Razorbacks Accept Cotton Bowl Invitation to Play Missouri

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the 11th time in school history, the Arkansas football team has accepted an invitation to play in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.

The No. 24 Razorbacks will square off with No. 7 Missouri (11-2) in agame slated for Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008, at the 72,260 seat Cotton Bowl that will be televised nationally on Fox.

The Hogs’ last appearance in the Cotton Bowl came following the 2001 season. Arkansas took on Oklahoma on Jan. 1, 2002, in front of more than 70,000 fans with the Sooners pulling out a 10-3 win.

The Razorbacks enter the game ranked 24th nationally in the USA Today Coaches’ poll and 25th in the AP poll with an 8-4 record. The Hogs are coming off of a 50-48 triple-overtime win at then-No. 1 LSU in Death Valley on Nov. 23. UA has won five of its last six games and features two 1,000 rushers in Heisman candidate Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.

Interim head coach Reggie Herring will guide the Razorbacks in their 36th bowl appearance. Arkansas is 11-21-3 all time in bowl games and 3-6-1 in the Cotton Bowl. The 11 trips to the Cotton Bowl is a school record, easily outdistancing the Hogs’ next most frequent bowl destination, the Sugar Bowl (5).

ARKANSAS (8-4) vs. MISSOURI (11-2)

2008 AT&T Cotton Bowl

Dallas, Texas (Cotton Bowl; 72,260)

January 1, 2008

10:40 a.m. * TV: Fox

HOGS AND MISSOURI TO MEET IN AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC: Arkansas will make its eighth bowl appearance in the last 10 years when the No. 24 Razorbacks face the No. 7 Missouri Tigers in the 2008 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas, Texas. The Hogs will be making their 11th appearance in the Cotton Bowl. UA and MU will meet on New Year’s Day at 10:40 a.m. CT at the Cotton Bowl (72,260) in a game televised nationally by Fox.

UA BOWL HISTORY: No. 24 Arkansas will be making its 36th trip to a postseason bowl game when the Hogs travel to Dallas, Texas to play No. 7 Missouri in the 2008 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The Razorbacks are 11-21-3 in their previous 35 bowl appearances including a 17-14 loss last season to Wisconsin at the Capital One Bowl. Arkansas’ last bowl victory came in 2003 when the Hogs topped Missouri 27-14 in the Independence Bowl.

COTTON BOWL HISTORY: For the 11th time in school history, including the third time in the past nine seasons, Arkansas will conclude its season at the historic Cotton Bowl. The Razorbacks will be playing in the Cotton Bowl for a school record 11th time, easily outdistancing the Hogs’ next most frequent bowl destination, the Sugar Bowl (5). The Hogs are 3-6-1 in their previous nine trips to the Cotton Bowl including a 27-6 win over Texas on Jan. 1, 2000. UA dropped a hard-fought 10-3 decision to Oklahoma in their last visit in 2002. Arkansas’ other victories in the game came in 1965 and 1976. The 1965 win over Nebraska capped a perfect season and secured the only football national championship in UA history.

LAST TIME AT THE COTTON BOWL: In a battle of two stingy defenses, the No. 10 and defending national champion Oklahoma Sooners outlasted the Arkansas Razorbacks, 10-3, in the 66th annual SBC Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day.

Oklahoma (11-2) went to halftime with a 7-0 lead and held on for a 10-3 victory over Arkansas (7-5) in front of more than 70,000 fans at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium. The Sooners kept the UA offense off balance all day including earning a bowl record nine sacks. Oklahoma’s Quentin Griffin earned offensive player of the game honors after rushing for 56 yards on 19 carries while Sooners’ strong safety Roy Williams earned outstanding defensive player of the game honors after totaling six stops including three tackles for loss.

Arkansas managed only 50 yards of total offense on the afternoon and completed its only scoring drive of the day with a fourth-quarter field

goal from Brennan O’Donohoe. The Hogs struggled to get the running game going against the OU defense posting 37 yards on 42 carries. Arkansas completed two of 13 passes for 13 yards and an interception.

Arkansas’ defense kept the Hogs in the game until late in the fourth quarter. OU rushed 34 times for only 56 yards. The UA defense earned 10 tackles for loss of their own including four sacks. Senior All-American Jermaine Petty led the Razorbacks with 10 tackles.

Oklahoma opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 13-play, 63-yard scoring drive that ended when quarterback Nate Hybl rushed to paydirt from one yard out. Tim Duncan added the extra point and the Sooners led 7-0.

The next scoreboard tally didn’t come until the opening drive of the second half when the Sooners capped a 65-yard drive with a 32-yard field

goal by Duncan to extend the lead to 10-0.

Arkansas culminated its only sustained offensive drive of the day midway through the final period as O’Donohoe nailed a 32-yard field goal to close the OU lead to 10-3. The Razorback defense responded and gave the UA offense a pair of opportunities to drive for the winning score, but OU All-American Rocky Calmus forced a fumble from UA signal caller Matt Jones in the final two minutes to halt the Hogs’ last hope.

EIGHT BOWLS IN 10 YEARS: Arkansas has advanced to eight bowl games in the last 10 years, including two-consecutive New Year’s Day Bowl Games. The Hogs are tied for the fourth-most bowl appearances in the SEC during that span (1998-2007). It will be the Razorbacks’ third trip to the Cotton Bowl Classic in the last 10 years and their fifth New Year’s Day bowl game appearance.

THE MISSOURI SERIES: The all-time series between the Razorbacks and Tigers is tied at two games apiece. The Hogs and Tigers fifth meeting on the gridiron will take place at the fifth different site. UA and MU have met in Columbia, Mo., St. Louis, Mo., Little Rock and Shreveport. Arkansas won the last meeting between the two schools in the 2003 Independence Bowl, 27-14. Missouri won the first meeting on Nov. 10, 1906, by a score of 11-0 in Columbia, Mo.

Arkansas vs. Missouri Series History (Series Tied, 2-2)

At Little Rock: Missouri leads 1-0

At Columbia: Missouri leads 1-0

At St. Louis: Arkansas leads 1-0

At Shreveport (Independence Bowl): Arkansas leads 1-0

Year Result Site

1906 Missouri 11, Arkansas 0 Columbia, Mo.

1944 Arkansas 7, Missouri 6 St. Louis, Mo.

1963 Missouri 7, Arkansas 6 Little Rock, Ark.

2003 Arkansas 27, Missouri 14 Shreveport, La.

HOGS & TIGERS IN 2003 INDEPENDENCE BOWL: For just the second time in 18 years, Arkansas capped its season with a bowl victory as the Razorbacks recorded a 27-14 win over Missouri in the Independence Bowl, but for the second time in consecutive seasons, the Hogs finished with nine wins.

Arkansas rushed for 300 yards and the defense forced three turnovers as UA won a bowl game for the second time in five years.

Offensive Most Valuable Player Cedric Cobbs rushed for 141 yards on 27 carries, and his 41-yard TD capped a big second quarter which gave

Arkansas a 21-7 halftime lead.

Missouri (8-5) got within 24-14 at the end of the third quarter, but the Hogs shut out the Tigers in the fourth period while Chris Balseiro booted his fourth field goal of the game for the final margin. Balseiro’s four field goals set an Arkansas bowl record.

DeCori Birmingham added 85 yards on 10 carries for UA while quarterback Matt Jones ran for 74 on seven rushes. Jones was six of 14 passing

for 49 yards. Ryan Sorahan was perfect on three attempts for 36 yards.

Missouri’s Zack Abron, who scored on a one-yard run to give the Tigers a 7-3 lead, ran for 137 yards on 19 carries. Quarterback Brad

Smith ran for 96 yards and a score on 20 carries, and was 17 of 30 passing for 155 yards with an interception.

Caleb Miller, voted the game’s Most Valuable Defensive Player, made 16 tackles. Jimmy Beasley and Keith Jackson recorded seven stops each. Tom Crowder blocked a punt and intercepted a pass in the win.

AGAINST THE BIG 12 IN BOWL GAMES: Arkansas is 4-2 in bowl games against teams that comprise the Big 12 Conference. The Razorbacks are 1-0 vs. Missouri, 1-0 vs. Nebraska, 1-0 vs. Texas and 1-2 vs. Oklahoma in postseason play. The four wins are among the most memorable in UA history.

The Hogs, representing the Southeastern Conference, downed former Southwest Conference rival Texas 27-6 in the 2000 Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl. Arkansas topped Nebraska 10-7 in the 1965 Cotton Bowl to complete an undefeated season and clinch the 1964 national championship. It is the only football national crown in UA history. In the most recent bowl game against the Big 12 Conference, the Razorbacks handed Missouri a 27-14 loss in the 2003 Independence Bowl.

Perhaps the biggest upset in UA history came in 1978 when the Hogs topped heavily-favored Oklahoma 31-6 at the Orange Bowl. The Sooners returned the favor with a 42-8 win over the Razorbacks at the Orange Bowl in 1987.

Both Nebraska and Oklahoma were the in the Big Eight Conference at the time of the previous bowl games. Arkansas was still a member of the Southwest Conference when it faced the Cornhuskers and Sooners. The 2000 matchup with Texas in the Cotton Bowl and regular season showdowns with the Longhorns in 2003 and 2004 along with the 2003 Independence Bowl vs. Missouri are the only other times that Arkansas has faced a Big 12 team as a member of the SEC. Overall, Arkansas is 161-150-7 (.517) in all games vs. current members of the Big 12 Conference.

Arkansas vs. the Big 12

Team Record Bowl Games Bowl Results

Baylor 35-33-2

Colorado 0-0-0

Iowa State 1-0-0

Kansas 0-2-0

Kansas State 1-3-0

Missouri 2-2-0 1-0 2003 Independence Bowl (W, 27-14)

Nebraska 1-0-0 1-0 1965 Cotton Bowl (W, 10-7)

Oklahoma 4-9-1 1-21978 Orange Bowl (W, 31-6)

1987 Orange Bowl (L, 8-42)

2002 Cotton Bowl (L, 3-10)

Oklahoma State 30-15-1

Texas 21-55-0 1-0 2000 Cotton Bowl (W, 27-6)

Texas A&M 38-24-3

Texas Tech 28-7-0

Totals 161-150-7 (.517)

TEXAS TIES: Arkansas boasts 30 players who hail from the Lone Star state and will be making a trip home for the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. That number includes 18 who call the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex home. Those from the DFW area include quarterback Casey Dick (Allen HS), corner Jerell Norton (Cedar Hill HS) and offensive lineman DeMarcus Love (carter HS).

The Houston area has also produced eight athletes for the Razorbacks, including senior offensive lineman Robert Felton (Cypress Creek HS), defensive standouts Adrian Davis (Teery HS) and Wendel Davis (Sweeny HS) and corner Shedrick Johnson (Sweeny HS).

The three players who hail from the Waco area are Robert and Rashaad Johnson (Waco HS) and corner Matterral Richardson (Marlin HS).

This will be the first trip to the Cotton Bowl for any current player on the Arkansas roster.

Texas Players

Joe Chaisson, Beaumont, Texas (Westbrook HS)

Nigel Chandler, Houston, Texas (Booker T. Washington HS)

Adrian Davis, Rosenberg, Texas (Terry HS)

Wendel Davis, Sweeny, Texas (Sweeny)

Casey Dick, Allen, Texas (Allen)

Nathan Dick, Allen, Texas (Allen)

Robert Felton, Houston, Texas (Cypress Creek HS)

Aaron Fenton, Plano, Texas (Plano)

Reggie Fish, Mesquite, Texas (Mesquite)

Blane Gibson, Quitman, Texas (Quitman)

Chip Gregory, Allen, Texas (American Heritage Academy)

Bret Harris, Irving, Texas (MacArthur HS)

Matt Harris, Richardson, Texas (Pearce HS)

Rashaad Johnson, Waco, Texas (Waco)

Robert Johnson, Waco, Texas (Waco)

Shedrick Johnson, Sweeny, Texas (Sweeny)

DeMarcus Love, Lancaster, Texas (Carter HS)

Jermaine Love, Garland, Texas (North Garland HS)

Isaac Madison, Dallas, Texas (Carter HS)

Josh Minde, Richardson, Texas (Richardson)

Jerell Norton, Cedar Hill, Texas (Cedar Hill)

Barrett Reynolds, Plano, Texas (Plano West HS)

Matterral Richardson, Marlin, Texas (Marlin)

Rhett Richardson, Rockwall, Texas (Rockwall)

Robert Salinas, LaJoya, Texas (LaJoya)

Joel Scott, Katy, Texas (Cinco Ranch HS)

Marcus Shavers, Lucas, Texas (Allen HS)

Dallas Washington, Douglasville, Texas (Atlanta HS)

Torian Wilkins, Katy, Texas (Brookshire Royal HS)

Desmond Williams, Euless, Texas (Trinity HS)