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Throwback Thursday: Arkansas vs Auburn in War Memorial Stadium 1995

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IN APEX UNIFORMS

Normally, for the Throwback Thursday series, we're going to try to highlight some previous game between Arkansas and that week's opponent. However, this is the first time Arkansas has played Toledo, so we're thinking a bit outside the box here.

We've chosen the 1995 Auburn game because in his Monday press conference this week, offensive coordinator Dan Enos said while riding around Little Rock with tight ends coach and former quarterback Barry Lunney, Lunney "probably mentioned [that Auburn game] about 10 or 20 times."

So here is that Auburn game in all its glory.

Let's set the stage: Arkansas was unranked when this game happened in late October even though the Hogs had a 5-2 record with a win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Auburn also had a 5-2 record but was ranked 11th. Arkansas needed to win this game to solidify its place at the top of the division that season, which ultimately led to the Razorbacks' first SEC West title.

This was back when War Memorial was bigger and better than Razorback Stadium and not every game was on television, so with this as a prime time game on ESPN, this became one of those famous old school Little Rock crowds.

The game got off to a crazy hot start. Arkansas kicked off, but Auburn fumbled the return and the Razorbacks began the game with a 1st-and-goal. Lunney found Anthony Eubanks in the end zone on third down and the Hogs were off. Lunney found a young freshman named Anthony Lucas for Arkansas' second touchdown later in the first quarter.

Madre Hill actually set Arkansas' all-time rushing attempts record in this game with a staggering 45 attempts. Even Houston Nutt never ran a single player that many times in one game (although he did come close: Brandon Holmes ran 42 times against LSU in 2000 and DeCori Birmingham 40 times in the 7OT game against Kentucky in 2003).

The Razorbacks ended up routing Auburn in the first half 27-0 and everything was fantastic. Well, it was fantastic until halftime was over. The Tigers nearly came all the way back, getting as close as 30-28 late in the game. This was the last year without overtime in college football so Auburn went for the two-point conversion after their last touchdown to make it a two-point game instead of kicking the extra point. Different world, man.

Arkansas played the onside kick terribly and Auburn recovered, but the Tigers were forced into a long field goal attempt and came up short. The Razorbacks held on for the win and eventually won the West to become the first team other than Alabama to represent the West in the SEC Championship Game.

Longtime Razorback reporter Jim Harris ranked this game #7 in his list of best Hog games he's seen at War Memorial, describing it like this:

When another Southeastern Conference team beats both Alabama and Auburn in the same year, it must be special, and Arkansas' shocking win on ESPN a night over Terry Bowden's Tigers was that. Arkansas forced a fumble on the opening kickoff that led to a quick score and a crowd going nuts, and the Barry Lunney Jr.- and Madre Hill-led Hogs were up 27-0 at the half before Bowden's Tigers woke up. Then, it was a frantic few moments of holding on - Danny Ford's Hogs even botched an onside kick recovery as if the Hogs had never seen one before even in practice, and maybe they hadn't - before the Tigers' last-play field goal from 40-plus yards missed.

Even though Arkansas beat Alabama and Auburn that year and won the West, the SEC dispatched Arkansas to the now-defunct Carquest Bowl in South Florida. It was a forgettable game but the year was quite memorable, with this Auburn game playing a prominent part.