Why the Arkansas Razorbacks Are Not Afraid of the LSU Tigers
Although many national pundits and experts will continue to pencil the LSU Tigers into their top five this year before the summer is over, Arkansas Razorbacks fans have never been intimidated by the always highly ranked Bayou Bengals. Maybe it's because of the familiarity that is bred when you are rivals, but more than likely it is because the Razorbacks have lifted the Golden Boot trophy that goes to the winner three of the last six years.
In 2006, No. 5 Arkansas lost by less than a touchdown to No. 9-ranked LSU. The following year Darren McFadden ran over the Tigers for 206 yards and three touchdowns while also passing for a touchdown to Peyton Hillis. The Hog backs went hog wild with a 65-yard touchdown run by Hillis and a 73-yarder from McFadden. The triple-overtime thriller ended in a 50-48 Arkansas win.
In 2008, the unranked and lightly regarded Hogs beat unranked and still highly regarded Louisiana State 31-30 on a last-gasp 24-yard touchdown pass from Casey Dick to London Crawford in Little Rock. This was Bobby Petrino's first team and the baby Hogs Joe Adams, Greg Childs and Jarius Wright only combined for a mere 102 receiving yards. Many fans saw the potential of a Petrino-led team and looked forward with hope in that first rebuilding year.
No. 7 LSU hung on to beat the Razorbacks in Baton Rouge in 2009 by a final score of 33-30 in Ryan Mallett's first year as a starter at quarterback. However, the following year, Mallett lit up the LSU secondary for 320 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-23 victory for No. 12 Arkansas over the No. 6 Tigers. In that game, Knile Davis (who will return this season) rushed for 152 yards and a score.
This past November's loss by No. 3 Arkansas to No. 1 LSU was deeply disappointing to Razorback fans because of the missed opportunity to go to the BCS Championship Game. However, if recent history is any indicator of future performance, the Hogs have no reason to be intimidated by their division rivals. Although LSU gets the recognition, the Hogs have proved they can hold their own against the Tigers on any field.
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