Starters returning: 9
Yards gained ('77):
Starters returning: 8
Yards allowed: ('77):
Last year during a 34-0 romp over Houston, Arkansas Quarterback Ron Calcagni called a time-out and trotted over to the sideline to confer with Coach Lou Holtz. Calcagni was infuriated by the performance of one of his teammates. "You've got to get him out of there," Calcagni told Holtz. "He just doesn't want it bad enough." This year, as Calcagni and his teammates pursue the national championship, they will have a chance to show just how badly they want it.
Once a consistent force nationally, Arkansas had not seriously challenged for No. 1 since 1969. Then last season, with Calcagni leading the way by rolling up 1,693 yards in total offense and completing 53% of his passes, the Hogs lost only to No. 1 Texas and were invited to the Orange Bowl, where they upset heavily favored Oklahoma 31-6. Two-time All-Southwest Conference Running Back Ben Cowins (2,354 yards rushing the past two years) returns for his final season, along with junior Roland Sales who gained 205 yards and won the outstanding offensive player award in the Orange Bowl. Although Receiver Donny Bobo, who had 22 catches in 77, injured his knee in a scrimmage, Robert Farrell is expected to step in with little falloff in the passing game.
The longest run the Razorbacks gave up last year was 30 yards, the longest pass 31 yards, and it is again on defense that Arkansas should wear down the tough SWC opposition. But Arkansas' swarming defenders, led by Tackle Jimmy Walker, could usually count on getting good field position last year. Even if the offense stalled there was always Kicker Steve Little to call on. But Little has departed, drafted No. 1 by the St. Louis Cardinals, and there is no one of his caliber available. His probable replacement is Ismael Ordonez, who kicked eight field goals for West Los Angeles JC last year.
The Razorbacks meet Texas Oct. 21 in Austin, and if they come through that without getting their snouts bent out of shape, somebody better start thinking of a way to make Soooeee rhyme with No. 1.