FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — This is unlike other countdowns you have seen honoring Arkansas’ 25 seasons in the SEC. These are memories. And we here at SEC Country wanted to reflect on the best — and worst — of the last quarter-century.
This countdown is not just the best football moments or best games. It includes “where were you when” snapshots and tales of players, teams and seasons.
It should be noted this list is limited to the so-called “big three” sports. Apologies to other sports — especially track & field — but at some point comparing moments across the spectrum becomes impossible.
Here are the previous top moments:
- No. 25: The moment Arkansas’ 2012 season hit rock bottom
- No 24: The hiring of Bret Bielema
- No. 23: Run to the 2004 College World Series
- No. 22: Rohan Gaines’ 102-yard INT return vs Ole Miss
- No. 21: Arkansas stuns No. 4 Tennessee
- No. 20: Austin Allen vs. TCU
- No. 19: Miracle on Markham II
- No. 18: Joe Adams’ punt return vs. Tennessee
- No. 17: 1995 SEC title game
- No. 16: Razorbacks fall to The Citadel in 1992
- No. 15: 2009 Florida game penalties
- No. 14: Darren McFadden being snubbed for Heisman Trophy
- No. 13: Andrew Benintendi and the 2015 Diamond Hogs
- No. 12: Brett Eibner’s home run in the 2009 College World Series
12. Field rush vs. LSU – Bielema’s first SEC win in 2014
Arkansas fans destroyed university property and got the school a $25,000 fine.
But, man, it looked like it was worth it.
The weight of having lost 17 straight SEC games was finally relived Nov. 15, 2014, with a 17-0 win over LSU at Donald W. Reynolds Stadium. It was coach Bret Bielema’s first SEC win and came in his 14th conference game. When his players rushed to the corner of the end zone to retrieve the Golden Boot trophy, a good chunk of the crowd, in jubilation, joined them on the field.
Some fans who took part shared their experiences with SEC Country:
Jack Harris/Portland, Ore. – senior at Arkansas at the time
“It was a no-brainer. We said, ‘If this is really about to happen, and we aren’t blowing this lead, we are rushing.'”
Bear Davidson/Search, Ark. – senior at Arkansas at the time
“My freshman year, we beat Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl. I think my buddies and I had expectations that (Bobby) Petrino would win us a national championship before we graduated. And I remember sitting in Futrall Hall and getting a text that Petrino had a girl on his bike with him when he wrecked. So then we endured the year of John L. Smith, and the letdown that followed the ridiculous rumors that Gruden was coming. After all that heartache, we got to watch the seconds tick off the clock in the freezing cold as the Hogs just shut out No. 17 LSU to take back the Boot. I think we just reacted to that.”
Zachary Boatman/Kansas City, Mo. – junior at Arkansas at the time
“I was at the game with four of my fraternity brothers and a few of their girlfriends. We were sitting around section 480 (Didn’t get there early enough to be on lower level). Out of the seven of us, five of us rushed the field. One of my buddies and his girlfriend left early. We gave them a lot of crap after the game for leaving early.”
Ryan Townsend/Fayetteville, Ark. – student at Arkansas at the time
“My friends and I were kind laughing and excited at the idea of rushing the field. There was kind of a surprised attitude of ‘Oh, OK, this is actually happening,’ among me and my friends. Because we were in the middle of the student section, we didn’t really have much of a choice but to make our way closer to the field, because of the crowd. I remember seeing the police start to gather in front of the student section. I think everyone knew that they wouldn’t be able to stop what was about to happen.”
Mark Hill/Camden, Ark. – attended with wife and friends
This game was so important, because it turned the page on one of the darkest periods in program history. It was almost as if it were destiny that it would happen on that night. We broke a 17-game losing streak in the SEC against the 17th-ranked team in the nation beating them 17-0.
Andrew Ellis/Alexandria, La. – attended game with friend who was a quarterback recruit on a visit
“We were already on the field when the game ended, and we were with his parents so we basically just stood and admired the rush as it took place around us. … There wasn’t room to move at all, and there was never a quiet moment. For a second, we all forgot just how freezing we were and just embraced the moment and delivered Hog Call after Hog Call.”
Gregory Tanneyhill/Fayetteville, Ark. – student at Arkansas at the time
“We were probably in the first 500 on the field. I was around the players that had rushed over to grab the Boot. Saw a lot of people falling down, probably somewhat alcohol induced. I recall seeing a couple on the ground making out pretty hot and heavy. There were players and fans celebrating like the best of friends. Two grown men were crying on the midfield logo.”
The post Arkansas SEC Moment No. 12: Rushing the field vs LSU – fans share their stories appeared first on SEC Country.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.