By Tyler Priddy
HOT SPRINGS — As Saturday draws near, fans all over speculate what the outcome over the University of Arkansas and the University of Georgia’s game might be.
There is a considerable history behind the competitiveness between the Bulldogs and the Razorbacks, all beginning in 1969. This Saturday will be the 15th time the Dogs and Hogs have met on the field. Since joining the SEC, Arkansas has played Georgia 13 times, but has also spent a year at the Southwest Conference and the Liberty Bowl. As of now, the University of Georgia holds the longest streak record, but Saturday a new outcome may be determined.
One of the most aspiring games played between Arkansas and the University of Georgia was the Jan. 1, 1969, Sugar Bowl. Tulane Stadium welcomed the No. 4 8-0-2 Bulldogs and the No. 9 10-1 Razorbacks. Arkansas, of the Southwest Conference, met the Bulldogs of the SEC for the first time. It was the biggest game with the attendance of over 82,000. 1969 was a big year for both the Bulldogs and the Hogs. Arkansas legend Frank Broyles faced the field against Georgia’s own historical winning coach, Vince Dooley during his fifth season. Arkansas Wide Receiver, Chuck Dicus, has made a huge impact on early Hog history after catching 12 passes for 129 yards at the Bulldogs game. Dicus actually won most outstanding player of the game. Arkansas was also well-known for turnovers and defense in this game from players such as defensive tackle Dick Bumpas. Chuck Dicus was later inducted in the Razorback Hall of Honor. The final score was Arkansas, 16-2.
The Razorbacks were prepared to play Georgia a second time in the 1976 Cotton Bowl classic. They played once again on a neutral field. After Broyles’s 18th season with the University of Arkansas, the Razorbacks travelled to Dallas, Texas to play in the Cotton Bowl with a season record of 9-2. 1975 was also another great season for the Razorbacks that included many great coaches along with an incredible offense and defense. Arkansas also went into the game against Georgia ranked at No. 18. There were players that really impacted the game like Scott Bull, Ike Forte, and Jerry Eckwood. The game itself was said to be a well-played game until the second half, where Arkansas came back and ended the game with a score of 31-10.
The University of Arkansas met the University of Georgia for the third time in Memphis, Tennessee, at the 29th edition of the 1987 Liberty Bowl. During Ken Hafield’s fourth season, he would face a former team that would be one of the best games of his career. This would be the third time for both teams to meet in the last twenty years, but the first at the Liberty Bowl. Arkansas held an original lead until roughly the third quarter. One of the biggest players that played was Georgia’s John Kasey, a future placekicker who was known to have won the game with over a 25-yard field goal with no time left. The final score was Georgia, 20-17. After the 1991 Independence Bowl, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks will not set foot on the same field as the University of Georgia Bulldogs because of the Hogs decision to join the SEC in 1992.
Arkansas had one rough game with the University of Georgia. On December 7, 2002, the Hogs played the Bulldogs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for one of the worst defeats against the Bulldogs. Former Head Coach Houston Nutt stood on the field to play the No. 4 team for the SEC Championship Game. Arkansas played a good season to get to the SEC Championship. The final score for the SEC Championship was Georgia, 30-3. With the win over Arkansas, this would be the Bulldogs their first since 1983. 2002 was a great season for Georgia. They also had many skilled players such as future Baltimore Ravens Running back Musa Smith. Ending with a record of 13-1. After the game, Coach Nutt himself claimed “they had few weaknesses.”
One of Coach Bobby Petrino’s best seasons with the University of Arkansas would be his third season in 2010. While his first two seasons with the Hogs went 5-7, 8-5, his third season ended with a 10-3. Arkansas played the Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia on Sept. 18, 2010. Both teams had some of their own problems. Georgia did not have receiver A.J Green, while the Razorback’s own running back, Dennis Johnson, was out for injury. Ryan Mallet made a name for himself within the first five minutes of the game after throwing a 57-yard pass to Chris Gragg, leading to the games first score. Georgia also had their contending quarterback, Aaron Murray after playing off several games, who shortly after completed a pass to quickly even score. Georgia’s defense during the game did well, in fact, had some of the greatest players of the season, but the Arkansas 2010 offense maintained running back Kniles Davis, kicker Zach Hocker, and defensive end Jake Bequette. One of the most ferocious plays of the game was Bequette’s famous sack, knocking the helmet of off Murray putting him at Georgia’s own 28. As the game remained tied, a successful pass was thrown leading to an Arkansas winning score of 31-24. While Mallet was known for being one of the most recognized players of the game, other players for the Bulldogs landed great plays such as Murray’s successful 47-yard throw and completions in the backfield. After Ryan Mallet’s 3-play, 73-yard final winning drive, he now officially held the status of the Heisman Award Trophy contender.