Buckeyes' Sugar Bowl opponent still a mystery

Published Dec. 16, 2010 12:42 p.m. ET

By Jeff Svoboda
FOX Sports Ohio | Buckeye Sports
Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Don't know much about Arkansas yet, still three weeks before the Buckeyes and Razorbacks meet on the Superdome field in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4?

Don't feel bad. Members of the sixth-ranked Ohio State squad were with you when the game was announced Dec. 5.

"I didn't know anything about them," Hines said Tuesday of the eighth-ranked Hogs.

"I was never paying attention to them during the season, to be honest," senior cornerback Devon Torrence added.

It's understandable. Even with a strong history that includes the 1964 national championship and a legacy of success from the 1950s through the '80s behind Frank Broyles, Lou Holtz and Ken Hatfield, Arkansas is a long way from a household name. Despite having a solid program in the SEC, this is the Razorbacks' first BCS appearance, and they've never suited up against the Buckeyes.

If there's one thing most Ohio State fans do know, it's that Arkansas has Ryan Mallett, a Michigan transfer who was one of the best quarterbacks in the country in 2010. The school's all-time leading touchdown tosser, Mallett helped Arkansas set school records for total yards (5,871), passing yards (4,061), passing touchdowns (34) and completions (277). The Hogs are second in the SEC in both yards per game (489.3) and points (37.3).

Meanwhile, the defense allowed 28.1 points per SEC game, but the Razorbacks allowed only 11 passing touchdowns and were adept at forcing turnovers.

Leading the charge is Bobby Petrino, who has improved the Hogs' win total from five in his first year of 2008 to eight last year and now 10 in 2010. He's 64-23 overall as a head coach.

"I think it will be exciting for everyone," OSU head coach Jim Tressel said. "They're a great football team."