watched redshirt freshman Michael Smith, who
finished with 116 yards on eight carries. Smith ran for touchdowns
of 10 and 11 yards in the second quarter, and Arkansas led 42-0 at
"With Darren and Felix, I know I won't get that many
opportunities so I'm just trying to show the coaches that I'm ready
whenever they need me," Smith said.
Another player who doesn't get that many chances to score is
Jackson, the son of former NFL tight end Keith Jackson. The elder
Jackson broadcasts Arkansas games on the radio, and he was shown on
the big screen, excited, after his son scored.
Southeast Missouri State had driven into Arkansas territory in
the second quarter, then tried a trick play. Receiver Antonio
Scaife took a lateral pass near the sideline and tried to throw
back to Ballatore on the opposite side of the field.
The pass was short, and Jackson intercepted it and made it 21-0.
"I thought we might have to give him oxygen when he got back to
the sidelines but I am very proud of him," Nutt said of the
McFadden, who entered as the Southeastern Conference's leading
rusher, eluded several tacklers as he broke down the left sideline
on his first carry. Anthony Lumpkin grabbed at him for a bit as
they ran, but the Arkansas sophomore eventually brushed him off on
his way to the end zone.
McFadden made it 14-0 with a 2-yard run later in the first
quarter, ending Arkansas' only scoring drive of the first half that
took longer than 1:21.
The SEC West-leading Razorbacks have won five straight for the
first time since a six-game streak in 2002. Arkansas also snapped a
string of three straight losses on homecoming day.
Arkansas was able to rotate quarterbacks. Mitch Mustain went
5-of-13 for 51 yards with a touchdown pass, and backup Casey Dick
was 8-of-9 for 98 yards and two TDs. Clark Irwin also took a few
snaps toward the end.
Ballatore did most of the passing for the Redhawks. He finished
8-of-28 for 108 yards with two interceptions.
Southeast Missouri State trailed 49-0 when it finally scored on
John Radney's 8-yard run.
Jones' scoring run was the Razorbacks' longest for a touchdown
since Ben Cowins went 89 yards against Houston in 1976.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Darren McFadden put on his pads. He ran for two touchdowns in the first quarter -- including a 52-yard run just three minutes into the game.
Gameball goes to... Michael Smith and Casey Dick. The backup running back and QB, respectively, got some valuable game time, combining for over 200 yards and four TDs.
Stat of the game... 17: Seventeen different Arkansas players threw, caught or ran the ball for the Razorbacks in their 63-7 rout of overwhelmed SE Missouri State.