No. 7 Texas 22, Arkansas 20
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Senior RB Cedric Benson ran for 188 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns and the Longhorns took advantage of two late Arkansas turnovers in Texas territory to earn a 22-20 victory in Fayetteville Saturday evening. The seventh-ranked Longhorns stopped Arkansas three times in the final 9:58 after the Razorbacks pulled within two. Razorback QB Matt Jones fumbled with three minutes to play and the Longhorns recovered at their own 8. After forcing the Longhorns to punt, the Razorbacks pushed for the winning score but Jones' desperation heave towards the end zone was intercepted by senior DB Phillip Geiggar on the game's final play.
The Longhorns (2-0) were given the margin of victory on the game's first drive when Arkansas long snapper Brett Goode snapped the ball over Jacob Skinner's head and out of the end zone for a safety, putting Texas up 2-0 with less than 30 seconds played.
After Goode's error, the Longhorns scored on the following drive when sophomore QB Vince Young hit sophomore TE David Thomas, who was streaking behind the defense, for a 49-yard touchdown that put Texas ahead 9-0.
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 to make it 9-7.
Benson rushed five times on UT's next drive, including a 60-yard gallop 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 a touchdown.
The Razorbacks took the lead with 2:08 left in the half when Chris Balseiro hit a 27-yard field goal that was set up by a screen that Dedrick Poole broke for 50 yards. Balsiero added a 35-yard field goal when a fourth-quarter drive stalled.
In the fourth quarter, 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 junior DT Larry Dibbles and sophomore DE Brian Robison recovered.
After getting the ball back with 48 seconds left, Jones drove Arkansas to midfield before throwing his second interception of the quarter. Earlier in the period, Jones was intercepted at the Texas 20 by junior CB Cedric Griffin.
Arkansas led 17-16 at halftime, but Texas scored on its first possession of the second half to make it 22-17. Vince Young, under heavy pressure and with a Razorback trying to drag him down, 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 Big Shootout" of 1969, when Texas came from behind to win 15-14 in Fayetteville and claim a national title with President Nixon in the stands.