Tusk to Tail 2014: Dead Poets, Coach Hatfield and Red Raiders, oh my!

The year was 1989. What do you remember? “Dead Poet’s Society” was the top grossing movie, Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” ruled the Billboards Charts, and Ken Hatfield was coaching the Hogs to a 10-2 season and a 45-13 win over Texas Tech in Lubbock.

This was the good old days when you could roll out the Razorbacks schedule, look over the SWC opponents and mark up at least 5 wins with toss ups against Texas, A&M and maybe Baylor or Houston. The only question was which bowl game Arkansas would be playing in.

The Hogs own a 28-7 series lead over the Red Raiders, with a 4-1 advantage in televised games. Arkansas dropped the last two games in ’90 and ‘91 with Jack Crowe at the helm, and now the Razorbacks could be in trouble again rolling into Lubbock with this defense against their offense.

It looks like the Hogs’ offensive line should be able to push the Red Raiders’ front four around but if their defense loads the box, can quarterback Brandon Allen make the throws? Can the Arkansas secondary make the plays to keep the Raiders from scoring? I don’t know, but Tusk to Tail is heading to Lubbock on Friday to find out in person.

I’ve never been to Lubbock. I’m guessing Mark Wagner is the only one in our crew that would have visited back in the day to catch a game there. It is too far off the beaten path for just normal travel. If not for a football game, there appears to be little reason to travel there.

Greg Houser and I are leaving at 8 a.m. Friday with all of the tailgate gear, and plan to make Oklahoma City for lunch. My brother suggested we try Tucker’s Onion Burgers, but there is always Ted’s Escondido if we so choose. Google says it is 564 miles and about 8 to 8.5 hours of nothing but Oklahoma and Texas scrub brush, so I imagine there will be plenty of time to dissect the game. The Little Rock guys will be eating around the Dallas Metroplex, but they have a bit further to go. Their journey is 622 miles, or about 9.5 hours.

Neither party will have time to spare. We have a reservation at Las Brisas Southwestern Steak House in Lubbock at 7:30. Las Brisas looks pretty good on Yelp and Trip Advisor, and a friend of my brother recommended it as well, so I’m looking forward to that dinner with the guys.

According to Wikipedia, Lubbock is larger than most college towns in the SEC at 240,000 people. Surprisingly, it has been hard to find people who have been there and who feel comfortable recommending eating or drinking spots. We are staying at a Country Inn and Suites not too far from campus but we really don’t know much about the town or tailgating on campus. We are taking our standard two-tent setup and just plan to make the best of the day and the great weather that is expected. Our Tusk to Tail “advance team” consisting of Sean Casey and Jack Clark will be in charge of scouting out a spot to tailgate at 5 p.m. on Friday.

We will keep the menu simple with some wings, and a West Texas taco bar with plenty of sweet tea vodka to wash it all down. I’ve checked my list twice, so Tusk to Tail is prepared for Lubbock, the Red Raider Nation, and their nauseating “Guns Up” cheer. I just hope the Hogs are as ready as we are.

Go Hogs, Beat Raiders!

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