Stoerner to Lucas: The Best game I’ve ever seen even 15 years later

clint-stoerner

In the victorious Arkansas locker room, Frank Broyles called it “one of the greatest victories in school history.” It was, and still is, the best game I’ve seen in person. I’m betting most Hog fans won’t forget it either.
You know the one. Stoerner to Lucas. Arkansas 28, No. 3 Tennessee 24. Fifteen years ago today.
I was in my second year as as a sportswriter at the Benton County Daily Record, and I covered all the Hogs home games. I was eager to cover this one, after a week of hype.
The season before, in Houston Nutt’s first season as Arkansas’ head coach, the Hogs cruised through the schedule and entered a late-season game with Tennessee with an  8-0 mark. Arkansas led that game 24-21 late with the ball. A couple of first downs, and Arkansas would be 9-0 with national title hopes intact.
However, as many remember and wish they could forget, UA quarterback Clint Stoerner tripped over the late Brandon Burlsworth’s foot and when he landed, the ball it popped out of his grasp.
Tennessee recovered and a few plays later scored and won the game 28-24. The Vols eventually won the national championship.
I watched the … Read more >

NLR Star Hill feared for his life during bus crash

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A day after a wild pregame bus accident that hospitalized an assistant coach, North Little Rock star receiver K.J. Hill is glad to be alive.
“I ain’t gonna lie, I  thought we were going to die,” Hill said Friday. “Everybody thought we were going to die. We were going so fast, it was slow. It puts things into perspective. You never know which game might be your last.”
North Little Rock athletic director Gary Davis to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Thursday night that the bus carrying the offense to a pregame meal at a local church was involved in a multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 40 at the JFK exit just before 4 p.m. The defensive bus was already at the church, but the offensive and junior varsity bus lagged behind.
An accident had already occurred and offensive coordinator Blake Pizan was driving the bus and was trying to avoid the cars. Hill, who was one 31 players who weren’t injured, was seated in the back.
“I felt the bus skirting across the road, and I looked up. [Pizan] said, ‘Everybody hang on,’” Hill said. “We barely missed another bus and were on two wheels because we were going so fast. Then, … Read more >

Mustain’s mother breaks silence after former UA coach Nutt addresses NWA Touchdown Club

NWA Media/ANDY SHUPE - Former Arkansas football coach Houston Nutt, center, laughs with Pat Foster, former assistant basketball coach at Arkansas, left, and Harold Horton, a former player and coach at Arkansas, during a meeting of the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club Wednesday at Mermaids restaurant in Fayetteville.

Beck Campbell has kept her opinions of the 2006 Arkansas football season and the treatment of her son, Mitch Mustain, to herself until yesterday. However, after former Arkansas coach Houston Nutt addressed the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club and proclaimed that he and former Hogs offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn got along, Campbell had heard enough.

Campbell fumed on social media Wednesday night.

“For the record … in spite of what Nutt said at the [NWA Touchdown Club] and what Gus said in his radio interview … they DID NOT get along. EVERYTHING bad that happened the year they worked together was a direct result of the pissing match between the two … to say otherwise is an out-right lie. Just had to get it out there …”

Campbell’s blood began boiling last month after Nutt interviewed Malzahn for SiriusXM. Malzahn was cordial despite numerous accounts the two didn’t get along during the 2006 season and that Malzahn’s hiring from Springdale High School was not Nutt’s idea.

“I really appreciate coach Nutt giving me an opportunity to get into college football,” Malzahn said. “I wouldn’t be here where I’m at right now if it hadn’t been for coach taking a chance on … Read more >

Former UA coach Richardson can now laugh at the past

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Photo by Lauren Clark Former University of Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson enjoyed the Toast and Roast in his honor last week at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock.

Pat Bradley showed nerves of steel taking big shots for Arkansas during his career. However, the line he delivered last week during the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas Toast and Roast of former UA coach  Nolan Richardson may have taken more gumption than all of those clutch shots put together.
As Bradley took to the podium he motioned toward the event’s emcee Craig O’Neill, a THV 11 news anchor,  and Richardson and said, “You guys both have something in common. You were both fired by Frank Broyles.”
At first, the crowd gasped, then laughed loudly as Richardson and O’Neill both smiled and laughed and got up from their chairs and hugged.
“[Pat] saw that as a really funny moment,” Richardson says. “It was a really funny moment when you stop and think about it. A lot of guys don’t have the guts to say things. I’m glad the guys can say some of the things they may not have been able to say before.”
O’Neill was relieved of his … Read more >

Bielema taking care to build Arkansas program right

Arkansas Bielema Football
Arkansas Bielema Football

AP Photo/Denny Johnston UA coach Bret Bielema addressed the media before speaking at the Little Rock Touchdown Club Tuesday at the Statehouse Convention Center.

Bret Bielema learned some valuable lessons growing up on a hog farm in rural Illinois. As he looks to build the University of Arkansas football program he is reminded about a building project that went awry on that farm when he was 10.

The coach told a packed house at the Little Rock Touchdown Club Tuesday about how he and his older brother took shortcuts building a large fence for around 200 hogs. Bielema’s father showed the boys how place the posts and attach them. However, after a period of time the brothers realized they could use less posts and the fence looked the same. Bielema said on a Friday night they corralled 200 hogs into the pen. The next morning, though, the hogs had knocked the fence down and were running loose.

Bielema says his father was furious, and he and his brother had to retrieve the hogs and rebuild the fence.

“When you don’t build something right, you have to do a lot more work to do it again the second time to get … Read more >