DALLAS - In a battle of two stingy defenses, the No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners outlasted the Arkansas Razorbacks 10-3 in the 66th annual SBC Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day.
Oklahoma (11-2) went to halftime with a 7-0 lead and held on for a 10-3 victory over Arkansas (7-5) in front of over 70 thousand at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium. The Sooners kept the UA offense off balance all day including earning a bowl record nine sacks.
Oklahoma's Quentin Griffin earned offensive player of the game honors after rushing for 56 yards on 19 carries while Sooners' strong safety Roy Williams earned outstanding defensive player of the game honors after totaling six stops including three tackles for loss.
Arkansas managed only 50 yards of total offense on the afternoon and completed its only scoring drive of the day with a fourth-quarter field goal from Brennan O'Donohoe.
The Hogs struggled to get the running game going against the OU defense posting 37 yards on 42 carries. Arkansas completed two of 13 passes for 13 yards and an interception.
Arkansas' defense kept the Hogs in the game until late in the fourth quarter. OU rushed 34 times for only 56 yards. The UA defense earned 10 tackles for loss of their own including four sacks. Senior All-American Jermaine Petty led the Razorbacks with 10 tackles.
Oklahoma opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 13-play, 63-yard scoring drive that ended when quarterback Nate Hybl rushed to paydirt from one yard out. Tim Duncan added the extra point and the Sooners led 7-0.
The next scoreboard tally didn't come until the opening drive of the second half when the Sooners capped a 65-yard drive with a 32-yard field goal by Duncan to extend the lead to 10-0.
Arkansas culminated its only sustained offensive drive of the day midway through the final period as O'Donohoe nailed a 32-yard field goal to close the OU lead to 10-3. The Razorback defense responded and gave the UA offense a pair of opportunities to drive for the winning score, but OU All-American Rocky Calmus forced a fumble from UA signal caller Matt Jones in the final two minutes to halt the Hogs' last hope.
For more on the game check www.cottonbowl.com.