Hogs Hoping To Get Golden Boot Back

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas offensive lineman Robert Felton has never lifted the Golden Boot. But the 6-foot-4, 320-pound senior was told early in his career what to expect when he gets the chance.

"I've heard from guys who are long gone from here right now that it's pretty heavy," Felton said of the 175-pound trophy, which is awarded to the winner of the LSU-Arkansas game each year.

The problem is, Felton has been waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

LSU has hogged the award ever since Felton has been on Arkansas' campus. In fact, the Razorbacks enter Friday's regular-season finale against the top-ranked Tigers, in a game dubbed as the annual Battle for the Golden Boot, with four straight losses in the series.

So no one on Arkansas' roster knows what it's like to hoist the trophy after the win. Some of them don't even know what the trophy looks like. But they're all determined to find out Friday.

"I've seen pictures of it and stuff because I was at the LSU game when they had the Miracle on Markham," center Jonathan Luigs said. "I saw it then. It's something that I've always wanted to do while I've been here and this is our opportunity."

Luigs was referring to Arkansas' last win in the series, which came in 2002 in Little Rock. The Razorbacks got an unbelievable, last-minute touchdown pass from Matt   Jones to receiver DeCori Birmingham to beat LSU 21-20 and send Arkansas to the SEC Championship Game. And the boot to Fayetteville for a year.

Felton said he remembers seeing the golden trophy in the museum during his redshirt freshman year. But the Razorbacks lost to LSU in 2003. The trophy hasn't come back to Arkansas since.

The recent, one-sided series hit Felton when he showed a family member around the museum on the second floor of the Broyles Center. After wandering around and looking at trophies, plaques and pictures, Felton said they stopped at the bottom of the staircase and looked at the empty platform where the boot rests.

"They were like, 'The boot? What is this boot?'" Felton said. "I had to explain to them what's going on. It made me realize we haven't had that boot there in awhile. I haven't seen that boot there. It just has a plaque and says the boot and a big old space collecting dust."

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt, who is 3-6 against LSU, said the Razorbacks have been talking about that void in the museum since the summer. He said it has been mentioned this week.

Some players may not know what it looks like, others may not know what it feels like to lift, but Nutt said everyone on Arkansas' roster wants the Golden Boot back in Fayetteville next week.

"I want that trophy," Felton said. "I'm greedy right now. I want it back."

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