2010 AUTO ZONE LIBERTY BOWL POSTGAME NOTES
Arkansas 20, East Carolina 17 (ot)
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas (15-of-36, 202 yards, 1 TD)
East Carolina Outstanding Offensive Player: Dominique Lindsay, RB (33 rec., 151 yards, 1 TD)
East Carolina Outstanding Defensive Player: Chris Mattocks, LB (8 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass breakup)
Arkansas Outstanding Offensive Player: Jarius Wright, WR (4 rec. 90 yards, 1 TD)
Arkansas Outstanding Defensive Player: Tramain Thomas, SS (9 tackles, INT return for TD)
Today’s announced crowd of 62,742 ranks as the second-largest crowd in Liberty Bowl history. It also marks the 13th consecutive year the Liberty Bowl has produced a crowd of better than 50,000.
The game marked the first overtime game in AutoZone Liberty Bowl history. It was the third bowl game to go to overtime this season (Wyoming beat Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 19 and Auburn beat Northwestern in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1) and the 20th overtime bowl game since tied bowl games were allowed to use a tiebreaker system beginning in 1995.
The game time kickoff temperature of 29 degrees made this the fourth-coldest Liberty Bowl played in Memphis. The coldest was 15 degrees for Notre Dame-Boston College in 1983, followed by 28 degrees for Virginia Tech-Miami in 1968 and 28 degrees for Michigan State-Louisville in 1993.
Today marked the fifth time in six years that the Liberty Bowl has been decided by a touchdown or less. The last six Liberty Bowls have been decided by a total of 35 points, or 5.8 per game.
East Carolina’s 99-yard scoring drive on their first touchdown tied the Liberty Bowl record for longest scoring drive. Oregon State had a 99-yard scoring drive (scoring on a 99-yard TD run by Terry Baker) against Villanova in 1962, when the bowl was played in Philadelphia. Pinkney was 5-for-5 for 73 yards on the drive and Darryl Freeney caught three passes for 61 yards on the drive.
East Carolina’s Van Eskridge recorded five tackles and a fumble recovery in the first quarter. He finished the game with nine tackles and two pass breakups.
Matt Dodge’s 63-yard punt in the first quarter was the fourth-longest in Liberty Bowl history. Last year, he had a 68-yarder that ranks as the second-longest in AZLB annals. He finished today’s game with a 46.2 yard average, the third-highest average in AZLB history. Dodge set that record in last year’s game at 47.8.
East Carolina running back Dominique Lindsay carried 33 times for 151 yards and one touchdown. The 33 attempts are the fourth-most in AZLB history, while the 151 yards ranks sixth in AZLB annals.
East Carolina’s Ben Hartman tied the Liberty Bowl record with five field goal attempts, going 1-for-5. He tied the record set by ECU’s Chad Holcombe vs. Stanford in 1995 (4-of-5).
Arkansas failed to convert a single third down on the day, going 0-for-13 on third-down conversions.
Arkansas became the first team to be shut out in the first half of the Liberty Bowl since Southern Miss was blanked by Utah in 2003. It was the second time this season that the Razorbacks were shut out in the opening half, as Alabama blanked them on Sept. 26.
Arkansas was 0-for-6 on third-down conversions in the first half.
Tramain Thomas’ 37-yard interception return for an Arkansas touchdown in the third quarter was the ninth INT returned for a score in
Liberty Bowl history and the first since Boise State’s Andy Avalos did it against Louisville in 2004.
The win was the first by Arkansas in four trips to the Liberty Bowl and was the school’s first bowl victory since the 2003 Independence Bowl. The Razorbacks are now 12-22-3 all-time in bowl games.
East Carolina fell to 1-3 all-time in Liberty Bowl games. The Pirates are 8-8 all-time in bowl games.
Download: 2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl Notes.pdf