What I remember about that game came the next day. Arkansas coach Lou Holtz promised that the Hogs would alter their recruiting standards. The Hogs would get bigger. He wouldn't take any linemen under 6-4. He didn't like the way his team was manhandled by a great Crimson Tide offensive line.
What I'd rather remember is a victorious trip to New Orleans. I want to relate Tuesday night's Arkansas-Ohio State matchup to a different Sugar Bowl, one that seems to have fallen under the radar of late.
Bill Montgomery and Chuck Dicus made the Bulldogs pay. They hooked up 12 times for 169 yards. Dicus beat Scott for a 27-yard touchdown reception early in the game. The Hogs got the rest of their points on Bob White field goals.
Georgia held the Arkansas running game to just 40 net yards. But they had to sellout with their corners and linebackers to do that.
How does it relate to the 2011 Sugar Bowl? It's a matchup of a great Arkansas offense against a great Ohio State defense. The Buckeyes have great players stocked at each level of their defense, much like that Georgia defense that was among the national leaders in total yards.
The Buckeyes have a great player at defensive tackle, or defensive end, depending on the called scheme. Cameron Heyward (6-5, 288) moves around on the field depending to create matchup problems. He's the same kind of force that Stanfill was in the 1968 season. Heyward will play on the next level. He can wreak havoc against the run and get to the passer.
That's who Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee mentioned first when he went to the microphone at the media session Friday at the Marriott Hotel after the Hogs finished practice.
"We have to find No. 97 on each play," said McGee. "He is a defensive end who can play tackle. He really causes problems. We must recognize where's he's at. We will have to be very good at our technique and stick to it. That's the only way to handle him."
Then, there's linebacker where both Brian Rolle, in the middle, and Ross Homan, on the weakside, were first team all-Big Ten. Then, you go to the secondary where cornerback Chimdi Chekwa and nickel back Jermale Hines were all-Big Ten.
What do all of those players have in common? All are seniors. They have been a part of a top defense that has been to a BCS game every year they've been in school at Columbus.
Rolle (5-11, 218) is undersized for a mike linebacker, but he makes plays because of his understanding of schemes and keys. He's quick to the ball whether it's a run or a pass.
"When you see him on tape, it's clear he understands if it's a run or play-action," McGee said. "If it's play-action, he beats the quarterback to the spot on bootlegs. He coordinates the front and the linebackers and they do a great job with their disguises.
"They have big, strong, experienced corners and safeties that are tacklers. They are very experienced and talented."
In fact, the Buckeyes start eight seniors in what they call their Silver Bullet defense that is second nationally in total defense (250 yards per game), fourth in rushing defense (94.3) and fourth in pass defense (156.2).
It's the same kind of balance that makes the Arkansas offense tick. The Hogs can throw it or run it. The run part of the equation started clicking around game seven against Ole Miss.
"When Knile Davis got it going, that took pressure off of Ryan Mallett," McGee said. "I think it's a lot like what they said about John Elway. They said he became a championship quarterback when Terrell Davis came on the scene (at running back).
"Early this year, Ryan was throwing for 400 yards a game. When he got down to 280 it was because Knile was taking the pressure off of him. That brought a lot of confidence to Ryan. He only had to complete some third-down throws. When you have an offensive line playing like we have now and Knile running the ball, it really changes what you have to do at quarterback."
Some of the great fun with bowl matchups revolves around the difference in styles. Ohio State plays in a conference that starts with stopping the running game. The Buckeyes can do that without bringing a lot of pressure. That allows them to rush only four most of the time, playing zone packages in coverage behind that great front.
Will the Buckeyes have to alter that scheme to stop a UA passing attack that generally cuts up zone secondary coverages?
"They don't play a lot of man pressure like we see in the SEC," Mallett said Friday. "I haven't seen them play much man and I haven't seen them blitz much. But I think they are going to add the power for us. I think we'll see blitzes."
No one has altered their schemes much for the Hogs this year. Rarely have they seen a defense loaded to stop the run.
"No, not really," Mallett said. "I think everyone stayed in their coverages and played their safeties deep all year. I think LSU brought their safeties up a little in the second half and that's when we hit them over the top with Joe Adams. Really, that's why we were able to run it so well the second half of the season."
Tight end D. J. Williams said that's one of the cat-and-mouse games the Hogs will have to figure out early against Ohio State.
"What you see from Ohio State is that they don't do a lot as far as (blitzes)," Williams said. "They really rely on their technique and fundamentals. They think they are going to be the team that makes the fewest mistakes. They say, 'Here we are, come get us.' They don't make mistakes in their scheme. They try to be the most disciplined team and trust their teammates.
"That's the traditional way they play. They are so good at it. They don't make mistakes and expect you will make more than they make.
"I don't know if they will bring their safeties up or not to help. They may not. That's what we watch for early and make adjustments.
"I haven't seen many teams that wanted to bring safeties into run support. They have been so scared of Ryan's arm that no one wants to do that.
"If that's the way they play, don't bit with the safety, that gives us some things. If not, then maybe we can get by them and get a couple of steps on them. That's what you give up to stop the run.
"Then, you also see that the linebackers may give up something to stop the run and maybe I get a step or two or one more guy in the box and that helps me at tight end. Maybe that gives me one or two steps. That's the difference between getting open and not."
In the end, McGee said it's the same type of game the Hogs have played all year. It comes down to staying in the fight until the final gun.
"It's going to be the type game that goes to the wire, like all the other games we played this year in the SEC," McGee said. "The team that plays its technique the longest and sticks to its technique all the way to the end is going to have the best chance to win. That's what we have told our players."
That 1969 Sugar Bowl was a grind. Defenses ruled. Both Arkansas and Georgia finished with 13 first downs. There will be more offense than that this time around -- especially if the Buckeyes have to bring the heat to stop the Arkansas running game.
That's what Arkansas wants. That's what Mallett wants.
"That puts the ball in my hands," Mallett said. "We love blitzes. We want that. I'd look forward to that kind of a game."
I like the Arkansas chances if that happens. It'll be a fun Sugar Bowl, just like Jan. 1, 1969, but with a lot more fireworks.
NOTES: There were no bombshells at the media session with Arkansas players. Ryan Mallett said he hasn't made up his mind on next season and will meet with parents after the bowl game to discuss his options.
Players all said practices have been crisp and the rust has fallen off since the layoff.
"They are getting better and better," wide receiver Joe Adams said. "I'd say we are in shape and ready for a game. This is like a typical game week for us. We have our plans down."
Offensive tackle DeMarcus Love said the focus has been on winning the game.
"I think there have been things to do here that are fun, but it's all revolving around football," Love said. "I don't think everyone knows the importance of this game."
Running back Knile Davis said, "We know what it means for our school and the whole state of Arkansas. It's a big game and we came here to win the game. We know it will lead to the next step and help recruiting."
Garrick McGee supervises a Tyler Wilson handoff.
D. J. Williams listens to a question at the media session.
Joe Adams waits on his turn in the early part of practice.
Ryan Mallett fires a pass in bowl practices.
DeMarcus Love works on a slide step.
Photos by Zac Lehr