DALLAS (January 1, 2000)- Beating Texas would have been good enough
for Arkansas fans. Seeing the Razorbacks score often and pound Longhorns
quarterbacks and running backs only made it better. Cedric Cobbs scored
on a 30-yard catch and a 37-yard run and Michael Jenkins had a 42-yard
touchdown run, all in the second half, as No. 25 Arkansas returned to
the Cotton Bowl and beat No. 17 Texas 27-6 Saturday.
Arkansas (8-4), which ended a seven-game bowl losing streak that dated
to December 1985, broke open a tight game by scoring on four straight
drives in the third and fourth quarters. The defense came up big, too,
making eight sacks and holding the Longhorns (9-5) to minus-27 yards
rushing - the worst in school history. Arkansas also had a goal line
stand that kept Texas from tying the game at 10.
The Longhorns, whose leading receiver and top defensive lineman were
suspended Thursday, ended the season with three straight losses. They
didn't score an offensive touchdown over the final 10 quarters. "It was
a bad day at the ranch," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "We got whipped."
Hogs fans set the tone. Although the school sold only 21,000 tickets,
its followers made up more than half the crowd of 72,723 and seemingly
all wore red for the first meeting since 1991 of the former Southwest
Conference rivals (video). Razorbacks rooters
were loud before and during the game, even cheering "S-E-C" as a
reminder of the league they joined after bolting the SWC. They continued
screaming long after the game.
Players responded by carrying the Cotton Bowl trophy, Arkansas' first
since 1976, to a corner of the stadium where the band was, triggering
more chants of "Pig! Sooie!" While some players shared hugs and
handshakes at midfield, others threw and kicked footballs into the
seats. Cheerleaders stood in line, arms locked, and kept cheering, too.
Nobody seemed willing to leave.
The game began like one of the old-time Texas-Arkansas clashes, when
teams kept the ball on the ground and fought for field position as much
as points. It was tied at 3 at halftime, although it had more to do with
bad offenses than good defenses. The Razorbacks began taking control
early when rover Chris Chalmers took the Longhorns out of field-goal
range with a third-down sack, stalling Texas' first drive. The punt
pinned the Razorbacks at their 3, and the next two plays were nearly
safeties. But quarterback Clint Stoerner bailed them out with a 47-yard
pass to Anthony Lucas, then a few plays later he threw the TD pass to
The Longhorns answered by driving to the Razorbacks' 1, but the defense
stopped them on first and second downs, then pushed them back to the 5
on third down. Texas settled for a 23-yard field goal by Kris Stockton
to get within 10-6. Then Jenkins, a little-used senior, took his first
carry of the day for a touchdown and Cobbs ran for his score on
Arkansas' next offensive play. Tony Dodson capped the final drive with a
27-yard field goal.
"Our offensive line kept telling me they're tired," Nutt said. "When you
can run the football, you can make big plays in the passing game."
Texas' offense could not recover from the absence of receiver Kwame
Cavil, who caught 100 passes for 1,188 yards during the season. "We
can't say that hurt us," Ryan Nunez, the other starting receiver, said.
"We had to put it behind us."
The Longhorns had planned to use both Major Applewhite and Chris Simms
at quarterback, but had no choice after Applewhite left with a knee
injury early in the fourth quarter. Neither was very productive.
Applewhite was 15-of-21 for 121 yards and Simms was 9-of-18 for 91
yards. The Longhorns threw for just 33 yards in the first half but
finished with 212.
The Razorbacks gave much of the credit for their defensive effort to
interim coordinator Bobby Allen, who's been doing the job since Keith
Burns became Tulsa coach last month. "He was the unsung hero throughout
the year," Nutt said.
Stoerner was 12-of-23 for 194 yards with two interceptions and Cobbs had
98 yards on 15 carries. Cobbs, a freshman, was selected offensive MVP,
and linebacker D.J. Cooper, who had two sacks and another tackle for a
loss, was the defensive MVP.
AU- FG Dodson 25
UT- FG Stockton 35
AU- Cobbs 30 pass from Stoerner (Dodson kick)
UT- FG Stockton 22
AU- Jenkins 42 run (Dodson kick)
AU- Cobbs 37 run (Dodson kick)
AU- FG Dodson 27
UT- Mitchell 13-36
AU- Cobbs 15-98, Jenkins 6-82, Chukwuma 10-26
UT- Applewhite 15-21-121, Simms 9-18-91
AU- Stoerner 12-23-194
UT- Nunez 6-48, Flowers 5-62, Thompson 4-33, Mitchell 3-4, Scaife
2-38, Jones 2-21
AU- Boo Williams 2-47, Davenport 2-25, Branch 2-23, M Williams
2-8, Lucas 1-47, Cobbs 1-30