Orange Bowl

1978

 

Arkansas 31

Oklahoma 6

 

 

Arkansas Fight Song

 

 

MIAMI (AP) - Sixth-ranked Arkansas stunned butter-fingered Oklahoma with 1-yard touchdown runs by Roland Sales and Ron Calcagni in the first period and shut down the Sooners' offense for a 31-6 Orange Bowl victory Monday night that thrust the Razorbacks into the national championship picture .

 

With Sales, whose previous high game was 71 yards, setting an Orange Bowl record by rushing for 205 yards on 23 carries, the inspired Razorbacks- a whopping 18-point underdog against the nation's No. 2-ranked college football team- shrugged off the absence of four offensive stars (video).

 

They also used a jet-quick defense to short-circuit Oklahoma's wishbone attack that led the nation in rushing.

 

Sales, a sophomore from Fort Worth, Texas, who rushed for 399 yards during the regular season, was superb in bearing the brunt of Arkansas' ground game following the suspension of star runner Ben Cowins. Sales, who also caught four passes for 52 yards, added a 4-yard scoring run with 4:40 left in the third period that opened a 24-0 bulge for a team that was given virtually no chance to defeat the Sooners.

 

The triumph gave Arkansas an 11-1 record in Coach Lou Holtz' first season and threw The Associated Press national championship poll up for grabs among Texas, Alabama, Notre Dame and Arkansas- all with identical records.

 

Oklahoma finished 10-2 but hardly looked the part of Big Eight champions. Ironically, both Arkansas and Oklahoma lost only to Texas during the regular season.

 

Arkansas' other scoring came on a 32-yard field goal by Steve Little and a 20-yard run by Barnabas White with 1:05 left in the game. Oklahoma, which has not been shut out in 131 games since 1966, scored on the first play of the final period when Dean Blevins tossed an 8-yard pass to Victor Hicks.

 

After Arkansas' fired-up defense became the first team all season to hold Oklahoma scoreless for a half, the Razorbacks' offense came out for the third quarter and rammed the ball down the Sooners' throats.

 

A 66-yard drive following the second half kickoff ended with Little's field goal and the Razorbacks stormed 82 yards on their next possession with Sales crashing across right guard for a 24-polnt lead (video).

 

Oklahoma, fumble-prone all season when it lost 30 of 52 bobbles, coughed the ball up twice in the first 10 minutes- once just four plays after Arkansas' only turnover of the first half.

 

The Sooners' Billy Sims fumbled a handoff on the game's third play and Jimmy Walker recovered at the Oklahoma 9-yard line. Quarterback Calcagni kept for eight yards and then handed to Sales, who powered through the right side for the touchdown.

 

On Oklahoma's third possession, Kenny King fumbled after a 12-yard gain and Dan Hampton of the Razorbacks recovered at the Arkansas 42.

 

Seven plays later, Arkansas had a 14-0 lead. Sales bolted 38 yards to the 3 and two plays later Calcagni sneaked across for the TD (video).

 

The Sooners drove from their 20 to the Arkansas 29 in the second quarter on their only sustained march of the first half. But successive 10-yard losses pushed them even out of field goal range

 

Arkansas outrushed Oklahoma 126-116 in the first half and 317-230 for the game.

 

Calcagni passed 12 yards to freshman Gary Stiggers for a 39-yard gain as the Razorbacks set up Little's field goal early in the third quarter.

 

That made it 17-0 and Arkansas was shortly back in business again. Freshman Trent Bryant gained 15 yards. Sales picked up 12 and then scampered for 36 yards to the Oklahoma 4, breaking several tackles along the way.

 

Roland Sales

Dan Hampton and the Hogs stuffed the Sooners.

 

Sales scores his first TD.

 

OU fumbles were the story of this game.

 

Holtz brought the Hogs to the pinnacle in 1977.

 

 

Attendance- 60,987

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
UA- Sales 1-yard run (Little kick)
UA- Calcagni 1-yard run (Little kick)

Third Quarter
UA- Little 32-yard FG
UA- Sales 4-yard run (Little kick)

Fourth Quarter
OU- Hicks 8-yard pass from Blevins (run failed)
UA- White 20-yard run (Little kick)


Individual Statistics

Rushing
OU- Peacock 15-117
UA- Sales 22-205

Passing
OU- Lott 7-4-42
UA- Calgagni 11-7-90

Receiving
OU- Rhodes 3-46
UA- Sales 4-52

 

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