Cotton Bowl: Arkansas 27, Texas 6
DALLAS, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- A strong performance by freshman running back Cedric Cobbs, combined with a defensive effort that knocked out Texas quarterback Major Applewhite, carried the Arkansas Razorbacks to their first bowl win in 14 seasons Saturday -- a 27-6 whipping of the 18th-ranked Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl.
It was Arkansas' first Cotton Bowl victory in a quarter of a century and the Razorbacks (8-4) beat their old rival for only the 20th time in 74 all-time meetings.
The schools met 60 straight times as members of the Southwest Conference before the Razorbacks departed for the Southeastern Conference prior to the 1992 season.
Arkansas sacked Applewhite and backup Chris Simms eight times, knocking Applewhite from the game with a left knee injury 3 1/2 minutes into the fourth quarter. It was the Razorbacks' best defensive effort against Texas since a 42-6 rout in 1938.
The Longhorns (9-5) set school and Cotton Bowlrecords for futility with minus-27 rushing yards.
Cobbs, a product of Little Rock, Ark., hauled in a 30-yard touchdown pass from Clint Stoerner with 5:44 left in the third quarter to snap a 3-3 tie. He also ran 37 yards for a score early in the fourth to make it 24-6.
The 6-2, 216-pound Cobbs carried 15 times for 98 yards and became the first player in Arkansas history to rush for a touchdown and catch a scoring pass in a bowl game.
Tony Dodson kicked a pair of field goals and Michael Jenkins added a 42-yard touchdown run for the Razorbacks, who snapped a two-game Cotton Bowl losing streak, winning the Classic for the first time since defeating Georgia on New Year's Day 1976.
In breaking a seven-game postseason losing streak, the Razorbacks improved to 4-5 in the Cotton Bowl. It was their first postseason victory since downing Arizona State in the 1985 Holiday Bowl.
The game brought to a conclusion an emotional week for Texas. On Thursday, coach Mack Brown suspended star receiver Kwame Cavil, linebacker Jamal Joyner and defensive ends Aaron Humphrey and J.J. Kelly for violating team rules. All four players were sent home.
Applewhite completed 15 of 21 passes for 121 yards for, but the Razorbacks took away the deep ball, something made easier by the loss of Cavil, who set school records this season for receptions and receiving yards.
Simms, who as planned saw limited action in the first half, was eight of 19 for 91 yards and directed a last-minute drive that ended on downs deep in Arkansas territory.
With the game tied, 3-3, Stoerner delivered the afternoon's biggest play. From his own one and facing third and 10, he threw a 47-yard strike down the middle of the field to Anthony Lucas. Shortly thereafter, Stoerner's floater to the right was hauled in by Cobbs, who raced down the sideline for a touchdown that completed a nine-play, 97-yard drive.
Texas answered as Kris Stockton's 22-yard field goal cut the deficit to 10-6, but the Razorbacks responded with a quick 86-yard drive and grabbed an 11-point lead when Jenkins went yards up the middle for a score. He totaled 82 yards on six carries.
Cobb scored a little over two minutes later and Dodson, who connected from 25 yards in the first quarter, was good from 27 yards with 2:46 remaining to complete the scoring.
Texas, which is 10-10-1 in the Cotton Bowl, also received a 35-yard field goal by Stockton just over seven minutes into the second quarter.