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Keep the history alive!
As a University of Tennessee alumnus, Wyatt was an All-American end and captained the Volunteers on a 11-0 team in 1938. During this year, he caught six passes for touchdown, blocked a punt for a TD, kicked two field goals, and made 16 extra points.
Prior to coaching at Wyoming, Wyatt spent much of his coaching time (as assistant and Head Coach) at Mississippi State where the Bulldogs acquired a record of 42-7-2. In 1947, Wyatt moved to Wyoming where in six years he had accumulated a record of 39-17-1 including an undefeated season in 1950.
After Otis Douglas was released as Head Coach, Barnhill called on Wyatt to join the Hogs in Fayetteville. It had been since the 1947 season that Arkansas had seen its last winning season. Fans had grown used to Arkansas losing and were not surprised 1953 when they maintained a record of 3-7 with a very thin squad.
Unexpectedly this would be turned around in 1954 with the emergence of Lamar McHan. Wyatt set the standard when he declared that each player would have to gain their status all over again in 1954. McHan proved himself as the star single wing tailback as he would go on to led the SWC in passing, total offense, punting, and punt returns.
As well as McHan could play tailback, Floyd Sagely could catch the pigskin. These two were joined by fullback Harry Moore (older brother to Billy Moore who was quarterback under Broyles and one of only two QB All-Americans for the Hogs), blocking backs Preston Carpenter and Bobby Proctor, and wingbacks Joe Thomason and Phil Reginelli. At the conclusion of the spring practice, Wyatt declared that the Hogs would be a passing machine for 1954 and that passing would be the great equalizer in modern football.
By October, everyone was fully aware that something special had happened in the Ozarks. It would be mid-November and a national ranking at #4 before what has become known as Arkansas' "25 Little Pigs" (although the number of players were never 25) would lose their first game. The state was now running RED.
This was never more obvious than with the 20-7 win over Texas in Austin (October 16) which placed the Razorbacks as front page news in the Arkansas Gazette instead of being placed somewhere in the sports section. The Hogs had become a phenomenon throughout the whole state and the crowds were showing it with their following.
The next Saturday after the Texas game, the Hogs (4-0) would meet up with Old Miss (5-0) at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. This was the first overflow sellout in the stadium's history. This game saw the famous "Powder River Pass Play" (see: February 2012 Hawg-tales) as the Hogs went on to win by a score of 6-0.
The Hogs would go on to win eight and lose only two games ending the season ranked #8 in the UPI and #10 with the AP. The team's first loose came at Homecoming in Fayetteville against SMU (14-21). This was followed by the second loose which occurred on the next Saturday to LSU (6-7).
The conference championships would leave just as fast as it had arrived when in just a week following the bowl game, Wyatt would leave Fayetteville to become the Head Coach at his alma mater- the University of Tennessee. Needless to say, the Cadillac and the breaking of a five year contract did not set well with the fan base.
However, Wyatt needs to be remembered for bringing winning back to the program based around his "25 Little Pigs" that provided one of the most famous plays in all of Razorback football history.
Join us next month, as we once again recall tales of the games, players, and coaches from the past.
If you are one of those rabid Razorback fans interested in knowing even more about the history of the Hog football program, then get your very own copy of "Hit That Line" from the Apple Store, Barnes and Nobles online, or the world's largest e-book publisher - Smashwords.com.