McFadden, Arkansas rout TennesseeNov 12, 2006 - 5:08 AM FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas (Ticker) -- No matter where he lined up, Darren McFadden caused Tennessee tons of problems.
McFadden rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns and passed for a score as No. 11 Arkansas remained perfect in Southeastern Conference play with a 31-14 rout of the 13th-ranked Volunteers.
Marcus Monk had eight catches for 137 yards and two TDs for the Razorbacks (9-1, 6-0 SEC West), who can clinch a berth against sixth-ranked Florida in the conference championship game with a win next week at lowly Mississippi State.
"Our guys see things and see that we might be able to win an SEC title, and they are excited," Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt said. "They know what's in front of them and they are loving it."
Arkansas is 6-0 in SEC play for the first time.
"With what happened in the Auburn game (a loss to Georgia), we knew coming in that if we won tonight we would have more cushion in the SEC," McFadden said. "The offensive line did a great job opening the holes tonight and I just had to hit them hard."
A sophomore, McFadden gave Arkansas a 14-0 lead with a 17-yard run with 12:37 remaining in the second quarter. After Tennessee halved its deficit on a 27-yard pass from first-time starter Jonathan Crompton to Robert Meachem, McFadden restored a two-score advantage with a 12-yard TD toss to Monk with 6:51 to go in the period.
"When Darren is at quarterback we are very versatile and can keep the defense guessing," Monk said. "He can hand it off to Felix (Jones), throw it or run the ball."
McFadden added a five-yard TD run with 2:46 left in the half, and Jeremy Davis opened a 31-7 cushion on a 28-yard field goal with 9:40 to play.
"It's hard to simulate the speed of No. 5 (McFadden)," Vols coach Phillip Fulmer said. "He is the best back we have seen this year."
A redshirt freshman taking over for the injured Erik Ainge, Crompton completed 16-of-31 passes for 174 yards, two TDs and an interception for Tennessee (7-3, 3-3 East), which saw its slim chances of winning its division disappear with a 28-24 home loss to Louisiana State last week.
"I expected it to be loud and hostile, but I don't think it affected me as much as I thought it would," Crompton said. "(But) I wasn't as mentally prepared for (the environment) as I should have been."
"(He's) a young guy," Fulmer said. "This environment would get to anybody. It's tough to ask him to come here and carry this team."
Casey Dick, who took over for true freshman quarterback Mitch Mustain early in a 26-20 win last week at South Carolina, went 10-of-15 for 154 yards.
"Some teams in front of us in the polls lost today, so it gave us some opportunity," Dick said. "Now after our win tonight, hopefully we will get respect."
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