September 16, 2007

Tough pill to swallow

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt was still thinking 'what if' on Sunday after losing a tough 41-38 contest to Alabama on Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.

The Razorbacks trailed 21-0 after the first quarter and 31-10 in the third period before rallying to take a 38-31 lead with 8:08 remaining in the game. Alabama came back with a 42-yard field goal by Leigh Tiffin and followed that with a 4-yard pass from John Parker Wilson to Matt Caddell with eight seconds remaining to win it.

"It was a tough, tough pill to swallow," Nutt said Sunday. "We knew the first five minutes would be the key to handle all the craziness, emotions and frenzy they would be in. We gave them 21-0, and that's a tough way to start.

"We didn't execute very well and turned it over early to put our defense in a bad spot."

Despite spotting Alabama the three-touchdown lead, Nutt found positives with the way his team handled the adversity. Arkansas outscored the Crimson Tide 38-10 after the first quarter until 4:20 remained in the game.

"I was really proud of the way they played," Nutt said of his squad. "We came back and started putting a couple of drives together in that second quarter. Then, all of a sudden, in that third quarter you felt like we're going to win this ballgame. We just stuck to our knitting, and [Darren] McFadden is the best back in the country."

McFadden suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter after also suffering cramps at various times in the game. Arkansas got the ball back after Tiffin's field goal cut Arkansas' lead to 38-34, but without McFadden they were three-and-out giving the ball back to Alabama.

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