DALLAS, Texas – In a match up of Heisman Trophy finalists, Darren McFadden and Chase Daniel, at the 72nd AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, it was Missouri tailback Tony Temple who put in a record-breaking performance in front of 73,114 fans. The senior back tallied 281 yards on the ground and four rushing touchdowns, both Cotton Bowl records, to lead No. 7 Missouri to a 38-7 win over the No. 25 Razorbacks.
The rushing records came for Temple on his final carry of the game, a 40-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
McFadden finished the day with 105 rushing yards and one touchdown on 21 carries. During the game, the junior tailback moved into second place on the all-time Southeastern Conference rushing list passing LSU’s Kevin Faulk. McFadden ends his junior season with 4,590 career rushing yards. His 2007 season rushing total of 1,830 yards is second all-time on the SEC single-season list.
Temple opened the scoring with a 22-yard touchdown run to cap a six-play drive that covered 73 yards during the Tigers’ second offensive possession. The Tiger offense crossed midfield after Daniel found William Franklin on a 22-yard gain. After the extra point, Missouri led 7-0 with 2:29 remaining in the first quarter.
Felix Jones gave the Razorbacks good field position with a 46-yard return to the Missouri 41-yard line on the ensuing kickoff, but the Missouri defense held strong and forced Arkansas to line up for the punt.
Reggie Fish appeared to pick up the first down on a reverse during a fake punt, but a timeout called before the snap negated the play. A second fake was unsuccessful when Farod Jackson was stopped at the line and Missouri took over on downs.
With 4:34 left in the first half, Temple found the endzone for the second time during the game to extend the Tigers’ lead to 14-0. On the six-play drive, the senior tailback accounted for 66 yards on four rushes including the four-yard score.
Temple finished the half with 159 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
McFadden gave the Hogs a spark when he returned a kickoff late in the first half 33 yards and into Missouri territory. Jones followed with a 23-yard rush on the first play of the drive, but the Arkansas offense stalled and freshman Alex Tejada missed his second field goal of the game, a 37-yard attempt. He also missed a kick of 35 yards on the Razorbacks’ opening possession.
The Tigers went in to halftime with a two-touchdown lead. Arkansas was shut out in the first half for the second time this season.
Temple picked up where he left off with his third rushing score of the game, a four-yard run out of the shotgun formation. The Tigers drove the ball 48 yards after a short kickoff by the Razorbacks to open the second half.
After trading three-and-out series, the Arkansas offense took over at their own 27-yard line. A false-start penalty and two incomplete passes intended for fullback Peyton Hillis brought up third and 15 for the Razorbacks. Casey Dick completed a screen pass to Jones who turned up field for the first down and a 41-yard gain before William Moore stripped the ball and Loren Williams recovered the fumble for the Tigers on their own 38-yard line.
The Razorbacks got the ball back when Temple fumbled the ball after an eight-yard pick up. Marcus Shavers recovered the fumble for Arkansas.
On the ensuing drive, the Tigers regained the momentum when Moore picked off a pass by Dick and returned the interception 26 yards for a touchdown to pad the Missouri lead, 28-0.
McFadden rushed for a score with 3:08 remaining in the third quarter, a three-yard sweep run to the left. A personal-foul penalty by Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon kept the Arkansas drive alive for the junior tailback’s 16th touchdown of the season.
The Tigers went into the fourth quarter with a 28-7 lead.
During a Missouri possession, Adrian Davis intercepted a Daniel pass, but during the return the sophomore defensive end was stripped of the ball and Missouri recovered to regain possession. Including the Daniel interception and Davis fumble, five turnovers littered the first half of the fourth quarter.
A muffed punt by Jerell Norton was recovered by Connell Davis on the Arkansas 11. Jeff Wolfert tacked on a 32-yard field goal and Temple’s fourth score of the game gave Missouri its final margin.
Daniel finished that game completing 12 of 29 attempts for 136 yards and one interception.
Arkansas is now 3-7-1 in its 11 Cotton Bowl appearances and 11-22-3 in all bowl games.
Download: UA-MU Cotton Bowl final stats.pdf