Way Back Wednesdays: A Wild Night in Tuscaloosa - 2007

Each Wednesday, we take a look back at a memorable and/or important (to us, anyway) Razorback game. So, sit back, relax and let the memories (and, in some cases, the heartache and angst) flow.

In September 2007 - when this site was just more than a month old and went by the possibly-copyright-infringing name of Razorback Expats - Alabama dealt the football Hogs what I think is their most heartbreaking defeat since John and I entered the highly glamorous and highly lucrative Razorback blogosphere.

The contest was the second game of what would turn out to be Houston Nutt's final season as Arkansas' coach and just the third game of Nick Saban's tenure at Alabama. The Hogs, featuring the dynamic running back duo of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, were ranked No. 16 heading into the contest, but the unranked Tide charged out to leads of 21-0 and 31-10 before the Bryant-Denny Stadium crowd. 

But the Razorbacks didn't fold. In the second half, Casey Dick threw for two touchdowns, and Darren McFadden ran for two more. Just like that, Arkansas had a 38-31 lead with a little more then 8 minutes to go … and that's when our heartache began.

Saban made a controversial decision to settle for a field goal with just more than 4 minutes left in the game, and Leigh Tiffin shook off the case of the yips that had so memorably plagued him in Fayetteville the year before to nail a 42-yard kick to trim the Hogs' lead to 4 points. Arkansas was stopped on its next possession after 6 plays, and the Tide began their final drive drive on their own 27 yard line. After a couple of at least semi-controversial pass-interference calls on the Hogs, Matt Caddell hauled in a 4-yard pass from floppy-haired Tide quarterback John Parker Wilson with 8 seconds to play for the game-winning touchdown.

When this wild and draining contest was over, each team had 450 yards of total offense, and Nutt had some predictable comments. "I thought that we started playing football like we know how to play it," he told the AP. "We showed a lot of heart and a lot of character. I really thought this was our game."

For Hog fans, the pain was intense (the ending prompted this loquacious post from my co-editor), and, unfortunately, the game set the tone for a disappointing season. Less than three months later, Nutt was the coach of Ole Miss. (This may be of some small comfort for Hog fans - it isn't for me - but Alabama did have to subsequently vacate this victory due to some sort of NCAA violations.)

Hopefully the 2010 season will prove to be every bit as fun as 2007 was frustrating but for now let's wallow in our misery a little: What are your memories of this heartbreaking evening? 

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