Arkansas vs. Texas History
By: Omar Majzoub, AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl Contributor
On December 29th, the University of Texas Longhorns will take on the University of Arkansas Razorbacks in the 2014 AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX. These two legendary programs will renew an old Southwest Conference rivalry that features 77 total meetings between the teams since 1894. Currently, the Longhorns lead the all-time series 56-21 and have now won the last two matchups, including a 52-10 victory in 2008.
There was a time when these two teams met and played each other regularly. However, Arkansas’ move to the SEC in 1991, which was followed by Texas’ move to the Big 12 in 1996, ended the tradition of an annual game. Since then, the matchups between the Longhorns and Razorbacks have been scattered (they’ve played four times since 1991), but that hasn’t taken anything away from the intensity and competiveness of the rivalry.
As the two teams begin practicing and preparing for the big game on December 29th, there is no better time than now to look back at some of the biggest and best games played between the Longhorns and Razorbacks. First up: the two most recent showdowns:
2000-Cotton Bowl- Arkansas 27, Texas 6
The Texas-Arkansas rivalry was dormant for nearly a decade after the Razorbacks joined the SEC until the teams played in the 2000 Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Heading into the game, the Longhorns were ranked No. 14 in the country and the Razorbacks were No. 24. This game was somewhat of a defensive struggle in first half as the teams were tied 3-3 at halftime. It only got worse for Texas as quarterback Major Applewhite injured his knee in the second half, and was replaced by Chris Simms. The Razorbacks held Texas to negative rushing yards and sacked the Longhorns quarterback a total of eight times. Meanwhile, Arkansas running back Cedric Cobbs found his grove vs. the Texas defense and the Razorbacks scored 17 unanswered points in the second half. This was Arkansas’ first bowl victory in fifteen years, and their first Cotton Bowl championship since winning the 1976 classic. This game somewhat renewed the rivalry as Razorback fans chanted “S-E-C” after the game and Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt flashed an infamous upside down Hook ’em Horns hand gesture.
2004- Texas 22, Arkansas 20
The 2004 meeting between these two teams was another instant classic. Texas, who had been a top-10 team for two years in a row, went into the game with revenge on their mind after losing to an unranked Razorbacks team 38-28 the year before in Austin. In 2004, however, No. 7 Texas, led by quarterback Vince Young and running back Cedric Benson, jumped out to a 16-7 lead in the first quarter, which included a safety by the Longhorns on a botched snap for the Arkansas long snapper. However, the unranked Razorbacks weren’t going to go away without a fight. Arkansas responded with 10 unanswered in the second quarter and led by one at halftime. After a couple field goals for Texas in the third quarter and one by Arkansas early in the fourth, the Longhorns led 22-20 with 10 minutes left to play. The next three drives for Arkansas ended with turnovers, including two interceptions by quarterback Matt Jones. The last interception was at midfield with just 48 seconds left to play. The Longhorns squeaked out a win by the margin of the safety and snapped the Razorbacks streak of 22 straight wins against non-conference opponents in the regular season.