Aug 31, 2023 - Sports

Razorbacks travel for home season opener at War Memorial

Sam Pittman, head coach of the Razorbacks, at 2023 SEC Media Days in July. Photo: Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images

About 40,000 tickets were purchased for Arkansas' first football game of the 2023 season as of Tuesday, Whole Hog Sports reports.

  • Stadium capacity is a little more than 54,000.

What's happening: The Arkansas Razorbacks square off with the Western Carolina Catamounts at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock on Saturday at noon.

State of play: It's the first game the Hogs have played at War Memorial since October 2021 and it marks the 75th year the team has hosted games in its home away from home.

What they're saying: "We're not playing opponents β€” we're trying to play our best ball, and we've got to get back to that physicality and plan our hard shot every week, whomever we play," head coach Sam Pittman said in a news conference this week.

  • "Goalwise, if we could do that, I think wins and losses will take care of itself … I do think we have a talented team."

Watch the game: Tune in on ESPN+ or SEC Network+ or buy tickets.

Tailgating forecast: The sun will shine and the temps will be perfect before a noon game.

πŸ’­Axios Southern Bureau Chief Michael Graff's thought bubble: [Western Carolina's] the lower-profile of North Carolina's two big public universities in the mountains. (Its rival, Appalachian State, is more nationally known for not huge football upsets.) The school does employ, however, the great Southern author Ron Rash β€” which might not scare the Razorbacks on the field, but "Serena" is a terrific novel.

  • Plus the town where Western is located, Cullowhee, is fun to say.
  • Go Catamounts.

Of note: The semihistoric game also shines a light on Little Rock's aging amenities adjacent to War Memorial.

  • Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Rex Nelson used the opportunity to write that he's "inclined to support" the penny sales tax proposed by Mayor Frank Scott Jr. that would help revitalize the area and grow the city's economy.

What's next: The Hogs will play the Kent State Golden Flashes at 3pm on Saturday, Sept. 9, at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.


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