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SEC Opponents Battling Fatigue

November 06, 2003|From Times Wire Services

A battered Arkansas team, coming off a 71-63 seven-overtime victory over Kentucky, plays host to struggling South Carolina tonight in a Southeastern Conference game at Little Rock, Ark.

Arkansas (5-3, 2-3) lost running backs Cedric Cobbs, who had been the SEC's leading rusher, and De'Arrius Howard to injuries, forcing Coach Houston Nutt to move DeCori Birmingham to tailback from receiver.

Birmingham carried 40 times for 196 yards and two touchdowns against the Wildcats. Although Cobbs played briefly against Kentucky and Howard was ready to play, Birmingham received the majority of carries.

Fatigue could be an issue for both teams. South Carolina (5-4, 2-4) lost at Mississippi, 43-40, after trailing by 29 points in the third quarter. The Gamecocks are making their second trip in five days.

"Little Rock is just a difficult place to play," said Gamecock Coach Lou Holtz, who is 1-3 against the team he coached from 1977-83. "I think we're going to play pretty well, but you never know. For a short week, I think it's been a positive plus for us."

Holtz said that even though Arkansas played such a long game last week, winning the way it did gives the Razorbacks an advantage.

"Arkansas is coming in off a great win and what an upbeat and uplifting thing that is," he said.

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Omar Laurence, a starting cornerback for Central Florida, was arrested by university police and charged with having a gun on campus and stealing another gun during an on-campus fight. He was suspended by Coach Mike Kruczek pending the outcome of the criminal charges.... Wisconsin running back Anthony Davis will sit out Saturday's game at Minnesota because of recurring ankle injuries.... Tulane running back Mewelde Moore has a broken bone in his left hand that will require surgery, and he is expected to sit out the rest of the season.

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