Sunday, November 4, 2007

Runnin' Down A Dream

Yes, Tom Petty sings that line, but last night's game on a cool, crisp, autumn Arkansas Saturday night almost feels like a dream this morning.

First of all, how would you like to run for 163 yards, score a career-high three touchdowns and barely be a footnote this morning in Saturday's 48-36 Razorback victory over South Carolina? Well, that's Felix Jones and his numbers and they will barely be mentioned in comparison to the one-for-the-ages performance of a one Mr. Darren McFadden last night.

It was easily the most impressive performance I have ever witnessed in person by one player at a college football game. I began the game sitting with just over 70,000 fans in Reynolds Razorback Stadium Saturday night thinking to myself 'I would love nothing more than to see D-Mac, in his last game in this stadium, roll for 150 yards and a couple of touchdowns on the newly annointed Frank Broyles Field tonigh'. Instead, I got to see the greatest running back in Razorback history and the best running back in the nation run over, run around, run through, and run by the South Carolina Gamecock defense Saturday night for an astounding 323 yards. I'm still having chills sitting here this morning just thinking about it. 323. You know you've seen something special if you're still shaking your head the next morning and can't wait to watch the game again. I don't have enough adjectives in my vocabulary this early Sunday morning to describe the "501 boy" and the unbelievable performance he put on against a quality SEC opponent.

(I checked earlier this morning, and D-Mac is still running)

As if 323 yards and one touchdown wasn't enough, D-Mac threw his second touchdown pass of the year to Robert Johnson in the second half (the only pass attempt of the second half). He set an Arkansas school record for rushing yards in a game. All of this was done on a night which was probably his last in Fayetteville (Arkansas' only remaining home game is in Little Rock in two weeks against Miss. St.), in front of a national audience on ESPN2. Do you think any Hesiman voters took notice? It was also on a night honoring legendary football coach and Arkansas A.D. Frank Broyles for his 50 years of service to the University of Arkansas. Members of his 1964 national championship team and friends returned to salute the retiring legend. His old ABC play by play man, the legendary Keith Jackson, was on hand to MC the naming of Frank Broyles Field during halftime. I was waiting for our stadium announcer to hand the mic to Keith during D-Mac's 80 yard touchdown run for a "whoa Nellie!" It never happened and it didn't matter.

(Even Frank did a little high-stepping into the endzone leaving the field after the half-time festivities)

The Razorbacks rolled up 589 yards rushing and the two teams combined for a WAC-like 1139 total yards in offense on a night in November that I'll always remember. Tennessee, you have been warned. Oh, and Felix, you have something to shoot for next year.

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