While former Arkansas QB Mitch Mustain believes former Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt is partly to blame for why he never reached his potential, Nutt blames Mustain’s attitude.
Mustain started at Arkansas in 2006 as a true freshman. He was the top quarterback prospect in the country coming out of high school, but by January 2007, he had announced he was transferring to USC. In an interview on CBS Sports Radio earlier this week, Nutt responded to Mustain’s complaints about the former coach in the documentary “The Identity Theft of Mitch Mustain.”
“In my 31 years of coaching, that was the worst scenario ever,” Nutt said. “(Mustain) came out of Springdale (Ark.), he’s a 5-star Parade this, Parade that, and Casey Dick, my starting quarterback, was hurt at the time. So he played and played in the first six or seven games, and of course don’t forget the supporting cast was pretty good: Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, Peyton Hillis, Marcus Monk. So we didn’t ask him to do much. But once Casey Dick was ready, we put him back in. That’s where everything went crazy.”
The Razorbacks won seven straight games in 2006 with Mustain as their starting quarterback, then he was removed in a Nov. 4 victory vs. South Carolina after throwing an interception on the first series. Nutt elected to take Mustain out in favor of Dick since the latter was back from his injury.
Mustain wasn’t the only one who was upset by his benching. Some Arkansas fans thought he should remain the starter even after Dick was ready to play.
“It’s a tough situation when you have parents, you got a lot of people there in the community, that have this notion that this guy should be a Heisman Trophy candidate as a freshman and he should be doing this, he should be doing that,” Nutt said.
The former coach said his older players didn’t appreciate Mustain’s attitude either, and that Mustain “couldn’t handle it” when the upperclassmen tried to put the freshman in his place.
Mustain went on to be a backup at USC for Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley.