Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
Hamilton inscribes his name
NWA Media/ MICHAEL WOODS - Arkansas receiver Cobi Hamilton tries to fend off Tulsa defender Mitchell Osborne as he runs for a big gain in the third quarter of a Nov. 3, 2012 game at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
FAYETTEVILLE Senior receiver Cobi Hamilton surpassed the single-season 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his Arkansas career with his 177 receiving yards against Tulsa on Saturday.
Hamilton has 1,077 receiving yards, 40 yards short of Jarius Wright’s school record (1,117) set last season; Hamilton is the third Arkansas receiver to record a 1,000-yard season.
Hamilton now has Arkansas’ single-season reception record (69), and he ranks third in career yards (2,596), within striking distance of Wright’s school record 2,934 receiving yards with three or four games remaining.
Hamilton ranks fourth nationally with 119.7 receiving yards per game and seventh with 7.7 catches per game, with both figures leading the SEC.
South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier said Sunday that ace tailback Marcus Lattimore had surgery Friday in Birmingham, Ala., to repair a dislocated knee and ligament damage sustained in the Gamecocks’ 38-35 victory over Tennessee on Oct. 27.
Lattimore will miss the Arkansas game for a second consecutive season.
He was recovering from knee surgery last year when the Razorbacks beat the Gamecocks 44-28 in Fayetteville. In his only appearance against Arkansas, Lattimore gained 30 yards on 11 carries in Razorbacks’ 41-20 victory in Columbia, S.C., in 2010.
Quarterback Connor Shaw rested the sprained foot he suffered against Tennessee during the Gamecocks’ open date last week.
“We’re hoping it’s going to be ready to practice tomorrow night,” Spurrier said of Shaw’s foot. “He needs a good week of practice. That seemed to help him in the Tennessee game.
Defense tackle Kelcy Quarles (shoulder), who was suspended for South Carolina’s road game at Florida after throwing a punch in a 23-21 loss at LSU, is expected to be ready to play against Arkansas.
Arkansas (4-5 overall, 2-3 SEC) is looking for a fourth consecutive victory over South Carolina (7-2, 5-2).
Red zone snuff
Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers leaped high to knock down a Cody Green fade pass for Keyarris Garrett on fourth-and-goal from the Arkansas 5 late in the third quarter with the Hurricane looking to pad a 15-13 lead.
“That play was huge,” Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes said. “We were in an all-out blitz. We were coming after him.
“We knew they were going to throw fades, and we kind of put pressure on our corners all week that they were going to have to make some plays on the fade.”
The Razorbacks also blitzed on the previous play, a fade for Garrett in the same right corner of the end zone that was knocked away by Arkansas cornerback Tevin Mitchel.
Both coaches made suspect fourth-down calls in the second half. Tulsa Coach Bill Blankenship passed on a 22-yard field goal attempt with his team ahead 15-13 late in the third quarter.
“We had been a little shaky with our kicks,” Blankenship said, referring to a missed PAT and a blocked PAT after Tulsa’s first two touchdowns. “That field goal would have put us up five at the time.
“It felt like to me that we were going to need a touchdown before it got over. We were committed to being aggressive today.” Ham job
Tulsa kicker Daniel Schwarz’s best move of the day was his flop after connecting on a 22-yard field goal early in the second quarter. Replays showed that the top of the helmet of Arkansas’ Tevin Mitchel might have lightly brushed Schwarz’s leg as Mitchel dived in for a block.
Schwarz’s fall earned a roughing-the-kicker penalty against the Hogs.
Tulsa got first-and-goal from the 2, but it took all four downs before Alex Singleton powered in from the 1 over the right side to pull the Hurricane within 10-6. Schwarz missed the extra point, and had his next extra-point attempt blocked by D.D. Jones with 2:49 remaining in the first half.
Not much thought
Arkansas Coach John L. Smith could afford to be funny when a failed fourthand-1 late in the game didn’t come back to cost the Razorbacks.
Smith elected to go for it on fourth-and-short from the Tulsa 16 with Arkansas ahead 19-15 and about 1:20 left on the clock, passing up a field goal try that could have given the Hogs a seven-point lead. Dennis Johnson was hit in the backfield by the Hurricane, who took over with 1:07 remaining.
Asked about the thought process that went into his decision, Smith replied, “There wasn’t much thought, didn’t you notice?
“If it was more than [fourth and 1] we would probably have kicked the field goal. In fact, we were ready to kick the field goal, then we had just hit it up in there and Dennis had made the [8-yard] run, and I thought, ‘Let’s win it right here. Put the ball in his hands and see if he can’t get it done again.’”Up to speed
Arkansas raced to a 10-0 lead with a 7-play touchdown drive to open the game and a 9-play field-goal drive on its second series. Dennis Johnson rushed for 49 yards and had 86 all-purpose yards on those possessions.
“I think [Johnson’s] speed probably was something we don’t practice against every day,” Tulsa Coach Bill Blankenship said. “Once we got up to game speed defensively, I think we played pretty well.”
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
WR Cobi Hamilton
Hamilton set an Arkansas record for receptions in a season (69) while catching 11 passes for 177 yards.
Hamilton, a senior from Texarkana, Texas, has four 10-catch games and four 100-yard games this season, both single-season Arkansas records.
DE Chris Smith
Smith led Arkansas with 8 tackles and came up with an 8-yard sack and forced fumble on Tulsa quarterback Cody Green on the Golden Hurricane’s final possession.
The junior from Mount Ulla, N.C. also batted down 2 passes at the line and had 2 hurries.
Arkansas 19, Tulsa 15
Florida 14, Missouri 7
Texas A&M 38, Mississippi State 13
Vanderbilt 40, Kentucky 0
Tennessee 55, Troy 48
Auburn 42, New Mexico State 7
Georgia 37, Mississippi 10
Alabama 21, LSU 17
Sports, Pages 20 on 11/05/2012