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ARKANSAS MIDSEASON AWARDS
Neiswanger & Abrams
The Morning News/Razorback Central
Posted Oct 15, 2008
Offensive MVP: Running back Michael Smith. The 5-foot-7 back leads the SEC in rushing yards a game (119.8). He has gone over the 100-yard mark three times. He turned in his best performance against Auburn, rushing for 176 yards on 35 carries.
. Tons of responsibility have been placed on the redshirt freshman and Franklin has responded. He leads the team in tackles (50) and has improved each week.
Receiver Joe Adams. The Little Rock native has been impressive. He is second on the team in catches (22) and yards (285). However, Adams leads the team in exciting catches.
Big Play Award:
Smith’s 63-yard touchdown run against Auburn was a pivotal moment in what could be a turning point for the Razorbacks. Smith’s legs were cramping during the run, but he managed to weave through Auburn’s defensive players to the end zone.
Boise State Award:
The Razorbacks have run one trick play, but it went for a touchdown at Auburn. Dick handed the ball to receiver Jarius Wright, who flipped it to Adams, who threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Dick. It helped Arkansas close to 20-16 against the Tigers in a game it eventually won 25-22.
Malox Moment Award:
Dick’s 25-yard completion to freshman Chris Gragg on a fourth-and-one against Louisiana-Monroe. The Razorbacks trailed 27-21 with 2:03 remaining when they called the gutsy play for Gragg, who had never caught a pass. He pulled the ball down over two defenders, Arkansas scored a few plays later and won 28-27.
Paper or Plastic Award:
Arkansas’ offensive line has given up sacks of all kinds. In fact, the Razorbacks are tied for the worst in the nation in sacks allowed (3.5 a game). But there is good news: The Hogs didn’t allow a sack for the first time this season at Auburn.
Good Casey Award:
Dick calmly and cooly led the Razorbacks to fourth-quarter comebacks against Western Illinois and Louisiana-Monroe. He threw for more than 300 yards in each game while tossing four touchdown passes and just one interception.
Bad Casey Award:
Dick threw two awful interceptions that were returned for touchdowns against Alabama. Neither pass was in the vicinity of an Arkansas receiver. Both turned into easy points.
Swiss Cheese Award:
Arkansas’ defense did little to stop Alabama tailback Glen Coffee from an easy 87-yard touchdown run during the Tide’s 49-14 win. Coffee added a 31-yard touchdown and backup Roy Upchurch went 62 yards in the fourth quarter.
Brick Wall Award:
The maligned defense stood tall in the closing minutes at Auburn. After the Tigers pushed the ball to the Razorbacks’ 5, Arkansas stopped Auburn on four straight plays to get the ball back with 1:23 left.
Welcome To College Football Award:
Unfortunately, freshman safety Elton Ford won’t forget the first time he stepped on the field. Ford lost a fumble on the season’s opening kickoff.
Charlie Hustle Award:
Adams saved a touchdown when he chased down Auburn’s Neiko Thorpe after Dick threw an interception. The Tigers had to settle for a field goal and a 10-3 lead.
The Matador Award:
It’s a tie. Dick was the last man between Alabama defenders and the goal line on his two interceptions against the Tide. Let’s just say he looked silly on both his attempts at tackling.
And the Razzie Goes To...Award:
Punter Jeremy Davis earns this infamous acting award for failing to fall down after getting hit by a defender at Texas. A little acting could’ve helped the Hogs. Petrino has said several times since that Davis “won’t be going to Hollywood.” He still could. He’d just probably star in bad movies.
Black Cat Award:
Speaking of bad luck, few players have suffered a worse season than wide receiver Marques Wade. He was suspended for the first two games and then blew out his knee in his first game back against Alabama. He had season-ending surgery.
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