ARKANSAS (7-4) VS. OKLAHOMA (10-2)
2002 SBC Cotton Bowl
January 1, 2002
HOGS AND SOONERS TO MEET IN SBC COTTON BOWL: Arkansas will make its fourth straight bowl appearance under head coach Houston Nutt when the Razorbacks face Oklahoma at the 2002 SBC Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. The Hogs will be making their 10th appearance in the Cotton Bowl. Arkansas and Oklahoma will meet on New Year’s Day at 10 a.m. CT at the Cotton Bowl in a game televised nationally by Fox.
UA BOWL HISTORY: Arkansas will be making its 32nd trip to a postseason bowl game when the Hogs travel to Dallas, Texas to play Oklahoma in the 2002 SBC Cotton Bowl. The Razorbacks are 10-18-3 in their previous 31 bowl appearances including a 31-14 loss last season to UNLV at the Las Vegas Bowl. Arkansas’ last bowl victory came in 2000 when the Hogs topped Texas 27-6 in the Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. The win over the Longhorns was the first UA bowl win since 1985.
FOUR IN A ROW: Arkansas has advanced to four straight bowl games for only the fourth time in school history. Former UA head coach and current athletic director Frank Broyles led the Razorbacks to four postseason berths in a row from 1959-60.
Houston Nutt has led his squads to appearances in the 1999 Florida Citrus Bowl, the 2000 Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl, the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl and this year’s SBC Cotton Bowl. He is only the third coach in UA history to lead the Hogs to a bowl game in his first four seasons. Ken Hatfield and Lou Holtz are the others. The Razorbacks have recorded six straight bowl bids twice in their history. Holtz guided the Hogs to six consecutive bowl bids from 1977-82 while Hatfield equaled the feat from 1984-89.
COTTON BOWL HISTORY: For the 10th time in school history, including the second time in the past three seasons, Arkansas will conclude its season at the Cotton Bowl. The Razorbacks will be playing in the Cotton Bowl for a school record 10th time, easily outdistancing the Hogs’ next most frequent bowl destination, the Sugar Bowl (5). The Hogs are 3-5-1 in their previous nine trips to the Cotton Bowl including a 27-6 win over Texas in their last visit on Jan. 1, 2000. Arkansas’ other victories in the game came in 1965 and 1976. The 1965 win over Nebraska capped a perfect season and secured the only football national championship in UA history.
LAST TIME AT THE COTTON BOWL: 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 over 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 had ever 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 sacks. The first half was a defensive struggle with field goals by Arkansas’ Tony Dodson and Texas’ Kris Stockton producing the only points. A 47-yard bomb from Clint Stoerner to Anthony Lucas helped the Hogs advance from their own one-yard line to midfield. The bomb set up Cobbs’ first score of the day. Trailing 10-3, Texas marched back to the Arkansas one-yard line, but was stopped on three consecutive plays and settled for a 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 added another field goal. It was the only the third time Arkansas held a bowl opponent without a touchdown. The victory ended a seven-bowl losing streak for the Razorbacks and was the first bowl win for UA head coach Houston Nutt.
THE OKLAHOMA SERIES: Arkansas and Oklahoma will meet on the gridiron for the 15th time when the two teams meet in Dallas, Texas. Oklahoma leads the series record with a 9-4-1 mark. The first meeting between the two schools came in 1899 with the Sooners claiming an 11-5 victory in a game played at Shawnee, Okla. The two most recent meetings between the Razorbacks and Sooners have come in the Orange Bowl. Arkansas shocked Oklahoma with a 31-6 win at the 1978 Orange Bowl. The Sooners downed the Hogs 42-8 at the 1987 Orange Bowl.
OU vs. ARKANSAS SERIES HISTORY
(Oklahoma leads 9-4-1)
At Fayetteville: Arkansas leads 3-1 Year Result Site
At Fort Smith: Oklahoma leads 1-0-1
At Norman: Oklahoma leads 4-0
At Oklahoma City: Oklahoma leads 1-0
At Shawnee: Oklahoma leads 1-0
At Neutral Sites (Miami): Series Tied 1-1
1899 Oklahoma 11, Arkansas 5 Shawnee, Okla. 1902 Oklahoma 28, Arkansas 0 Norman, Okla. 1903 Arkansas 12, Oklahoma 0 Fayetteville, Ark. 1908 Oklahoma 27, Arkansas 5 Norman, Okla. 1909 Arkansas 21, Oklahoma 6 Fayetteville, Ark. 1914 Oklahoma 35, Arkansas 7 Oklahoma City, Okla. 1915 Oklahoma 24, Arkansas 0 Fayetteville, Ark. 1916 Oklahoma 14, Arkansas 13 Fort Smith, Ark. 1917 Arkansas 0, Oklahoma 0 Fort Smith, Ark. 1918 Oklahoma 103, Arkansas 0 Norman, Okla. 1919 Arkansas 7, Oklahoma 6 Fayetteville, Ark. 1926 Oklahoma 13, Arkansas 6 Norman, Okla. 1978 Arkansas 31, Oklahoma 6 Miami, Fla.# 1987 Oklahoma 42, Arkansas 8 Miami, Fla.#
# Orange Bowl
ARKANSAS VS. OKLAHOMA BOWL GAME SUMMARIES
1978 Orange Bowl – Arkansas 31, Oklahoma 6 Arkansas turned a couple of first quarter turnovers into touchdowns and the Razorbacks cruised to a 31-6 victory over Oklahoma’s second-ranked Big Eight champions before an Orange Bowl crowd of 74,422 and a national television audience of over 65 million. Oklahoma lost 11 yards on three plays before Billy Simms fumbled and Jimmy Walker recovered at the Sooner nine. Two plays later, Roland Sales scored from a yard out and Arkansas led, 7-0 with only 1:59 elapsed. After both teams failed to score on drives, OU fullback Kenny King fumbled and Dan Hampton recovered at the Razorback 42. Sales set up Ron Calcagni’s one-yard run with a 38-yard scamper to the Sooner three. Steve Little’s second of four PAT’s made the score 14-0. After Little’s field goal made it 17-0, the Razorbacks went 82 yards for a touchdown with 4:40 to play in the third quarter. Sales, who finished the night with an Orange Bowl record of 205 yards rushing, had carries of 12 and 38 yards before scoring on a four-yard run. Each team scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Sales earned outstanding back honors, while nose guard Reggie Freeman picked up the outstanding lineman award.
1987 Orange Bowl – Oklahoma 42, Arkansas 8 Nine years after Arkansas pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in Orange Bowl history by thumping Oklahoma, 31-6, the Sooners got their chance to redeem themselves. A pair of touchdown gallops in the first half by Spencer Tillman proved to be all Oklahoma would need as the Sooners downed the Razorbacks 42-8. Oklahoma had been held without a first down in the first quarter, but Tillman dashed 77 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the second period. Tillman scored again on a 21-yard run after an interception at the Sooner 46 and Arkansas never posed a threat the rest of the way. The Razorbacks’ deepest thrust in the first half reached the Oklahoma 25 at a time when it was only 7-0. However, Greg Thomas, who suffered only one interception during the regular season, had a pass picked off at the Sooner 13. Oklahoma put the contest away with four second half touchdowns.
Arkansas scored a late on a two-yard blast by fullback Derrick Thomas and a two-point pass from John Bland to James Shibest. Arkansas had a lopsided statistical advantage at halftime with 11 first downs to four for Oklahoma but the two interceptions proved costly. The Hogs suffered five interceptions during the contest. Thomas did complete 13 of his 26 passes for 129 yards and Bland was three-for-seven for 63 yards.
AGAINST THE BIG 12 IN BOWL GAMES: Arkansas is 3-1 in bowl games against teams that comprise the Big 12 Conference. The Razorbacks are 1-0 vs. Nebraska, 1-0 vs. Texas and 1-1 vs. Oklahoma in postseason play. The three wins are among the most memorable in UA history. The Hogs, representing the Southeastern Conference, downed former Southwest Conference rival Texas 27-6 in the most recent bowl game against the Big 12 Conference in the 2000 Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl. Arkansas topped Nebraska 10-7 in the 1965 Cotton Bowl to complete an undefeated season and clinch the 1964 national championship. It is the only football national crown in UA history. Perhaps the biggest upset in UA history came in 1978 when the Hogs topped heavily-favored Oklahoma 31-6 at the Orange Bowl. The Sooners returned the favor with a 42-8 win over the Razorbacks at the Orange Bowl in 1987. Both Nebraska and Oklahoma were the in the Big Eight Conference at the time of the previous bowl games. Arkansas was still a member of the Southwest Conference when it faced the Cornhuskers and Sooners. The 2000 matchup with Texas in the Cotton Bowl marks the only time that Arkansas has faced a Big 12 team as a member of the SEC. Overall, Arkansas is 158-150-7 (.513) in all games vs. current members of the Big 12 Conference.
UA VS. BIG 12 School Overall Bowl Games Bowl Results
Baylor 35-33-2 – – Colorado – – – Iowa State 1-0-0 – – Kansas 0-2-0 – – Kansas State 1-3-0 – – Missouri 1-2-0 – – Nebraska 1-0-0 1-0 1965 Cotton Bowl – (W 10-7) Oklahoma 3-10-1 1-1 1978 Orange Bowl – (W 31-6) 1987 Orange Bowl – (L 8-42) Oklahoma State 30-15-1 – – Texas 20-54-0 1-0 2000 Cotton Bowl – (W 27-6) Texas A&M 38-24-3 – – Texas Tech 28-7-0 – – Totals 158-150-7 3-1
SEC COACH OF THE YEAR IN THE COTTON BOWL: Arkansas’ Houston Nutt will become the fourth coach in Cotton Bowl history to lead his team to Dallas after winning SEC Coach of the Year honors. Nutt was named the league coach of the year by both the Associated Press and SEC’ Coaches. Only three other times has an SEC Coach of the Year ended his season at the Cotton Bowl. Bob Neyland guided Tennessee to the 1951 Cotton Bowl after winning both the AP and SEC Coaches’ version of the award for the 1950 season. Ole Miss’ Johnny Vaught was the reigning AP SEC Coach of the Year when he coached the Rebels to the 1956 Cotton Bowl. Paul “Bear” Bryant won both coaching awards in 1981 in leading the Alabama Crimson Tide to Dallas. Neyland and Vaught recorded victories over Texas and TCU, respectively, in their appearances while Bryant’s squad fell to Texas.
ELITE COMPANY: Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt is just the third coach in school history to lead this team to bowl games in each of his first four seasons. Lou Holtz was the first UA head coach to accomplish the feat when he led the Hogs to six-consecutive bowl games from 1977-82. Ken Hatfield matched the accomplishment in his six seasons at Arkansas from 1984-89. Nutt is the first, however, to lead the Razorbacks to three New Year’s Day appearances in his first four years at the helm. Arkansas earned a spot in the 1999 Florida Citrus Bowl vs. Michigan in Nutt’s first season. The Hogs followed it up with a 2000 Cotton Bowl win over Texas. Arkansas played in the Las Vegas Bowl prior to Christmas last season before earning another trip to the Cotton Bowl this year.
HOME STATE OF MIND: A total of 20 Razorbacks will return to their home state to play in the SBC Cotton Bowl. Junior flanker Gerald Howard is from Dallas while sophomore center Caleb Perry hails from nearby Arlington and sophomore cornerback Eddie Jackson calls Richardson home. Other Razorbacks on the roster that hail from the Lone Star State are: sophomore holder Dowell Loggains, sophomore flanker Zack Blake (Amarillo), freshman tailback Decori Birmingham (Atlanta), freshman wide receiver Caleb Ceaser (Beaumont), senior offensive guard La’Zerius White (Carrollton), senior strong safety Corey G. Harris (Friendswood), junior defensive back Marvin Jackson (Galveston), sophomore cornerback Lawrence Richardson (Galveston), senior defensive back D’Andre Berry (Houston), junior tight end Marcellus Poydras (Houston), junior tailback Fred Talley (Longview), junior split end Sparky Hamilton (Lufkin), junior quarterback Robby Hampton (Mount Pleasant), freshman tight end Jason Peters (Queen City), senior fullback/defensive end Sacha Lancaster (San Antonio), sophomore outside linebacker Caleb Miller and freshman fullback Mark Pierce (Weatherford).