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Weber State to take on Arkansas

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Calling it an opportunity his football program couldn't pass up, Weber State athletic director John Johnson announced that the Wildcats have accepted an invitation to play at the University of Arkansas on Oct. 6.

It'll be Div. I-AA Weber State's first-ever football encounter with a team from the powerful Southeastern Conference. Wildcats coach Jerry Graybeal has already challenged his players to make the trip to Fayetteville, Ark., a memorable one by showing what they're made of. Arkansas, obviously, is a huge favorite to win the game.

Even so, Weber State will come out winners as well thanks to a projected payday in excess of $250,000. Johnson said last week's nationwide cancellations in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania has left programs scrambling to fill unexpected vacancies in their schedules.

Arkansas was scheduled to play North Texas on Sept. 15, but the teams lacked similar bye weeks the rest of the season. Weber State was in a similar situation with Eastern Oregon. Earlier this week, however, the Wildcats cut a deal with NAIA power Carroll College of Helena, Mont., to play at Stewart Stadium on Oct. 6 when Weber State originally had a bye.

Johnson said Carroll College will be compensated for Weber State's late decision to play at Arkansas instead. Razorbacks athletic director Frank Boyles finalized the deal with Johnson via telephone Friday afternoon.