FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Heartbreak struck at Arkansas' home
stadium again, a trait that's become a hallmark of close games in
the Razorbacks' storied rivalry against Texas.
Arkansas fans still grieve over their 1969 loss in "The Big
Shootout," when Texas came from behind to win 15-14 in
Fayetteville in a game that determined the national championship.
There was less on the line Saturday night, but the hard-fought
22-20 loss to Texas (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today; No. 7 AP) will surely gall Razorbacks -- and thrill
Longhorns -- for years because the programs, rivals from the old
Southwest Conference days, are off each others' schedule after this
season and no renewal has been planned.
The loss -- breaking Arkansas' 22-game winning streak against
nonconference, regular-season opponents -- played out before a
strongly partisan record crowd of 75,671 that was silenced only
when Arkansas was intercepted on the last play of the game.
"I respect Texas," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "The
thing that's so tough is that we could easily be singing our song
Texas (2-0) was looking for revenge after an unranked Arkansas
team upset them in Austin, 38-28 last year, when Texas was ranked
No. 5 in the AP poll.
"We hate it when we lose. We've had to answer before. Coming
from behind and winning after losing the previous year was great
with the whole nation watching," Texas coach Mack Brown said.
Arkansas led 17-16 at halftime, but the Longhorns came from
behind to retake the lead, then turned their oldtime rivals back
three times in the final 9:58 after Arkansas closed within two.
Cedric Benson rushed for 188 yards and scored two touchdowns for
Texas, and Vince Young was 11-of-22 for 150 yards passing. The
Longhorns had no turnovers and converted on fourth-and-1 at their
own 40 to keep their initial touchdown drive alive.
Arkansas was led by quarterback Matt Jones, who had 93 yards on
11 carries and was 13-for-27 through the air for 249 yards and two
Arkansas (1-1) gave Texas the margin of victory on the game's
first drive. Long snapper Brett Goode sailed the ball over Jacob
Skinner's head and out of the end zone for a safety, putting Texas
up 2-0 with less than a half-minute gone.
Early in the fourth quarter, Chris Balseiro brought Arkansas
back to within two with a 35-yard field goal. The Razorbacks got
the ball on their own 48 with 6:11 left and converted on
third-and-1 before Jones hit Cedric Washington for a 27-yard gain
to the Texas 15. But three plays later, Jones was forced from the
pocket and fumbled when the ball was punched out of his grasp from
behind by Larry Dibbles. Texas' Brian Robison recovered at the 8.
After getting the ball back with 48 seconds left, Jones drove
Arkansas to midfield before throwing his second interception, a
desperation heave as the clock wound down. Earlier in the period,
Jones' pass was intercepted at the Texas 20 by cornerback Cedric
"It was a dogfight to the end," Brown said.
After Goode's first-quarter error on the punt snap, Texas scored
on the following drive when Young hit David Thomas, who was
streaking behind the defense, for a 49-yard touchdown that made it
The Razorbacks responded by marching 80 yards in eight plays.
Jones completed a 46-yard pass to Chris Baker that set up Peyton
Hillis' 8-yard touchdown run that made it 9-7.
Benson rushed five times on the Longhorns' next drive, including
a 60-yarder to the Arkansas 4. He scored from 3 yards out to
increase the lead to 16-7.
Arkansas used a trick play to get close in the second quarter.
At the Texas 34, Jones fired a lateral pass to the left to receiver
Carlos Ousley, who threw a floater to tailback DeCori Birmingham,
who caught the ball over two defenders along the right sideline for
The Razorbacks took the lead with 2:08 left in the half when
Chris Balseiro hit a 27-yard field goal set up by a screen that
Dedrick Poole broke for 50 yards.
Texas scored on its first possession of the second half to make
it 22-17. Young, under pressure and with a Razorback hanging onto
his jersey, hit Benson with an outlet pass for a 13-yard touchdown.
A two-point conversion attempt failed.
Saturday's game was the 35th anniversary of the '69 Shootout.
Plans to commemorate that game at halftime were dropped because of
fans' objection to honor players from both 1969 teams on Arkansas'
field. Instead, Arkansas honored its 1964 team, which claims a
disputed national championship.