Coming into the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl in Houston, all the old Southwest Conference rival Arkansas Razorbacks and Texas Longhorns wanted was to win their last game of 2014. With both football programs having identical 6-6 records, the victor would possess a winning record going into the 2015 season.
Well, the Razorbacks came away with the victory on Monday night in the Texas Bowl, 31-7, leaving Houston with that winning record at 7-6. As for the Longhorns, after an embarrassing performance, they dropped to 6-7. To put that into perspective, former Texas head coach, Mack Brown, had only one 7-loss season in his entire tenure in Austin.
The bowl win will give Arkansas and head coach, Bret Bielema, strong momentum and a great recruiting pitch moving forward to 2015. If you want to look at the game from another point of view, an SEC West program (Arkansas) made their Big-12 opponent (Texas) look completely inept.
As a program, Texas now has 53 bowl appearances which is second all-time behind Alabama, and it’s a shame they did not show up for their bowl game on Monday night. For Arkansas, they played with a purpose; they gave the Longhorns a whipping of epic proportions. It was hard to find anything positive for Texas in their loss — the Horns finished with a meager 59 total yards on offense. Sophomore quarterback, Tyrone Swoopes, did have a touchdown run in the second quarter; however, that was about all the Horns had in their arsenal. Thankfully, current Texas head coach, Charlie Strong, can recruit; once his recruits are in place within their system, the Longhorns should have a ton of success.
Arkansas had 351 yards of total offense in the bowl game. Junior quarterback Brandon Allen looked good, especially off of hard play-action, finishing 12-23 for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns. As always, the play-action passing game was executed because of the Razorbacks ability to run the football. Averaging 6’6″ and 328.4-pounds on the offensive line, Arkansas was able to bully Texas’ defensive line all night long. The Hogs up front allowed junior running back Jonathan Williams, who will return for his senior year in Fayetteville, to tot the rock effectively. Williams had 23 carries in the game for 105 yards and 1 touchdown. His running mate, sophomore RB Alex Collins, chipped in with 17 carries for 76 yards.
Defensively, the stout front of the Razorbacks confused Texas’ offensive line the entire night. The three-headed monster of linebacker Martrell Spaight, defensive tackle Darius Philon and defensive end Trey Flowers created chaos in the backfield for Swoopes and Texas.
With the dominating performance the Razorbacks showcased in their Texas Bowl victory, look for Arkansas to compete in the merciless SEC West in 2015. Woo Pig Sooie!
*Section Photo (above) credit to Wesley Hitt, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Nelson Chenault, USA Today Sports