World News – USA – Pigs are trying to restart LSU’s rivalry lately


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FAYETTEVILLE – None of the current Arkansas Razorback players were involved in winning the Golden Boot trophy. Only a handful of them have even seen it up close.

The elusive 175-pound trophy is within reach today for the University of Arkansas (3-4), who are the 2 1/2 point favorites over defending SEC and college football playoff champions LSU (2nd -3) was opened. .

Issues related to Covid-19 have reduced the number of available players for the Razorbacks, which has resulted in a bet line switch and made the Tigers the easy favorite for today’s 11a. m. Game at Reynolds Razorback Stadium. In fact, the Razorbacks had to see satisfactory results from their final tests on Friday morning to confirm that the game was successful.

Coach Sam Pittman signaled that the game was on when he posted a picture of the Razorback Stadium on Friday morning with the text: “We need everyone we can have here tomorrow! #GoHogs. ”

Fifth year seniors like Jonathan Marshall, Grant Morgan and Tyson Morris have seen the Golden Shoe up close, but that’s about it for the Razorbacks who last claimed it with a 31:14 win on November. 14, 2015, in Baton Rouge,

« That’s a lot of motivation, » said Marshall. « We haven’t had this thing since I was in my red shirt year. I really want to get it back and go there and grab it. That will be a memory that will not be forgotten. ”

Tailback Trelon Smith, a junior transfer from the state of Arizona and a large chunk of the revived Arkansas running game, knows what this is about. Even if he has never seen it.

« I know it’s a trophy, » said Smith. “The boot trophy. I have big plans to bring this home this weekend. ”

Pittman was on two victorious Razorback sticks in the Golden Shoe battle in 2014 and 15, so he saw what a victory over LSU means for the Arkansas believers.

« The Boot, the LSU game is a big deal for Arkansas, » said Pittman. “This is how we proceeded. Of course, all games are important. Of course, that has a little more juice and we would be happy if the boot stays here. ”

Spurred on by a speech by Golden Boot trophy creator David Bazzel, former Arkansas linebacker, the Razorbacks sprinted across the field on a cold, damp night in 2014 to claim the trophy after a 17-0 win over the No.. 1 back on the sidelines. 17 tigers. That was a 17-game streak of bad luck for the SEC for the Razorbacks.

« I remember it was a big deal, » said Pittman. “The guys went over there and got the trophy and all that stuff and I was definitely happy to be a part of it. But now is 2020 and we have to figure out how to try to get the win this year. ”

The Tigers are off to a difficult start. However, after a two-week recovery period, the tigers feel refreshed on their way to northwest Arkansas.

The two-week break was due to an open date and a postponement of your Nov. triggered. 14 Game against Alabama due to coronavirus problems in the LSU program. The Tigers had a player-only get-together earlier this week, led by Receiver Terrace Marshall.

« The last two weeks have been great for us, » said linebacker Jabril Cox. « It helped development in the younger guys and added more repetition, something they wouldn’t see if we did . . . would play every weekend. « . ”

LSU coach Ed Orgeron tries to keep the bikes on the bus after the irregular start.

« We still have a lot of football, » he said. “We have a young football team. A lot of these guys weren’t starters on the championship team so this is a brand new team.

« I told them we were building a championship team. Just like after we lost to Troy [24-21 in 2017], we had to sit down, get back to basics and get some grit and some toughness. We’re doing that now. ”

Orgeron, who spent two years in Arkansas as Ken Hatfield’s assistant to the strength trainer and described Northwest Arkansas as « a beautiful place », nodded to Pittman’s work in getting the Razorbacks back to normal immediately.

« What a great job you did in turning this Arkansas team around, » Orgeron said. “Excellent coaching job and I congratulate your players on the way they play. You play very hard. You have a good soccer team.

« Arkansas will be ready to play. This is a game they are looking forward to. LSU-Arkansas, this is a big game. ”

It wasn’t big enough for the Tigers to keep on their schedule on the Thanksgiving weekend slot, however. When Texas A&M joined the league in 2012, LSU officials were on board to make their annual fight against the Aggies their special year-end.

LSU had the upper hand in the series with Arkansas at 41-22-2, which translates to a win rate of 64. 6%.

« While I was responsible for building [the Golden Boot], the trophy thing isn’t a big deal to me, » said Bazzel. « It’s nice to win a trophy game, but the win is bigger than the trophy.

« I find it more annoying to lose to LSU four times in a row without worrying about the trophy. The trophy only exacerbates it a little because you can see the other team running away with it. ”

Bazzel believes the trophy for this year’s game can be a great tool for Pittman and Orgeron.

« We’re not playing for a conference championship, we’re really proud to play at this point, » said Bazzel as a topic of conversation for the coaches. “And we have a trophy. LSU can sit there and say we’ve had this thing for four years, or if you’re Arkansas, you’re tired of seeing them win every year. So it adds a little something extra to me. “

The Razorbacks have had some of the biggest and most impactful victories in school history against LSU in the past 28 years, starting with the Miracles on Markham in 2002 and 2008 in late, long touchdown passes to the same end zone at the War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

In a 2017 poll of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s athletic workers after the program’s first 25 years in the SEC, the Razorbacks’ 50-48 win in three hours of overtime was rated # 1. 1 LSU in 2007 as the fourth most memorable game in their league history. It was certainly one of the most dramatic when star jam Darren McFadden announced, « I have the wood right here! » while brandishing a tiny bat during Coach Houston Nutt’s post-game interview on CBS.

Then there was the 2010 game, perhaps the most important win of the Razorbacks SEC run because it secured the program’s only BCS berth under coach Bobby Petrino. This 31-23 win for the No.. 12 Razorbacks over No.. 6 LSU was ranked 10th in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette poll. classified most memorable game.

What is most memorable is that quarterback Ryan Mallett scored two 80-yard touchdown hits against Cobi Hamilton, including an 80-yard result in the final game of the first half.

Two LSU defenders collided near midfield shortly after Hamilton’s reception, but it is doubtful that Hamilton would have hit Jarius Wright without the receiver, who paraded Patrick Peterson about 20 meters long.

« I was just trying to show Arkansas fans how much I loved the game, how much I loved the state, how much I loved the team through my play on the field, » said Wright, who said he would be present today. « If that was chasing a recipient or running back the field to get extra blocks to make sure they could score, that’s what I did. « . ”

Wright, the Arkansas record holder with 2. 934 receiving yards, evoked the atmosphere in Little Rock for that 2010 game.

« Man, it was electric, » Wright said. « I know they don’t have any games like that in Little Rock. We loved the games in Little Rock. We were proud of the games in Little Rock. ”

Hamilton said in 2017, “That was probably the happiest Little Rock in Arkansas ever. As if I was leaving the stadium, I feel like the whole state was happy. ”

« It was one of the most important games for me . . . just being able to play for your home state against a team like LSU, which has usually always been a top notch program, « Wright said. « The opportunity to beat these guys and play for the shoe I can’t say enough great things about this rivalry. ”

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Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and a voter for the Heisman Trophy and the AP Top 25 Football Poll. Murphy was Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2017.

Arkansas Razorbacks Soccer, LSU Tigers Soccer, Southeastern Conference, Arkansas LSU Soccer Rivalry, American Football, Louisiana State University, Alabama Crimson Tide Soccer

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