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Throwback Thursday: Arkansas vs Auburn 2009

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On a Saturday morning in Fayetteville the Hogs claimed the first Fayetteville SEC victory of the Petrino era.

There are a lot of options for the Auburn week #TBT. The 2006 victory on the plains when Auburn was ranked #2 was one of my favorite days as a Hog fan. I ended up in Helena at the King Biscuit Blues Festival that night.

But that was at Auburn and this game is in Fayetteville, and it's in the morning, so we'll go with the 2009 game. The game was a fun victory regardless, but one moment in particular was unforgettable:

Ah, yes. Jericho Nelson hit that Auburn player so hard their face masks locked into each other and he ripped it off his head. It was beautiful and was a featured highlight on all Arkansas hype videos for at least the next two years. (Is that a targeting penalty in 2015? Probably. But we don't have to worry about that.)

Believe it or not, this was Arkansas' first SEC victory in Fayetteville during the Petrino era. Arkansas was just 2-2 coming into the game and Auburn was ranked and undefeated, but the Hogs had shown signs of life having already blown out Texas A&M in the inaugural Southwest Classic.

The Razorbacks played really well against the Tigers that morning, leading 27-3 at halftime. Broderick Green and Michael Smith scored rushing touchdowns and Ryan Mallett threw a beautiful over-the-shoulder pass to Greg Childs for another touchdown. Mallet ended up 24-37 for 274 yards and two touchdowns.

Michael Smith led Arkansas with 145 rushing yards on just 18 carries. The only really bad thing that happened in this game was that he re-injured his hamstring, forcing him to play sporadically the rest of the season. This was his last game with double digit carries, and he made it count as it helped the team fend off Auburn's comeback in the second half.

Yes, despite Arkansas' big lead at halftime, Auburn outscored the Razorbacks 20-7 and at one point cut the lead to 11 points, but Arkansas was able to hold them off.

Also, we had a RYAN MALLETT SCRAMBLING FOR A 1ST DOWN alert in this game. It was a 9-yard "sprint" in the first half. It's in the video, which, while it has been edited, did not cut up footage to disguise Mallett's run. No special effects there.

That comeback, even though it didn't work out, is part of why I won't ever be comfortable in a Razorback game until it's well over. Arkansas could lead by 50 and I won't be relaxed until only about a minute is left to go.