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Mississippi State 24 – Arkansas 17 (OT)

Video highlights of the Mississippi State 24-17 overtime win over Arkansas Saturday afternoon at War Memorial Stadium.

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Little Rock Might Upgrade War Memorial Stadium To Keep Hog Football

The University of Arkansas is spending $40 million on a brand new football complex in Fayetteville.  The school is also planning to expand Razorback Stadium. 

People in Little Rock are paying attention.

Afraid they might lose the two games played annually by the Razorbacks at War Memorial Stadium, there’s now discussion to upgrade and expand the 63-year-old venue.  The school and the War Memorial Stadium Commission currently have a deal that runs through 2016.

Arkansas is the only school at the FBS level that plays multiple “home” games away from its campus each season.  As Bobby Petrino has improved the Razorback program, ticket demands have gone up.  And Razorback Stadium can seat about 22,000 more Hog fans than War Memorial Stadium.  For that reason, there’s already speculation that the season finale between Arkansas and LSU could be moved to Fayetteville this fall.

Obviously the folks in Little Rock can see the writing on the wall.

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You Pick ‘Em: Arkansas-LSU

Arkansas
Content provided by The Slophouse.

LITTLE ROCK - Up next for No. 12 Arkansas is the season finale against No. 5 LSU in War Memorial Stadium. The winner of the game has a chance at making a BCS bowl, depending on the outcome of the Iron Bowl game Friday between Auburn and Alabama.

We wan to hear from you. Be sure to post your prediction and thoughts below.

Slophouse Pick (10-1)

The last five games between these two teams have been decided by five points or less, so conventional wisdom says to expect a nail-biter again Saturday afternoon. Both teams have flourished in close games this year, but then again they have been good in every game. Arkansas is 3-1 in games decided by seven points or less, while LSU is 6-1 in those games.

The key match-up will be the Razorbacks offense against the Tigers defense. Both units are ranked in the top 10 nationally and have been effective in nearly every game this year. LSU is skilled at all three levels of its defense and more than one tenured SEC coach has called the unit the best they’ve ever seen. But with the emergence of 1,000-yard rusher Knile Davis, Arkansas is a pick your poison offense. If you focus only on the pass, the skilled sophomore running back will hurt you, and vice versa. It should be safe to say a good number of points will be scored in this one. The offenses are just too good for that not to be the case.

Watch for big plays in the special teams. Patrick Peterson and Joe Adams are the SEC’s two best punt return men and each have taken at least one punt back for a touchdown this year. LSU has changed this match-up in the past with big kick returns – i.e. Trindon Holliday. Both teams possess clutch kickers as well. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see one of those two players determine the outcome.

In games as closely matched as this one, home field advantage might be the ultimate advantage. War Memorial Stadium might set an attendance record for this game as tickets are as tough as ever to score. That venue is known for its environment and a noise level many say is unmatched in the SEC. Feeding off its frenzied crowd, look for the Razorbacks to find a way to win.

Arkansas 27, LSU 24

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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It’s GameDay: LSU Faces Final Test at Arkansas

BATON ROUGE – The top passing offense in the Southeastern Conference will face the top defense in the league on Saturday when fifth-ranked LSU travels to Little Rock to face Ryan Mallett and 12th-ranked Arkansas at War Memorial Stadium.
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For Bequette, War Memorial is Home

Arkansas
Content provided by The Slophouse.

LITTLE ROCK - For Jake Bequette, returning to War Memorial Stadium each fall is returning home.

Bequette, like so many Arkansas players from the state’s capital city, have fond memories of games inside the venue. But for Bequette those memories are more frequent, as the stadium also served as his homefield at Little Rock Catholic High School.

“It means a lot to me and I’ve been playing there a lot of years,” said Bequette, a junior defensive end. “Every time I go into the locker room I kind of look at my old high school locker and laugh, and think about how far I’ve come and how much it means to play there again.”

Bequette is one of 14 players on the Razorbacks roster from Little Rock and he said he can’t remember a game at War Memorial Stadium with as much at stake as the one Saturday between No. 12 Arkansas and No. 5 LSU.

“This is one of those games you come up here to play in and one of those games you play college football for,” Bequette said. “Every game at War Memorial is a big game. I’ve been fortunate enough to play on some good teams in both college and high school there. I haven’t lost there in a long time and I don’t want to start Saturday.”

For other players, like tight end D.J. Williams, the stadium has a different significance as the home of the state championship games for the Arkansas high school playoffs. Williams, who played at Central Arkansas Christian just outside Little Rock in Maumelle, won a state championship inside those walls.

“I’ve had some good memories at War Memorial and some bad ones as well,” Williams said. “I’ve lost a couple of games there but for the most part it’s been good.”

Joe Adams, a teammate of Williams at CAC, said War Memorial Stadium’s noise is among the loudest in the SEC, despite seating only 55,000.

“Little Rock’s going to be real loud,” Adams said. “Everybody’s rowdy. It’s not like the Fayetteville crowd.”

Williams and Adams, like most on the Arkansas roster, have never lost a game in Little Rock while members of the Razorbacks. Arkansas’ last loss here came in 2006, to LSU in a game with similar build-up to the one here on Saturday. In fact, the Razorbacks’ only two losses at War Memorial Stadium since 1997 have come to the hands of the Tigers.

“That’s our back yard,” Williams said. “It’s like playing with your friends at your house. It’s hard for anybody to come into your house and try to take what’s yours, which our right to win at the Rock.

“That’s not to take anything away from LSU because we know they’ll come here and play a very hard game. But that’s our home and a lot of us guys from Little Rock feel like we’ve got to do whatever we can to protect it, so we’re going to play extremely hard.”

Bequette, a third-generation Razorback, said he has fond memories of Arkansas-LSU games here, including the 2002 “Miracle on Markham” which sent Arkansas to the SEC Championship Game with a 21-20 win over the Tigers.

“I was actually on the field for the Miracle on Markham,” Bequette said. “I could have reached out and picked off that pass if DeCori Birmingham wasn’t there. That was a really cool moment.”

Bequette was also on the field for a similar finish with the Tigers two years ago when Casey Dick came off the bench to lead Arkansas to a 31-30 come-from-behind win over the Tigers. Dick capped the comeback with a 31-yard touchdown pass to London Crawford on a fourth down in the game’s final minute. That win gave the Razorbacks momentum heading into the offseason, momentum they have been riding since.

“I think two years ago it kind of showed the character of this team and the direction this program was headed,” Bequette said. “We weren’t really playing for anything except pride and to finish the season on a good note. We did that against a really good LSU team.

“This year it means a lot more for us. We have a chance to have 10 regular season wins and get to a BCS bowl game. We’re going to play accordingly.”

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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Interactive blog versus Tigers

The regular season ends at War Memorial Stadium versus LSU for the Golden Boot.
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Razorbacks practice and enjoy Thanksgiving

No. 12 Arkansas kicks off against sixth-ranked LSU inside War Memorial Stadium on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
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Fan Commercial a Hit

Arkansas
Content provided by The Slophouse.

FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas fans have often been known for their creativity. Chalk another one up to that.

Some fans unveiled a parody to this Geico commercial earlier this week on YouTube, which is a spinoff of the “This Little Piggy” saying our parents told us all when we were younger.

As of this afternoon the commercial already had 43,000 hits and appears to be on its way to “viral” status at that rate. It can’t be any coincidence the fan in the passenger seat is from LSU. The No. 12 Razorbacks host the No. 5 Tigers this weekend in Little Rock’ War Memorial Stadium.

Give the video a play and let us know what you think. We think you’ll enjoy.

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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Petrino Show Moved to Tonight

Arkansas
Content provided by The Slophouse.

FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino’s weekly radio show has been moved to tonight. It will begin at 7 p.m. at the Catfish Hole in Fayetteville.

There was no reason given for moving the show, which usually airs on Wednesdays, but one can guess it has something to do with both the Thanksgiving holiday and Arkansas basketball playing during the scheduled time slot tomorrow night.

According to the UA, the player guests tonight are Jake Bequette and D.J. Williams. Both are Little Rock natives, where the No. 12 Razorbacks will host No. 5 LSU this weekend at War Memorial Stadium.

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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Mallett Out of O’Brien Award Hunt

Arkansas
Content provided by The Slophouse.

FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett is not one of the three finalists for the Davey O’Brien Award.

The three finalists for the award, which recognizes the nation’s best quarterback, were named Monday. They are Auburn’s Cam Newton, Boise State’s Kellen Moore and Stanford’s Andrew Luck. Mallett was named a semifinalist for the award earlier this month.

Mallett has completed a school-record 229 passes this season for 3,272 yards and 27 touchdowns.

His game-winning touchdown pass in double overtime Saturday against Mississippi State tied him with Clint Stoerner for the most career touchdown passes (57) for an Arkansas quarterback.

The No. 12 Razorbacks host No. 5 LSU this weekend in Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium.

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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