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Arkansas opens the 120th year of Razorback football on Aug. 31 against UL-Lafayette in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks have won six straight season-opening contests and 14 of their last 15. UA is 93-22-4 (.798) in season openers. Arkansas will boast one of the toughest schedules in the country in 2013, with its 12 opponents combining to post a 99-54 record (.647) in 2012, including seven with at least nine wins. Only two FBS teams played a schedule with a cumulative opposition winning percentage higher than .647 in 2012, and Arkansas’ 2012 schedule tied for the sixth-toughest in the country with an opponents winning percentage of .612.
The Razorbacks face nine opponents that played in bowl games following the 2012 season, the highest number among SEC schools, and five teams that finished the 2012 season ranked in the top 14 of the Associated Press poll, which is tied for the most in the conference.
Arkansas plays at Florida, Alabama and LSU during the 2013 season, marking the third time in school history the Razorbacks faced each team on the road in a single season. Since 1992, Arkansas is the only school to play at Florida, at Alabama and at LSU in the same season multiple times, with four other schools having trips to Gainesville, Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge on their schedule once.
UA’s schedule includes games against teams that have won the last seven national championships (Florida 2006, LSU 2007, Florida 2008, Alabama 2009, Auburn 2010, Alabama 2011, Alabama 2012). Including this year’s meeting with Alabama, Arkansas has played the defending national champion 13 times since 1993.
The Razorbacks host Texas A&M in Fayetteville for first time since 1990. Arkansas leads the all-time series 41-25-3 and has won three of the last four matchups.
Head coach Bret Bielema’s first staff at Arkansas is a collection of renowned recruiters and highly respected teachers of the game with a combined 174 years of coaching experience.
Head coach Bret Bielema and the nine assistant coaches have combined for 1,376 wins, three national championships, 29 conference championships, 14 BCS bowl appearances and 130 winning seasons. The coaching staff also has tutored 203 all-conference honorees, 20 All-Americans, 25 major award winners and 140 NFL Draft selections, including 25 first-round picks. Once in the NFL, 32 former players have appeared in 40 Super Bowls with two earning Super Bowl MVP honors.
Arkansas’ leaders in each of the following categories from the 2012 season are projected to return to the 2013 squad: scoring, tackles for loss, sacks, quarterback hurries, fumble recoveries, forced fumbles, blocked kicks, field goals, PATs, kickoffs and punt returns.
UA is set to return five starters on offense and eight on defense, while also bringing back its kicker from 2012. The Razorbacks return 26 players who made at least one start in 2012 (14 on offense and 12 on defense), including 13 who made at least six starts last season.