Keep the history alive!
It was now a new day when Bill Battle would be bringing his Volunteers to go up against Frank Broyles Razorbacks. Things had certainly changed since their last meeting. It was now time for them to meet once again on the gridiron. The teams had not played in competition since December 5 when the Hogs had defeated Texas Tech15-0 and Tennessee had upset #5 Penn State 31-11.
In the close moments of the game, it would be wrought with controversy which was not surprising since the officiating was provided by three SEC zebras and two SWC officials. This would be the last time that the Liberty Bowl would not be officiated by neutral officials from conferences outside of those for the teams competing.
The bookies were favoring Tennessee by one which coincidently would be the final margin. Liberty Bowl records would fall as new ones would take their place offensively by Joe Ferguson (three records - 18 completions of 20 attempts for 209 yards) and defensively by Louis Campbell (three interceptions), but the one that counted the most was Tennessee for the win. Attendance for the game was also a bowl record 51,410 fans. This was not surprising as both teams had been followed by fanatical fans throughout the season and both states bordered on the bowl site.
From here UT star Bill Rudder, and fullback Steve Chancey would move the ball down to the Hog 43. On third and eight, Maxwell went to wingback George Silvey. Pass interference was called and Tennessee received the ball and first down on the Arkansas 24 yard line. On the next play, Maxwell pitched to Rudder who made an option pass to split end Emmon Love. Love took the ball down to the two. First down. With 5:39 left in the quarter, Rudder would take it over for six. Tennessee was now on the board. Kicker George Hunt would add the point after, giving Tennessee the initial lead at 7-0. In the next series, Ferguson would be intercepted by cornerback David Allen. As the quarter ended, neither team could mount any offense.
With 9:52 left before halftime, Bill McClard attempted a 40 yard field goal to put the Hogs on the board. Defensive back Conrad Graham blocked the attempt negating the Hog points leaving the score at 7-0. Arkansas would finally get on the board just before halftime when Ferguson would find Jim Hodge on a 47 yard scoring strike knotting the score at 7-all.
"It's probably the only one I ever had in my coaching career." - Frank Broyles
This set up the final quarter for the showdown when all stops would be pulled out.
With 13:14 left in the game, McClard kicked a 19 yard field goal capping a 54 yard scoring drive. For the first time in the game, the Hogs would hold the lead. It was now Hogs 10, Vols 7. Following a Campbell interception, McClard kicked his second field goal with 8:57 showing on the scoreboard. It was now 13-7 Hogs.
On the next series, Campbell picks off his third interception with a diving catch with 5:51 left in the game. Arkansas' ball. McClard would now kick his third field goal of the game from 48 yards out. The scoreboard now read 16-7 Hogs. The game was now surely going to Arkansas. But wait. Controversy #1: An SEC official (Preston Watts) called tight end Bobby Nichols for holding. Arkansas was penalized and forced to punt. Broyles later commented "It's probably the only one I ever had in my coaching career." Nichols also told reporters that a Volunteer player had grabbed him and pulled him to the ground. The field goal was erased and the scoreboard again would be read 13-7 Hogs. The game was no longer out of reach. Game on.
Tennessee could not move the ball, and was forced to punt with about four minutes left. After the punt, Arkansas was using the clock when Richardson fumbled the ball due to a collision with Graham following a screen pass from Ferguson. No problem, for under the pile Razorback Tom Reed had recovered the ball. Reed came out of the pile with the ball. However, Preston Watts made his play once again. Controversy #2: Reed handed the ball to Watts, who then promptly awarded possession to Tennessee at the Hog 37 yard line. After only two previous plays and with 1:56 left in the game, injured fullback Curt Watson would take a pitch from Maxwell and carry the ball around right end for the remaining 17 yards to tie the score at 13-all. Hunt would now add the PAT to give the Volunteers their only lead since the first quarter.
In its final effort, the Hogs drove 20 yards before a second down bomb from Ferguson to Hodge was intercepted by defensive back Eddie Brown. Final score Arkansas 13, Tennessee 14. After all of the controversy, it would be 19 years before these two teams would meet again. This time it was in Dallas at the 1990 Cotton Bowl (also a Volunteer victory 31-27).
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Keep the history of Hog football alive, don't let it disappear. The new e-book available describes the history of the Razorback football program. It tells of the coaches, legends, "Voices of the Razorbacks", traditions, and of course, the memorable games (most of which have not been previously discussed on hawg-tales.com). This is the first e-book telling about the complete Razorback football program. The e-book is now available through Smashwords.com (click to visit the world's largest distributor of e-books), the Apple iStore, Barnes and Nobles (barnesandnoble.com), Kobo, etc. and is available for virtually all e-readers, smart phones, tablets, and computers. Look for 'Hit That Line!' ."
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