FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Four score and seven years ago.
No, this isn’t about Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address. That’s how long it’s been — 87 years — since Arkansas had a three-game winning streak over rival LSU.
The No. 25 Hogs will face the No. 24 Tigers for the 38th time since then on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
“That’d be huge,” said senior left tackle Dan Skipper. “The Boot (trophy) has never stayed in Arkansas for three years. That was before they enacted the trophy, so having the opportunity to have that here for three years would be a great accomplishment and a great way to go out on a senior night.”
The Tigers, on the other hand, are looking to avoid the another post-Alabama letdown. This is the third consecutive season Arkansas has faced LSU the week after the Tigers lost a physically and emotionally draining game to the Crimson Tide.
“You can’t have a letdown like last year where we came out, lost and then went downhill from there,” said wide receiver D.J. Chark. “I feel like the team knows that.”
LSU’s interim coach Ed Orgeron is also competing to earn the full-time gig in Baton Rouge. A loss to the Razorbacks would undoubtedly damage his chances.
“My job as the football coach is to have the players put (Alabama) away,” said Orgeron, who is 3-1 since Les Miles was fired in September. “All of us felt the loss. You have to deal with the emotional letdown. We were all sick to our belly. We must respond to the first loss in our new season.”
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema stated this week he’s “not going to actually root for LSU in that category” when asked if Orgeron deserves the job but added that he thinks Orgeron is “good for the profession.” But Saturday, all bets are off in the Battle for the Golden Boot.
“It’s unlike any other,” Bielema said of the rivalry. “It’s a border state. You have the two fan bases. I mean, how many people fight over a boot? It’s a representation of success for your coaches and players, your coaches, your fan base and the pride of your state.”