Notebook: Hogs-Cats are infrequent SEC foes, injury updates, more
FAYETTEVILLE — It has been a while since Arkansas last visited Kentucky for a football game.
Barack Obama was still more than two weeks away from being elected President, Bobby Petrino was coaching his seventh game and current true freshmen like Trey Knox and Treylon Burks were in second grade when the Razorbacks lost to the Wildcats 21-20 on Oct. 18, 2008.
It has been seven years since the last time those two teams played anywhere, as Arkansas won a weather-shortened blowout 49-7 over Kentucky with John L. Smith at the helm in 2012.
This is just the latest example of the SEC’s scheduling format creating huge gaps in time between cross-divisional games in the conference. While most head coaches typically decline comment about the scheduling system, especially during the season, Chad Morris seemed receptive to the idea of change when asked about it during Wednesday’s SEC teleconference.
“It’s up to the scheduling and how that unfolds,” Morris said. “I do think it’s been quite a while and you’d like to see a little bit more frequency in it.”
Mark Stoops was hired as Kentucky’s head coach the same year as Bret Bielema at Arkansas, but the pair never met in a game despite Bielema coaching five seasons with the Razorbacks.
“Both of us, when we were new in the league, took a look at that schedule and noticed we didn't play each other for some time,” Stoops said. “That was certainly odd.”
The players, on the other hand, didn’t seem to think it was a big deal to be playing an opponent none of them have faced before. To most of them, it’s just another game, but defensive tackle McTelvin Agim did acknowledge it’s cool to see which new SEC team is on the schedule each year.
“It's always exciting when you look at the schedule, like what SEC East opponent are you going to get?” Agim said. “We're excited to go to Kentucky and play our hearts out.”
When Arkansas and Kentucky have met in Lexington, they’ve produced some classics. In the aforementioned 2008 game, the Razorbacks actually led 17-0 and 20-7 before the Wildcats scored twice in the final five minutes to pull out the victory.
Before that, they last played in Kentucky during the 2003 season. That game was tied 24-24 at the end of regulation and ended up going seven overtimes before Arkansas won 71-63.
One of the highlights of that game was Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen - nicknamed the “Hefty Lefty” because he was 300-plus pounds - throwing for 326 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another three scores.
Lorenzen passed away over the summer and the Wildcats are honoring him before the game, which was picked because of his “exceptional” performance against the Razorbacks in 2003. Stoops added that he showed his team highlights of that game Tuesday.
“(We) showed them highlights of Jared and talked about Jared and how we’re honoring him,” Stoops said. “I wanted the players to be familiar with that and certainly showed them many of the highlights from the 2003 game.”
For the second straight day, starting left tackle Colton Jackson was not at practice during the 20-minute viewing portion open to the media. He is in concussion protocol for the second time this season, as he also missed the San Jose State game last month because of a concussion.
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