FAYETTEVILLE — Among pregame activities in Fayetteville on Friday — the final game of the 2012 Arkansas season — was the unveiling of a statue of Frank Broyles, the longtime coach and athletics director. The statue, on the steps of the Broyles Complex (also named for him) is located at the stadium’s north end. The field at Reynolds Razorback Stadium also is named Frank Broyles Field.
The 87-year-old Broyles helped with the unveiling. Speaking, along with Broyles, were University of Arkansas chancellor G. David Gearhart, athletics director Jeff Long and former Razorbacks football coach and player Ken Hatfield.
The 700-pound statue portrays Broyles during his coaching days. Broyles retired as athletics director at the end of 2007 and since has served as a fundraiser for the Razorback Foundation. His first season with the Razorbacks was 1958, having joined the program the previous December. He coached for 19 years before serving exclusively as athletics director. He won 144 games as a coach and won a version of the national championship in 1964.
Broyles also was introduced to the crowd at the end of the first quarter and, donning his red sports coat, led the crowd in a Hog call.
Twenty-two Razorbacks played their last game Friday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Recognized in pregame ceremonies were Dylan Breeding, Nick Brewer, Cameron Bryan, Will Coleman, Alfred Davis, Tyler Deacon, Chris Gragg, Jared Green, Cobi Hamilton, Alonzo Highsmith, Dennis Johnson, DeQuinta Jones, Kaelon Kelleybrew, Matt Marshall, Colton Miles-Nash, Jason Peacock, Ross Rasner, Terrell Williams, Tyler Wilson, Ronnie Wingo Jr., Darius Winston and Tenarius Wright.
Long hugged each player as they arrived on the field. Players stood with family members as they were recognized. Wilson, the last senior to be introduced, received the loudest ovation.
The LSU Tigers did not run the ball at will as some suspected against Arkansas’ defense Friday. In fact, the Razorbacks held the Tigers to 89 yards rushing on 38 tries. But the Bayou Bengals accomplished one thing they’ve become known for this season — not coughing up the football.
Including the game against Arkansas, LSU has rushed 297 consecutive times without a fumble, a streak that dates back to the Towson game on Sept. 29.
In his final game as a Razorback, the senior from Greenwood set another school record, giving him 28. A second-quarter pass to Javontee Herndon for a first down put Wilson at 7,495 yards, breaking Ryan Mallett’s previous mark of 7,493. His new Razorbacks record by game’s end was 7,765.
Cobi’s New Mark
Cobi Hamilton set the school record for number of career receptions Friday, besting former teammate Jarius Wright. Hamilton’s catch late in the second quarter was good for 21 yards and a first down to the Arkansas 44 on the drive that ended with a missed field goal.
That put him at 169; Wright had 168 in his career. The new record by Hamilton is 175.
He also finished his career with receptions in 34 consecutive games. He caught the first pass thrown by Wilson against LSU. It was good for 13 yards and a first down on the opening drive.
As the winner Friday, LSU kept possession of “The Boot,” the 24-carat gold trophy that goes each season to the winner of the Arkansas-LSU game. The Boot, one of the heaviest trophies in college football at 175 pounds, is shaped like the combined outlines of Arkansas and Louisiana, loosely resembling a boot.
It marked the 17th time the trophy has been up for grabs in the series; LSU has taken it to Baton Rouge 11 times to six for Arkansas. In addition to Friday, LSU won the trophy in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011, while Arkansas claimed the trophy in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2008 and 2010.
“The Boot” was kept on the LSU sideline during Friday’s game and was awarded at game’s end.
Thirty-two players for Arkansas and LSU combined started for their respective teams for the first time in their careers this season. Arkansas led the conference in first-time starters with 18 and was sixth in the NCAA.
LSU had 14 first-time starters this season, including five freshmen. Arkansas has started 10 freshmen at various times this season.
When Arkansas turned the ball over on the LSU 2 on the opening drive Friday, it marked the 30th time this season the Razorbacks gave the ball to an opponent.
Ironically, it was the 30th takeaway by LSU. The story continued as Wilson threw it short on the first play of the second drive and Therold Simon stopped in front of Demetrius Wilson and caught it cleanly, making it 31-31, turnovers vs. takeaways.
10 In 2012
Friday’s 20-13 victory over Arkansas marked the sixth time in eight years under Les Miles and the 13th time in school history that the Tigers have reached double-digit wins in a season. The victory was No. 85 for Miles at LSU. Miles is second among LSU coaches in the number of victories recorded.
The coach with the most wins is Charlie McClendon, who won 137 games in 18 years as the top Tiger.
The Tigers have won at least eight games in every season since 2000, putting them in a tie with Boise State for the active number of eight-win seasons (13).
Fayetteville … Again
Friday’s game marked the first time since 1992 that LSU had played in Fayetteville. The home-and-home Southeastern Conference Western Division game had been played at War Memorial Stadium in Little every other year.
The Razorbacks defeated LSU in the last game prior to Friday’s that was played at Razorback Stadium. The score was 30-6 and 32,000 were in attendance. Friday’s attendance was 71,117.
— Dennis A. Byrd