Arkansas has now been in the SEC for over thirty years now. The Hogs have definitely had their ups and downs in football over the previous decade but before then they were pretty dang solid. What I want to do with this series is recap the history between Arkansas and their 13 other SEC brethren, talk about classic games, memorable plays, what ifs and coaches. I hope you enjoy the next few weeks as we dive in!
What a way to kick off this series than talking about memorable plays that happened in the SEC.
Darren McFadden goes 73 versus LSU
There will be a theme for much of this that recaps McFadden’s records and memorable moments. This one takes the cake because this team defeated the number one team and eventual national champions at their own house in Death Valley. Early on in the third quarter with Arkansas up 7-6, Casey Dick lined up at wideout as usual in the “WildHog” offense. McFadden faked his handoff and ran left down the sideline and just before LSU’s Chad Jones could race him down, Dick threw a block that secured McFadden’s run into the endzone to take a 13-6 lead. That day McFadden rushed for over 200 yards.
4th and 25 with the ball game on the line. Who knew what would be next. Brandon Allen was lined up in the shotgun and rolled right to find tight end Hunter Henry on the sideline well short of the first down marker. Knowing he would be tackled short he tossed the ball in the air for a lateral that bounces right into Alex Collins hands who ran for the first down to extend the game. Oh, the rest is history and down went the Rebels!
Mustain to Cleveland
No one really knew at the time that the last time Arkansas would defeat Alabama would be at home in 2006. Since that game Arkansas has changed head coaches five times in a span of 14 years while Alabama has only had two. The game was a thriller that had people on the edge of their seats chewing their nails off until the finish. Alabama had missed the extra point on the previous possession in overtime so Arkansas knew what they had to do in order to win. Mustain was under center and as he took the snap he saw his tight end double covered in the endzone but Cleveland was able to come down with it for a touchdown. The stadium was shaking and excitement filled the air as this was just the beginning of a long ten game winning streak in 2006. Who knew this would be the last victory over Alabama in a decade? No one because the series had been even until this point.
This was a monumental victory during the 2001 season. After losing three straight SEC games the Hogs were looking for a victory over top 25 South Carolina coached by Lou Holtz. It was a defensive slugfest as neither team had over 300 yards of offense for the day. With four minutes to go the Gamecocks were moving the ball down the field in a hurry. After moving into the redzone they decided to go for the field goal with 53 seconds remaining. The kick is up and it is BLOCKED by Carlos Hall and the Hogs were able to hold on inside War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Joe Adams punt return
There were way too many to list but one stands out among the rest....
“The Catch” 1995 vs Alabama
Barry Lunney rolls left and he finds JJ Meadors at the goal line for a touchdown or was it? To this day Alabama fans swear that it was not a catch but without instant replay in those days it was just too hard to tell. Touchdown Meadors and the Hogs stole a victory early on in their quest to go to Atlanta for the first time.
McFadden, Jones run all over South Carolina
It was never a doubt that McFadden would have a huge game as always against the Gamecocks. He rushed for 321 and a score. Plus, an amazing 80 yard run that established his late Heisman campaign. Felix Jones on the other hand had a terrific game as well. Jones had two long runs or 40 and 72 yards respectively. The Hogs rushes for a total of 542 yards and four touchdowns as the Hogs accelerated for a huge senior night victory at home.
Hamilton’s two big receptions vs LSU
One of the receptions that was not talked about much and is overshadowed by the reception right as the first half expired was the 85 yard catch and run down the left sideline. Hamilton, a former track athlete at Texas High School in Texarkana almost did not play football for the Hogs. Luckily, he did and greatest ensued. Oh, and two iconic plays that will last forever.
Revenge at Razorback Stadium
Rohan Gaines Pick Six
David Barrett Pick Six
Joe Adams goes 85 vs Auburn
McFadden Goes 80 versus LSU 2006
Jerico Nelson lays a hit vs Auburn
Jake Bequette the sack king vs Georgia and South Carolina