Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CONFERENCE CALL; Bells (and Other Noise) Won't Be Ringing

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CONFERENCE CALL; Bells (and Other Noise) Won't Be Ringing

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO

Hope Mississippi State fans enjoyed freely ringing their cowbells in the season opener, because they're illegal again.

Though the NCAA repealed its crowd noise rule during the offseason, it granted the Southeastern Conference permission to keep its rule banning artificial noisemakers. The league announced Thursday that the penalty structure for the rule will be in effect starting with this weekend's games.

The SEC had asked the NCAA Football Rules Committee to allow it to keep enforcing its rule banning artificial noisemakers with a warning, a 5-yard penalty (second offense) and a 15-yard penalty (any subsequent offense). Even though that penalty structure was eliminated when the NCAA eliminated its crowd noise rule, the rules committee granted the SEC's request. ... Arkansas has switched quarterbacks, and it'll be highly touted freshman Mitch Mustain who gets the start for the Razorbacks on Saturday.

To quote Gomer Pyle, which is fitting, because we are talking about Arkansas: Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Well, not really. Coach Houston Nutt hired Mustain's high school coach from nearby Springdale to be the Razorbacks' offensive coordinator, and Mustain is the most talented of the Razorbacks' quarterbacks.

That didn't keep Robert Johnson from winning the starting job during preseason practices, though.

Johnson wasn't terrible in Arkansas' loss to Southern California (12 of 25, 110 yards), and one of the two interceptions he threw came off a tipped pass that receiver Marcus Monk should have caught.

Mustain led a touchdown drive in the fourth quarter in garbage time, and threw one interception.

That was enough for Nutt to see, though, because - after long conversations with offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and quarterbacks coach Robert Wood - he sent Johnson to wide receiver and promoted Mustain. …

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