Looking Back at Some Bowl Games Arkansas Played in The Sunshine State

Local Sports

by: Tyler Priddy

HOT SPRINGS — The successful 2021 Razorback season will be leading Arkansas to Florida for a bowl game after the second Sam Pittman campaign.

It has not been declared or announced which bowl Arkansas will be going to. Options are open between the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl or Vrbo Citrus Bowl. It has been awhile since the Hogs have seen the gulf or Miami for a bowl, but this won’t be the first. Arkansas has played some of its best games at the bowls in Florida. 

One of the most essential Bowl Games played during the Frank Broyles era was the 1960 Gator Bowl. On January 2, 1960, the Razorbacks and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets met in Jacksonville with their 1959 9-2 record. Coach Broyles played against his former alma mater team, for whom he was quarterback, and head coach, Georgia Tech Coach Bobby Dodd. He was also an assistant coach under Bobby Dodd at Georgia Tech between 1951-1956. The Yellow Jackets and Hogs had not seen each other since the 1955 Cotton Bowl.

The Yellow Jackets held the lead 7-0, until the second quarter when the Razorbacks with a 21-yard run by Joe Alberty to tie the game. James Mooty then went on to score in the third quarter with 3:51 left on the clock, and neither team scored in the fourth quarter. The game gained its recognition with roughly 45,000 spectators, and some of Arkansas’s classic players that included Lance “Bambi” Alworth, and Mooty who was the Razorback MVP of the game. The result was an Arkansas victory with a score of 14-7. 

Miami welcomed the 1978 Orange Bowl on January 2. While Arkansas had a large gap of success since Frank Broyles moved on to University Administration, Lou Holtz filled the gap in 1977 and began hammering each team in the SWC, leading the Razorbacks to Miami to play against the Oklahoma Sooners from the Big Eight. Holtz had suspended three sof the Razorbacks top players, running backs Ben Cowins and Michael Forrest along with wide receiver Donny Bobo, who that season accounted for the majority of the Razorback’s scoring during the season.

Both teams had only lost one game that season, and it was to Texas. Arkansas was considered the major underdog yet won as Lou Holtz and the Razorbacks dominated the Orange Bowl 31-6. Running back, Roland Sales, was named Arkansas MVP of the game and rushed for a complete 205 yards. His 205 yard and 22 carry record stood as the Orange Bowl record until being broken by Ahman Green in 1978. 

It has been 30 years since the Razorbacks have been to the Gator Bowl. On December 28, 1981, Arkansas met the University of North Carolina in Jacksonville for their last one. The Tar Heels came in ranked at No. 3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and a record of 9-1 over the Razorback’s 8-2. The game was known for being incredibly filled with fog, and played in front of over 70,000 attendees in Florida. Some could refer to this game as the “fog bowl.” Running back, Gary Anderson, was named Arkansas’s MVP of the game with 5 passes for 85 yards. Though coming out a close game, the Tar Heels won in the end 31-27. 

The Razorbacks played the Tar Heels a second time in Miami on December 30, 1995, for the 1995 Carquest Bowl. After a successful season in the Razorback’s new years in the SEC, Coach Danny Ford went to the bowl with a decent record. This was also the Hogs first bowl since the 1991 Independence Bowl. It would be a close game, but the North Carolina won 20-10. Anthony Lucas scored the one Arkansas touchdown after receiving a 25-yard pass, on top of the successful field goal by Todd Latourette. 

Arkansas went to Orlando for the 2007 Capitol One Bowl to play the University of Wisconsin Badgers. This would be Coach Houston Nutt’s last bowl to go, seeing how 2007 would be his last season with Arkansas. The Razorbacks came in with a seasonal record of 10-3, an SEC record of 7-1, and the Badgers a record of 10-1 from the Big Ten Conference. Both teams finished first in their conferences. Wisconsin’s head coach was Bret Bielema, who would coach at Arkansas six years later. Though the Hogs lost 17-14, Arkansas gained the most yards in the game, with a total of 368, and Felix Jones making the longest run of the game at 76-yards.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories