Arkansas continues march through SEC with rout of Ole MissOct 21, 2006 - 8:07 PM FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas (Ticker) -- Darren McFadden and Arkansas took another emphatic step toward the Southeast Conference West Division title on Saturday.
McFadden scored a pair of touchdowns and the 15th-ranked Razorbacks made a triumphant return to conference play with a 38-3 victory over Mississippi.
Arkansas (6-1, 4-0 SEC West) was coming off a 63-7 victory over Division I-AA Southeast Missouri State. But it was a 27-10 triumph over then-No. 2 Auburn two weeks ago that thrust the Razorbacks into the driver's seat in the division.
Off to its best start in conference play since a 5-0 start in 1998 - coach Houston Nutt's first season in Fayetteville - Arkansas started fast and never let up.
Felix Jones returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a TD to give Arkansas a 7-0 lead. After Ole Miss went three-and-out, Arkansas responded with an eight-play, 43-yard drive that McFadden capped with a four-yard TD run.
Jones, an All-American kick returner as a freshman last year when he finished second in the nation with a 31.9-yard average, also had a 100-yard return last year against Mississippi State.
"The kickoff return set the tone for the game," Nutt said. "We talked about it last week that Felix Jones was a block away from a kickoff return. It set a positive tempo."
McFadden finished with just 39 yards on 14 carries but he did add two catches for 85 yards, including a 70-yard TD in the third quarter that extended the Razorback lead to 28-3.
"It was a good game and a good victory," Nutt said. "The defense did a great job and we didn't have a turnover. With that, we have a great chance of winning."
Joshua Shene kicked a 27-yard field goal in the second quarter for the Rebels (2-6, 1-4 West), who have dropped six of their last seven games.
Last week, Ole Miss lost a 26-23 heartbreaker in overtime at Alabama. The Rebels did not display any of that fight Saturday, gaining just 245 total yards.
"There is no way we had the same mental attitude we had against Alabama," Rebels coach Ed Orgeron said. "This is the SEC and you have to be mentally prepared for every team. Anytime you score three points, I don't think anybody did a good job."
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