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Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Sugar Bowl pregame ponderables

By Brian Bennett

NEW ORLEANS -- Greetings from the Superdome, site of the Allstate Sugar Bowl between No. 8 Arkansas and No. 6 Ohio State.

There has been a sea of red in the French Quarter this week since both fan bases wear the same basic hue. But the Razorbacks have dominated the scene. I went to dinner with Adam Rittenberg on Monday night at G.W. Fins -- a swanky seafood restaurant -- when a Call The Hogs cheer suddenly broke out.

The wait staff was mortified, but hey, Arkansas has never been to a BCS game and hasn't made the Sugar Bowl in 30 years. Sometimes you just got to let it all out.

As noted earlier this week, Bobby Petrino's team has come in here with few distractions and not a lot of attention. He has kept them focused and hopes the Razorbacks can play as well as they did in winning their final six games, though the long layoff could hurt the timing for Ryan Mallett and the high-flying offense.

The Buckeyes will present a tough, physical test on defense. It's important that Knile Davis and the running game get going to keep the offense balanced and create more time for Mallett to operate. But Arkansas should be able to score points on anybody; it's whether the Hogs can slow down Terrelle Pryor and Ohio State's offense that could prove key to this outcome.

It should be a lot of fun, and here in SEC country Arkansas fans hope to have a lot to cheer about. Much more to come ...