1970 Sugar Bowl
|1970 Sugar Bowl|
|Date||January 1, 1970|
|Location||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Referee||Charles Bowen (SEC)|
(split crew between SEC and SWC)
|Halftime show||Benjamin Rickman & The Heartwoods|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Chris Schenkel and Bud Wilkinson|
Arkansas entered the game with a 9-1 record and #3 national ranking. Ole Miss, led by Johnny Vaught, entered at 7-3. The two neighboring states had developed a rivalry, with a yearly series ending in 1961. The two clubs also met in the 1963 Sugar Bowl.
The Razorbacks were making a return trip to the Sugar Bowl, following up a victory in the 1969 Sugar Bowl. Starting 9-0, the Razorbacks ended the regular season with a loss to the Texas Longhorns in The Big Shootout, watching a 14-0 lead evaporate into a 15-14 loss when Texas scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. This loss to the #1 Longhorns cost the Hogs, ranked #2 at the time by the Associated Press and #3 by United Press International, a Southwest Conference championship and a chance at the national championship.
#13 Ole Miss
Ole Miss, led by coaching great Johnny Vaught and quarterback Archie Manning entered the game at 7-3. The Rebels were invited to the Sugar Bowl on the strength of November victories over Southeastern Conference powers LSU (26-23) and Tennessee (38-0), both at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson.
Ole Miss running back Bo Bowen scampered 69 yards to open the scoring, with Archie Manning adding another 18-yard TD run. Down 14-0, Arkansas responded with a 12-yard TD run by Bill Burnett, but the extra point was missed, and after a Rebel field goal and Archie Manning 30-yard TD strike, were down 24-6. Before halftime, Chuck Dicus hauled in a 47-yard pass from Bill Montgomery, but the two-point conversion was incomplete, and the Rebels took a 24-12 halftime lead.
The third quarter produced a field goal from each team, and in the fourth quarter fullback Bruce Maxwell caught a six-yard strike from Montgomery to cut the lead to five, but the rally fell short, the Hogs losing by a 27-22 final.
Though Archie Manning's sons Peyton and Eli later became star quarterbacks in the SEC (Peyton at Tennessee and Eli at Ole Miss), neither played in the Sugar Bowl.
This was the final bowl game featuring two all-white squads. Arkansas' first black varsity player, Jon Richardson, suited up in 1970, and Ole Miss followed suit in 1972 with Ben Williams. Ole Miss and LSU were the last major college programs to desegregate their varsity teams.
Manning returned to the Crescent City less than two years later when the New Orleans Saints selected him second overall (behind Jim Plunkett) in the 1971 NFL draft. Manning played for the Saints from 1971 until he was traded after the first game of the 1982 season.
The Razorbacks and Rebels renewed their annual series in the 1980s, and in 1992, they became conference rivals when Arkansas joined the SEC.
Houston Nutt coached the Razorbacks from 1998-2007 and the Rebels from 2008-11.
Arkansas has played in the Sugar Bowl twice since losing to Ole Miss. In 1980 (1979 season), the Razorbacks of Lou Holtz lost 24-9 to national champion Alabama (coached by Arkansas native Bear Bryant), and in 2011 (2010 season), the Bobby Petrino-led Hogs lost 31-26 to Ohio State (the Buckeyes later vacated the win following the discovery of numerous NCAA violations under the watch of coach Jim Tressel).