Arkansas arrives for Liberty Bowl

Billboards around Memphis previewed Arkansas' arrival Monday.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Billboards around Memphis previewed Arkansas' arrival Monday. 

"Give Us Liberty" read the sign that featured a picture of the Razorbacks' football team running onto the field behind an American flag. It is one of multiple designs that will be used on nine different digital boards across the city leading up to the 57th Liberty Bowl on Saturday. 

The Razorbacks made their long-awaited trip across the Mississippi River on Monday, arriving at the historic Peabody Hotel just after the the march of the ducks at 5 p.m. The team will practice for the first time Tuesday at Rhodes College before attending an NBA game that night.

Arkansas' mission here is twofold. First, the Razorbacks want to elevate their profile in the city located minutes from the Natural State. Second, Arkansas is looking to record its eighth win, a feat last reached four years ago.

"I think everybody knows what is at stake," linebacker Brooks Ellis said. "We're all here to win a ball game."

For just the second time this season, Arkansas' team bussed to a game outside of Fayetteville. The Razorbacks' trip Monday included a surprise stop at a Benihana restaurant in Little Rock.

"I think that went over very well," Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said.

The Razorbacks are preparing for their second bowl game in as many seasons, but this week will be a little different than last year when Arkansas played Texas in Houston. The team spent only three days on the ground for the Texas Bowl, but will be in Memphis for twice as long.

"I like how our guys handled last year," Bielema said. "This is our second bowl trip together and I like what I see so far. I think they came back after the holiday ready to rock-and-roll."

Bielema did announce one injury Monday. Redshirt freshman tight end Jack Kraus tore his ACL during a practice Sunday night in Fayetteville.

"The good news is this is at an ideal time where he can get surgery," Bielema said. "He's supposed to get his tonsils out Tuesday, but we may have to push that back a little bit. 

"He should be with us full-go in the fall."


Hawgs Daily Top Stories