No. 9 Razorbacks try to keep success going

Friday, September 26, 2003

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Arkansas corralled the Texas Longhorns a week after Alabama came up short against No. 1 Oklahoma.

The Razorbacks pounded North Texas the day Northern Illinois upset the Crimson Tide.

It's been that kind of year for the two division rivals entering Saturday's meeting:One team on the rise and the other at times in the dumps.

So why isn't Houston Nutt feeling more at ease?

"We're going to have Alabama at their best," the Arkansas coach said. "We wish Northern Illinois would have gotten beat and Alabama won, then everything would be fine. Now their backs are against the wall. They're going to come out fighting."

The Razorbacks (3-0) have barely even been challenged, trailing for only three minutes and 20 seconds in the first three games entering their Southeastern Conference opener.

Alabama (2-2, 1-0) seems, though, to have a knack for spoiling their mood. Last year, Arkansas won its first two games by a combined 83-17 only to lose 30-12 to the Tide.

"They're going to have something in their guts that they have to win this game," Alabama offensive tackle Wesley Britt said. "They're going to be aiming for us and coming after us."

The Tide has won three of the past four meetings against the defending SEC West champions. NCAA probation means Alabama can't play in the league championship game, but the team can help dictate who does play in it.

Holiday or Quinn?Irish say QB situation still up in air

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- NotreDame coach Tyrone Willingham hasn't announced yet who will start for the Irish (1-2)in Saturday's game at No. 22 Purdue.

The speculation has been that true freshman Brady Quinn will get his first start after last Saturday's fourth-quarter showing during a loss to Michigan State. Quinn came in for starter Carlyle Holiday and after one series guided the Irish to their only touchdown in two weeks when he hit receiver Rhema McKnight with a 29-yard touchdown pass.

"It has brought us to the point that we need to make that decision this week," Willingham said. "And we'll let our practices and let the previous history make that decision."

Panel denies ACC request for title game next season

RALEIGH, N.C. -- An NCAA panel has denied an Atlantic Coast Conference request to hold a football championship game as early as next season.

The decision is not binding, but it leaves the chances of playing the game in jeopardy. That could lead to a renewed push to add a 12th league member to meet the NCAA minimum requirement for holding a lucrative title game.

NCAA begins investigation into Grambling recruiting

GRAMBLING, La. -- Comments by Grambling football coach Doug Williams concerning suspended Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett have prompted an official NCAA inquiry into possible violations of recruiting rules.

The possible infraction was outlined in a Sept. 15 letter to Grambling athletics director Al Dennis.

Clarett was reportedly considering a transfer down to the Division I-AA school after he was suspended by Ohio State. He would not have had to sit out a season if he transferred down from Division I-A.

Notre Dame not ACC's focus, Swofford insists

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford said reports that the league is poised to add Notre Dame as a 12th member are erroneous.

Swofford didn't deny talking with Fighting Irish officials in an interview with The Associated Press, but said discussions have been ongoing for some time.

-- From wire reports

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