Arkansas 38, No. 6 Texas 28
AUSTIN, Texas -- In front of the seventh-largest crowd in UT history (83,271), the Longhorns and Razorbacks met for the first time since the 2000 Cotton Bowl, and it was Arkansas that came away a 38-28 winner in the renewal of a Southwest Conference rivalry. The 1963 Longhorn team was recognized for the 40th anniversary of the school's first national championship, and former head coaches Darrel K Royal (Texas) and Frank Broyles (Arkansas) participated in the coin toss.
"I am proud of the effort our guys made today," head coach Mack Brown said. "They played hard, but they didn't play well. The turnovers hurt us badly. Also, you can't give up 200 yards on the ground. We gave up long runs, and our offense was trying to play catch up all day. I am also proud that our guys didn't quit, we just didn't get it done and that is my responsibility. Again, you have to give Arkansas a lot of credit."
The Longhorns came out with aggressive play calling after receiving the opening kickoff. The first two passes of the day by Chance Mock found Roy Williams, which upped Williams' school-record streak of consecutive games with a reception to 36, and tied him with Mike Adams for the UT record for career receptions with 177, which he would later break.
The opening drive featured a fake punt with a direct snap to Brett Robin, who gained four yards on fourth-and-one play from the Arkansas 41-yard line. Mock then found B.J. Johnson on a corner route at the three-yard line, where Johnson dove into the end zone for a 7-0 lead, 4:43 into the game. Mock finished the game 21-for-40 for 264 yards and three touchdowns, while Johnson recorded six catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
Arkansas' first drive was highlighted by a 10-yard completion on a scramble by quarterback Matt Jones to receiver George Wilson, who made a diving catch at the 18. That set up a touchdown pass from Jones to Wilson on the next play, which came at 6:57 in the first. Wilson ended the day with five receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown.
A 13-yard punt on the Longhorns' next possession set the Razorbacks up at the 35-yard line, and they moved to three-yard line where Jones ran to the right front corner of the end zone for Arkansas' second score with 3:05 left in the quarter.
On Texas' ensuing possession, Roy Williams caught a short pass in the middle of the field and headed to the left sideline for a 24-yard reception, the catch put him alone atop the UT chart for career receptions, and he would later finish with 10 receptions, pushing his career total to 185, to go along with 117 yards.
"Two good football teams went at it today, and one of the teams had to win," said Williams. "It is unfortunate that we lost, especially, since it was a home game. We will put this game behind us and rebuild. This team has worked too hard to let everything go downhill because of one football game."
With 2:10 to go in the half, and UT backed up against its own goal, Mock threw a pass out to Williams on the right side at the five-yard line. After the catch, the ball was knocked free and the Razorbacks recovered. Two plays later, tailback De'Arrius Howard took it up the middle from the three to push score to 21-7.
However, the Longhorns responded, as Mock completed passes of 10, 18, and 19 yards to lead Texas on a 1:18 second drive that was capped with B.J. Johnson's second touchdown catch of the day, which was good for nine yards with 35 seconds remaining for the 21-14 halftime deficit.
On their opening possession of the second half, the Longhorns had pushed to their own 46 when Arkansas' Elliott Harris forced a fumble on Tony Jeffrey's reverse, giving the ball back to the visitors. On the ensuing play from scrimmage, Cedric Cobbs broke through the middle with a 46-yard scamper for a touchdown and a 28-14 lead. Cobbs finished the day with 115 yards rushing, while quarterback Matt Jones registered 102 yards rushing to go with his 8-for-16 passing performance for 139 yards and a touchdown.
On UT's next possession, Mock connected with Williams for a 24-yard strike on third-and-nine that moved that Longhorns to the Arkansas 28. Williams broke two tackles on the run after the catch, putting him over 100 yards for the game and marking his school-record 14th-career 100-plus yard game.
After a quick flat pass to Jeffrey that brought UT to the 10-yard line on the same drive, Mock made a bad pitch on the option to Cedric Benson, and Jeb Huckeba forced a fumble that was recovered by Arkansas' Caleb Miller at the 34. The turnover marked the first time in 2003 the Longhorns failed to convert a scoring opportunity in the red zone; the team had been 6-for-6 to that point this season.
The Longhorns were forced to punt on their next possession and left the Razorbacks with field position at their own 23-yard line. After an Austin Sendlein sack dropped the line of scrimmage back 19 yards, Arkansas was hit with a false start penalty that brought play back to the two-yard line and left the Razorbacks facing third-and-30.
George Wilson broke loose on the left side and streaked for a 54-yard pass completion from Jones to make the first down and move the ball over the midfield line. Five plays later - and on the first play of the fourth quarter - Dakarai Pearson recovered a fumble and returned it 77 yards to pull the Longhorns within seven points at 28-21.
On the following kickoff, Arkansas returned the ball 57 yards for field position at UT's 36-yard line. Arkansas used eight-straight rushes to move to the 10-yard line before Jones completed a seven-yard crossing pass to Wilson. De'Arrius Howard capped the drive with a one-yard run with 10:09 remaining in the game, putting Arkansas ahead 35-21.
The Longhorns pulled back within seven points, 35-28, on the next drive to keep the team's chances alive. Three plays into the drive, Mock hit Johnson for a 55-yard strike, as Johnson broke down the left sideline and was pulled down at the 16, but an Arkansas unintentional facemask penalty brought the ball forward to the 11-yard line. Mock connected with Jeffrey for an 11-yard touchdown on the next play.
Arkansas boosted its lead to 10 on its next drive, benefiting from a Jones 60-yard run on third-and-one at the Arkansas 39. David Carlton made his 19-yard field goal and extended the Razorback's lead with 5:08 to play.
The loss snapped Texas' home winning streak of 20 games at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.