TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama receiver Matt Caddell had been quietly pulling duty as a blocker and a decoy, going without a catch in the first two games.
That all changed in the final two drives of the Crimson Tide's 41-38 win over Arkansas that ended with his leaping touchdown grab with 8 seconds left.
Caddell suddenly became the Tide's go-to guy with star DJ Hall hobbled late by a sore quadricep. He had six catches for 54 yards on the final two drives for a field goal and his 4-yard touchdown, and two other balls were thrown his way. Caddell's nine-catch game was only seven fewer than he had all of last season.
But the soft-spoken senior didn't use it as a chance to gripe about his lack of chances in the first two games, or lobby for more.
He knows opportunities like the one he had Saturday don't arise every game. But Coach Nick Saban said Caddell has been preparing all year and seized the chance when it came.
Saban wasn't the only one to take note.
Caddell said he had "80-something" text messages waiting for him after the game and some 20 missed calls. He got to watch his TD catch replayed on ESPN's SportsCenter.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)