As aforementioned in my latest article, the Texas Longhorns from the Big-12 will square off against the Arkansas Razorbacks from the SEC in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl on Monday Night in Houston. The game features two former Southwest Conference foes. This season, with both football programs sitting at 6-6, this battle of Power Five conference teams will determine which program will leave Houston with a winning record.
The momentum of winning the Texas Bowl will also propel either the Longhorns or Razorbacks in the right direction for next season. Recruiting pitches will be won or lost based on the outcome of this game — Texas’ first year head coach, Charlie Strong, might benefit the most from a W in regards to recruiting. Strong has already won over several five-star recruits that decided to become Longhorns after verbal commitments to schools like Texas A&M. Of course, due to their fierce rivalry in the state of Texas, Horns’ fans would love nothing more than to steal big name recruits away from A&M.
As for the Razorbacks, head coach Bret Bielema could take an already good team into next season with some big name recruits of his own — in order to survive in the brutal SEC West in 2015, Arkansas could really use this win as a gigantic recruiting platform.
Arkansas received some wonderful news on Wednesday as junior running back Jonathan Williams bypassed the NFL Draft to return for his senior year. Coach Bielema took to Twitter to express his enthusiasm on Jonathan’s return. Williams and sophomore RB, Alex Collins, were the best backfield duo in the NCAA in 2014. The two studs, along with the Hogs’ powerful offensive line, should give Texas a migraine on the defensive side of the ball. Their potent running attack will also set up the play-action pass for quarterback Brandon Allen. Let us not forget, the Razorbacks have a very stout defense.
Texas will rely heavily on their own running back duo of Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown to get the job done between the tackles for the Horns. However, the biggest key on offense will be the play of 6’4″, 243-pound sophomore quarterback, Tyrone Swoopes. It truly is as Tyrone goes, the Horns go. Texas is 4-2 when Swoopes passes for at least 200 yards; without good QB play on Monday night, the Longhorns will have no shot at leaving Houston victorious. Defensively, the Horns will rely on senior defensive end Cedric Reed to lead the charge.
Ultimately, it should be a fantastic game in Houston come Monday night. At the games conclusion, the sound of either Woo Pig Sooie! or Hook ’em Horns will tell you who won the Texas Bowl.
*Section Photo credit to Chris Covatta, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Spruce Derden, USA Today Sports