SEC bowl notes: Arkansas v. Minnesota

The Razorbacks of Arkansas (9-4, 5-3) will represent the SEC in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl versus the Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-5, 3-5) of the Big Ten. The game will be played in The Coliseum (67,000) in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday with kickoff scheduled for 1 pm Central time. ESPN will televise the contest.

Arkansas Razorbacks

Head Coach: Houston Nutt (Oklahoma State, 1981)
Record at Arkansas: 39-22 (.639) / 5th season
Overall Record: 75-44 (.630) / 10th season
In Bowl Games: 1-3 (.250)

National Rankings: #25 - AP / rv - USA Today-ESPN
Arkansas in Bowl Games: 10-19-3 (.359)
Arkansas in Music City Bowls: First Appearance
Last Bowl Appearance: 2002 Cotton (lost to Oklahoma, 3-10)
Formations: Offense - Multiple Defense - Mutliple
Internet Web Address: www.hogwired.com

Key Arkansas Players

OT Shawn Andrews (6-5, 350, So., Camden, Ark.)
Unanimous first-team All-SEC selection ... Voted the Jacobs Blocking Trophy by the league's coaches as the best blocker in the SEC ... Consensus first-team All-America.

FS Ken Hamlin (6-2, 200, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.)
Unanimous first-team All-SEC selection ... Leads the Razorbacks with 144 tackles (91 solos), including five for losses (-14) ... Also has four interceptions and 10 pass deflections this season ... Tied for SEC lead with four forced fumbles ... Had league's top tackle game with 22 against Troy State.

RB Fred Talley (5-9, 185, Sr., Longview, Texas)
Second-team All-SEC by Associated Press ... Third in the SEC in rushing, averaging 83.5 yards per game ... Rushed for 1,086 yards on 183 carries and two TDs ... Named SEC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts against Auburn (league best 241 rushing yards) ... Also tallied 182 rushing yards against Kentucky and 136 vs. Ole Miss.

LB Tony Bua (5-11, 216, Jr., River Ridge, La.)
Second-team All-SEC by AP and the league's coaches ... Second on the squad in tackles with 122 (66 solos) ... Credited with nine tackles for losses (-50), including four sacks (-36) ... Also had two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble ... Named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against Boise State.

Arkansas Team Notes

  • Arkansas has been to bowl games during the last five seasons ...
  • Twice previously has the Razorbacks been to bowls in six straight seasons ...
  • Arkansas is the only SEC Western Division team to appear in a bowl the last five seasons. The Music City Bowl marks the 33rd bowl appearance by the Razorbacks ...
  • Arkansas leads the SEC and is 11th in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 229.6 yards per game ...
  • The Razorbacks are also second in the SEC in rushing defense, allowing just 109.4 yards per game ...
  • Arkansas leads the SEC and is fourth in the nation in turnover margin ...
  • The Razorbacks have gained 36 turnovers and have lost just 15.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Head Coach: Glen Mason (Ohio State, 1972)
Record at Minnesota: 33-37 (.471) / 6th season
Overall Record: 92-101-1 (.477) / 17th season
In Bowl Games: 2-1 (.667)

Conference: Big Ten
National Rankings: rv - AP / rv - USA Today-ESPN
Minnesota in Bowl Games: 2-5 (.286)
Minnesota in Music City Bowls: First Appearance
Last Bowl Appearance: 2000 Micronpc.com (lost to N.C. State, 30-38)
Formations: Offense - Mutliple Defense - 4-3
Internet Web Address: www.gophersports.com

2002 Minnesota Schedule/Results:

8/31, Southwest Texas State, W, 42-0
9/7, at Louisiana-Lafayette W, 35-11
9/14, Toledo, W, 31-21
9/21, Buffalo, W, 41-17
9/28, at Purdue L, 15-28
10/5, Illinois, W, 31-10
10/12, Northwestern, W, 45-42
10/19, at Michigan State W, 28-7
11/2, at Ohio State L, 3-34
11/9, Michigan, L, 24-41
11/16, Iowa, L, 21-45
11/23, at Wisconsin L, 31-49

Key Minnesota Players

RB Terry Jackson II (5-11, 196, So., Saginaw, Mich.)
Sixth in the Big Ten in rushing, with 1,281 yards on 222 carries and six TDs ... Was Co-Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts against Northwestern (239 rushing yards on 37 carries and 2 TDs - sixth highest rushing yardage total in school history) ... Had a 71-yard run vs. Buffalo, 59-yarder vs. Illinois and 56-yarder vs. Michigan State.

PK Dan Nystrom (5-11, 207, Sr., New Hope, Minn.)
Led the Big Ten in field goal percentage, hitting 15 of 16 attempts (93.8 percent) ... Also hit all 40 of his extra-point attempts ... Third in the Big Ten in scoring by kickers with 85 points ... Minnesota's career scoring leader with 346 points ... Also school's all-time leader in field goals and PATs made.

Minnesota Team Notes

  • Gophers have been to bowl games in three of the last four seasons ...
  • The school has never achieved that before Glen Mason arrived in Minneapolis ...
  • Minnesota has lost three straight bowls ...
  • Its last bowl win was against Clemson (20-13) in the 1985 Independence Bowl ...
  • Gophers lead the Big Ten in passing defense, allowing 176.2 yards per game.

Series/Game Notes

  • Series Record: First Meeting
  • Minnesota WR coach Richard Wilson played at Arkansas during the 1979 and 1980 seasons and later coached at his alma mater during the 1989-90 seasons ...
  • Arkansas LB coach Bobby Allen was a graduate assistant coach at Minnesota in 1985 ...
  • Arkansas is 1-3 against current Big Ten members (0-1 vs. Wisconsin, 0-1 vs. Iowa, 0-1 vs. Michigan, 1-0 vs. Northwestern) ...
  • Minnesota is 3-3 vs. current SEC members (1-0 vs. Ole Miss, 0-1 vs. Tennessee, 2-2 vs. Vanderbilt) ...
  • Since 1960, Minnesota has played just one SEC team (lost to Tennessee, 14-21, in 1986) ...
  • Since 1926, Arkansas has played just two games against Big Ten teams (1981, def. Northwestern, 38-7; 1999 Citrus Bowl, lost to Michigan, 31-45).

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