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Arkansas’ Cotton Bowl history

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas’ Cotton Bowl history

FAYETTEVILLE – With kickoff for the 76th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic nine days away, below is a brief summary of Arkansas’ history with the bowl, including recaps from each of UA’s three wins in the game.

The Razorbacks are making their 12th appearance in the Cotton Bowl, the most of any bowl in school history and tied for the second-most appearances in Cotton Bowl history. Twenty-three UA bowl records have been set at the Cotton Bowl, and Arkansas holds seven Cotton Bowl records.

Arkansas and Kansas State face each other Jan. 6 inside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The game begins at 7 p.m. and will be nationally televised on Fox.

January 1, 1965, Arkansas 10-Nebraska 7: Undefeated Arkansas staked its claim on the 1964 national championship with a thrilling 10-7 victory over Big Eight champion Nebraska in the 29th Cotton Bowl festival before a standing-room-only crowd of 75,504.

The Razorbacks, following a short Nebraska punt, jumped to a quick lead on a 31-yard field goal by Tom McKnelly.

Nebraska, however, took the lead in the second period following an Arkansas punt. Halfback Harry Wilson ended a 69-yard, 10-play march with a one-yard run with 7:45 remaining. The extra point provided the Huskers with a 7-3 halftime margin.

The two teams played scoreless football in the third period. The Razorbacks, on the passing of quarterback Fred Marshall, rallied late in the fourth period to produce the winning touchdown. Passes to Jim Lindsey, Jerry Lamb and Bobby Burnett pushed the Hogs 80 yards in nine plays. Burnett got the touchdown with 4:41 remaining on a three-yard run.

Successive plays by the Arkansas defense secured the victory. After Nebraska earned a first down at midfield, linebacker Ronnie MacSmith and tackle Jim Williams dropped Frank Churchich for a nine-yard loss. Following a seven-yard completion, tackle Loyd Phillips stopped an end-around for no gain. On fourth down, Williams spilled Churchich for a 15-yard loss.

Center Ronnie Caveness, who earned All-America honors, was selected the outstanding lineman in the game and is a member of the 1960-69 Cotton Bowl Classic All-Star team.

Marshall, who completed 11 of 19 passes for 131 yards, was named the outstanding back.

January 1, 1976, Arkansas 31-Georgia 10: Riding a five-game winning streak at the end of the 1975 campaign that notched a share of the Southwest Conference championship and a trip to the Cotton Bowl, the Razorbacks continued their winning ways with a resounding 31-10 triumph over Georgia. Arkansas thus returned the Cotton Bowl crown to the SWC for the first time in three years.

With the Razorbacks trailing 10-0 less than two minutes before halftime, linebacker Hal McAfee pounced on a Georgia fumble on the Bulldog 15 and Steve Little booted a 39-yard field goal. Georgia tried a trick play, the "shoe-string," but Tommy Harris forced a fumble. McAfee again recovered, and Ike Forte scored two plays later to tie it 10-10 at halftime.

After a scoreless third quarter, Scott Bull hit Freddie Douglas with a 36-yard pass to set up the go-ahead touchdown and Rolland Fuchs scored on a five-yard run. Michael Forrest and Forte added touchdowns as the Razorbacks rolled.

McAfee, with 12 tackles and an interception to go with his two fumble recoveries, was selected the game’s outstanding defensive player. Forte, with an Arkansas bowl record of 119 yards, was chosen the outstanding offensive player.

January 1, 2000, Arkansas 27-Texas 6: A rivalry born in 1894 and discontinued when Arkansas left the Southwest Conference following the 1991 season was reborn on the first day of the year 2000 when the Razorbacks shocked old nemesis Texas 27-6 in the Cotton Bowl at Dallas.

In more than 100 years of football the Longhorns never had been held to negative rushing yardage but it happened in the Cotton Bowl as the Razorbacks used a season-high eight quarterback sacks to hold Texas to minus-27 yards on the ground. It was the first time the Hogs held a bowl opponent to minus rushing yardage.

Freshman Cedric Cobbs also established a bowl first for Arkansas. He snapped a 3-3 tie in the third quarter when he took Clint Stoerner’s lob pass and turned it into a 30-yard touchdown. In the fourth quarter he sparked a 17-point Razorback avalanche with a 37-yard sprint down the sidelines. He became the first Hog ever to score rushing and pass receiving touchdowns in the same bowl game.

Cobbs was the game’s outstanding offensive player after rushing for 98 yards on just 15 carries. Senior lineman D.J. Cooper was the game’s outstanding defensive player after making five tackles, including two of the quarterback sacks.

The first half was a defensive struggle with field goals by Arkansas’ Tony Dodson and Texas’ Kris Stockton producing the only points. Cobbs’ first touchdown was set up by a 47-yard bomb from Stoerner to Anthony Lucas from the Hog one yard line. Trailing 10-3, Texas marched back to the Arkansas one but was stopped on three consecutive plays before calling on Stockton for a second field goal.

Arkansas quickly retaliated with an 86-yard drive that finished when Michael Jenkins bolted 42 yards for a score. After Cobbs scored again, Dodson kicked another field goal and the victory was secured.

It was only the third time Arkansas held a bowl opponent without a touchdown. It happened in a 0-0 tie with LSU in the 1947 Cotton Bowl and in a 16-2 Sugar Bowl triumph over Georgia in 1969. The victory ended a seven-bowl game losing streak for the Razorbacks.

Arkansas Bowl Records Set In Cotton Bowl Points Scored – 14 (tie) Barry Foster, 1990 vs. Tennessee Touchdowns Scored – 2 (tie) Cedric Cobbs, 2000 vs. Texas; Barry Foster, 1990 vs. Tennessee; Ike Forte, 1976 vs. Georgia Most PATs Made – 4 (tie) Steve Little, 1976 vs. Georgia Most PATs Attempted – 4 (tie) Steve Little, 1976 vs. Georgia Longest Field Goal – 49 Kendall Trainor, 1989 vs. UCLA Longest Kickoff Return – 46 Felix Jones, 2008 vs. Missouri Punt Average – 49.2 (6 for 295) Allen Meacham, 1989 vs. UCLA Longest Punt – 71 Allen Meacham, 1989 vs. UCLA Most First Downs – 31, 1990 vs. Tennessee Most Rushing Attempts – 72, 1990 vs. Tennessee Most Total Offense Yards – 568, 1990 vs. Tennessee Most Total Offense Plays – 94, 1990 vs. Tennessee Fewest Penalties – 1 (tie), 1947 vs. LSU Fewest Penalty Yards – 5, 1947 vs. LSU Fewest Fumbles – 0 (tie), 2000 vs. Texas; 1955 vs. Georgia Tech Fewest Fumbles Lost – 0 (tie), 2000 vs. Texas; 1955 vs. Georgia Tech Most Punt Returns – 6, 2000 vs. Texas Most Kickoff Return Yards – 168, 2008 vs. Missouri Fewest Points Allowed – 0, 1947 vs. LSU Fewest First Downs Allowed – 10, 1961 vs. Duke Fewest Rushing Attempts Allowed – 25, 2000 vs. Texas Fewest Rushing Yards Allowed – (-27), 2000 vs. Texas Fewest Total Offense Yards Allowed – 168, 1965 vs. Nebraska

Cotton Bowl Records Held By Arkansas Consecutive Completions – 8 (tie) Clint Stoerner, 2000 vs. Texas Fumbles Recovered – 2 (tie) Hal McAfee, 1976 vs. Georgia Fewest Rushing Yards Allowed – (-27), 2000 vs. Texas Fewest Yards Per Rush Allowed – (-1.1) (25 for -27), 2000 vs. Texas Fewest Yards Per Completion Allowed – 3.2 (5 for 16), 1947 vs. LSU Most Rushing First Downs – 21, 1990 vs. Tennessee Longest Scoring Drive – 97 (tie), 2000 vs. Texas



Sports Category : Football