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In each of his seasons, Mitchell quickly put away the first two non-conference teams. However, each season began conference play with TCU and Baylor. It was not until his third season that the Hogs were able to add a "W" for either of these games. Each year, after Baylor came TEXAS. In his first two seasons, he beat the Longhorns both in Little Rock and in Austin but, would fall to them in 1957 at Fayetteville before a home crowd. The non-conference Ole Miss game would then follow Texas where the Hogs would go 2-1 against the Rebels losing only in 1956 at Oxford.
Previously viewed as only a diversion between the Texas and A&M games, the Ole Miss game of 1957 turned out to be special. On the cold, blustery afternoon of October 26, 1957, in Memphis' Crump Stadium, Mitchell took his Hogs to face the #6 Ole Miss Rebels coached by Johnny Vaught. All 30,000 fans had predicted an Ole Miss dominance of the game. Arkansas found themselves as a definite underdog.
"On his way to the ground, Nesbitt lateraled the ball to Kyser who was able to scamper to the three before being collared out of bounds."
With the score knotted at 6-6 in the third quarter, the Rebels had driven to the Arkansas 15 before turning the ball over on downs. The Hogs could only move the ball out to the 22 when they found themselves at third and three. Faced with this, Walker convinced Mitchell to try one more running play and then punting, if necessary, instead of using a quick kick on third down. The ball is snapped. Walker gives the ball off-tackle to Nesbitt. The line had done their part and presented Nesbitt with a large hole to ramble through. Nothing was going to stop Gerald as by ran around, over, and through defenders headed to the "promised land" at the other end of the field. As he approached the Rebel 30, Ole Miss was beginning to regroup and Nesbitt began to look for help. Help was on the way as Gerald spotted Kyser trucking down the right sideline. On his way to the ground, Nesbitt lateraled the ball to Kyser who was able to scamper to the three before being collared out of bounds. Kyser swept the last half yard on fourth down giving the Hogs the final score of Arkansas 12, Mississippi 6. This would be the only game Ole Miss would lose that season as they would go on to beat Texas in the Sugar Bowl 39-7.
In 1955, Arkansas would win over Bear Bryant's Texas A&M team with the John David Crow era in place, tie in 1956, and lose in 1957. Rice would come up next where the Hogs would win in the first two seasons under Mitchell having their first win ever over Rice in Houston. However, this would not continue as the Hogs would lose in Houston during Mitchell's final season. By mid November the Hogs would face the Mustangs of SMU. Much like Rice, the Hogs won the first two games but, would fall to a Don Meredith led team in Mitchell's third season. By the end of the season, during the first two seasons the Razorbacks would run out of emotion and lose to a much weaker LSU team. In 1957, Texas Tech would join the SWC and Arkansas would replace the LSU Tigers with the Red Raiders. Mitchell's final game as a head coach at Arkansas would be a win in Little Rock when he would face the Red Raiders of Texas Tech and win by a score of 47-26.
Mitchell believed in a dominating defense that he figured could conquer all. Based on emotion, he would see his team sometimes win and sometimes go down in a loose. Along with the defensive dominance, he (along with the predominate opinion throughout the mid 50s) felt that the passing game was used only by desperate teams. As a result, passing all but disappeared at Fayetteville. Again, Arkansas would dominate on defense and focus on running. Although Mitchell would be at Fayetteville only for three seasons, he would be the first coach during the twentieth century to stay for more than two years and never have a losing season. 1957 would be Mitchell's final season at Fayetteville as he would move on to become the head coach in his home state at the University of Kansas. Greatness was on the horizon and would come to the Hogs in the form of a young coach from Georgia via Missouri as the Frank Broyles era would commence next in the history of the Hog football program.
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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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