'55 Cotton Bowl Brings Bittersweet Moments

FAYETTEVILLE — Because it was stolen, Eddie Bradford doesn't have the Stetson he received when got off the plane after arriving in Dallas for the 1955 Cotton Bowl game.

"It just breaks my heart that I don't still have it," Bradford said. "I spent 26 years in the service. In one of my many moves, somewhere, someone stole that hat from me. That's how I lost my hat.

"I also lost my (Southwest) conference championship ring but not that way. My house was robbed back when I moved back to Fayetteville."

Bradford, who played offensive tackle and defensive guard for the Razorbacks in the '55 Cotton Bowl against Georgia Tech, said participating in the game was special.

Although Arkansas lost 14-6, Bradford still has fond memories, especially of receiving that Stetson.

"As we got off the plane we each had individual Cowboy hats, beautiful Stetson hats that had our name imprinted in it," Bradford said. "It was unbelievably nice."

Bradford was one of the "25 Little Pigs" who finished the 1954 season with an 8-2 regular-season record and SWC title.

Coached by Bowden Wyatt, the Razorbacks met a tough Georgia Tech team coached by Bobby Dodd. The Yellow Jackets featured halfback George Humphrey, who led a brutal ground attack which accounted for 293 yards rushing, including 285 in the final two quarters.

Georgia Tech also featured young assistant coach Frank Broyles, who would become Arkansas' coach in 1958.

Arkansas drove 80 yards in 11 plays to score its only touchdown in the second quarter. From there, it was all Georgia Tech. Humphrey, who finished with 99 yards on 19 carries, was named the game's most valuable back.

"We still played a good football game but when you don't come out victorious, it totally changes the picture of everything," Bradford said. "But you couldn't erase the experience we had. It was a great moment."

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