1977 Arkansas Razorbacks football team

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1977 Arkansas Razorbacks football
Orange Bowl champion
Orange Bowl, W 31–6 vs. Oklahoma
Conference Southwest Conference
Ranking
Coaches No. 3
AP No. 3
1977 record 11–1 (7–1 SWC)
Head coach Lou Holtz (1st year)
Offensive scheme I formation
Base defense 5–2
Captain Leotis Harris
Captain Steve Little
Captain Howard Sampson
Home stadium Razorback Stadium
War Memorial Stadium
Seasons
← 1976
1978 →
1977 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#4 Texas $ 8 0 0     11 1 0
#3 Arkansas 7 1 0     11 1 0
Texas A&M 6 2 0     8 4 0
Houston 4 4 0     6 5 0
Texas Tech 4 4 0     7 5 0
Baylor 3 5 0     5 6 0
SMU 3 5 0     4 7 0
TCU 1 7 0     2 9 0
Rice 0 8 0     1 10 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1977 Arkansas Razorbacks football team represented the University of Arkansas in the Southwest Conference (SWC) during the 1977 NCAA Division I football season. In their first year under head coach Lou Holtz, the Razorbacks compiled an 11–1 record (7–1 against SWC opponents), finished in second place in the SWC, and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 389 to 101. The Razorbacks' only loss was to SWC champion Texas by a 13–9 score. The team advanced to 1978 Orange Bowl, defeating #2 Oklahoma by a 31–6 score.[1][2] Arkansas was ranked #3 in both the final AP Poll and the final UPI Coaches Poll.

Offensive guard Leotis Harris and placekicker Steve Little were both consensus first-team picks for the 1977 College Football All-America Team. Little punted 48 times for 2,127 yards, and had the fourth-best average in college football, with 44.3 yards per punt. Little scored an average of 8.5 points per game for the Razorbacks, including 19 field goals (30 attempted) and 37 extra points. This was the eighth-best average per game, and the second-best among kickers. His 1.73 field goals per game was second-best to Paul Marchese of Kent State.

The Razorbacks also had the third-best scoring defense and tied for the fourth-best pass defense. The Hogs, along with the Indiana Hoosiers, gave up only 89.5 yards per game through the air, and the Hogs only surrendered 8.6 points per game. Only North Carolina and Ohio State allowed fewer points in 1977. The Hogs were ranked third by the AP, behind runner-up Alabama and champion Notre Dame.

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 10 New Mexico State* War Memorial StadiumLittle Rock, AR W 53–10   53,167
September 17 No. 15 Oklahoma State* War Memorial Stadium • Little Rock, AR W 28–6   54,280
September 24 Tulsa* No. 16 Razorback StadiumFayetteville, AR W 37–3   43,524
October 1 at TCU No. 12 Amon Carter StadiumFort Worth, TX W 42–6   22,713
October 15, 1977 No. 2 Texas No. 8 Razorback Stadium • Fayetteville, AR ABC L 9–13   44,296
October 22, 1977 Houston No. 9 War Memorial Stadium • Little Rock, AR W 34–0   53,924
October 29, 1977 at Rice No. 8 Rice StadiumHouston, TX W 30–7   20,000
November 5 vs. Baylor No. 8 War Memorial Stadium • Little Rock, AR W 35–9   53,620
November 12 at No. 11 Texas A&M No. 8 Kyle FieldCollege Station, TX (Rivalry) W 26–20   54,000
November 19 SMU No. 8 Razorback Stadium • Fayetteville, AR W 47-7   43,791
November 24, 1977 Texas Tech No. 6 Jones Stadium • Lubbock, TX ABC W 17–14   32,856
January 2, 1978 vs. No. 2 Oklahoma* No. 6 Miami Orange BowlMiami, FL (Orange Bowl) NBC W 31–6   60,987
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.

Orange Bowl[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
#6 Razorbacks 14 0 10 7 31
#2 Sooners 0 0 0 6 6

The 1978 Orange Bowl was played between #6 Arkansas and #2 Oklahoma. Entering the game, the Hogs were twenty-one point underdogs against the Sooners.[3] Arkansas had four offensive starters suspended for the contest, which also led fans to believe the Sooners would roll.[4] Roland Sales of Arkansas rushed for 205 yards on 23 carries, setting an Orange Bowl record. Sales would hold the record until Ahman Green carried for 206 yards in 1998, beating Sales by a single yard.[5] He came in relief of star running back Ben Cowins, who the Hogs left in Fayetteville for a violation of team rules. Sales bagan the scoring on a one-yard run after a Billy Sims fumble. Hog QB Ron Calcagni would score next, after a fumble by Oklahoma fullback Kenny King. Steve Little completed a field goal to give the Hogs a 17–0 cushion in the third quarter. Sales scored on a four-yard run to stretch the Hog advantage to 24–0. Oklahoma would score on an eight-yard touchdown pass, but the Hogs would stop the two-point conversion. Barnabas White would tack on another Razorback touchdown, getting the ball from Mike Scott playing quarterback for the Hogs.

Source: Arkansas Razorbacks Bowl History – 1978 Orange Bowl

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Arkansas Yearly Results (1975-1979)". College Football Data Warehouse. David DeLassus. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  2. ^ "1977 Arkansas Razorbacks Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  3. ^ Whitmire, Keith. "Remember win Short-handed Arkansas' upset of OU in '78 Orange Bowl is still on the minds of many." Story. December 7, 2001. The Dallas Morning News Retrieved on November 16.
  4. ^ "The Orange Bowl – 1978." Game Recap. Retrieved on November 16.
  5. ^ "Orange Bowl Records-Single Game Leaders." Record Book. Orange Bowl. Retrieved on November 16, 2008.