Arkansas-Texas: The intermittent rivalry Print
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Thursday, 25 September 2008 13:09
 LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Ken Hatfield played in three Arkansas-Texas games - then coached the Razorbacks in another six.
The most lopsided of the bunch? A seven-point win in 1986.
``Every one of them came down to one play,'' said Hatfield, a former Arkansas running back. ``That brought out the best in you.''
The Razorbacks play at No. 7 Texas on Saturday, renewing a rivalry based largely on nostalgia these days. It's only the fourth meeting since Arkansas left the Southwest Conference after the 1991 season, so this generation of players and coaches better study up.
Frank Broyles. Darrell Royal. The Big Shootout and the upside down Hook 'em sign.
at, and a lot of our young players are getting to learn it.''
During the first half of the 20th century, the Longhorns dominated. Then Broyles was hired as Arkansas' coach before the 1958 season.
``It grew into a really outstanding football game annually. That was Frank Broyles,'' said Royal, the former Texas coach. ``It's just been since Frank was there.''
From 1961-70, the teams met six times with both in the top 10. In 1962, the Razorbacks led 3-0 before an Arkansas fumble near the Texas goal line turned the tide. The Longhorns rallied for a 7-3 win.
Two years later, Arkansas beat Texas 14-13 en route to an undefeated season. Hatfield scored on an 81-yard punt return.
Back then, Arkansas and Texas would play in October - a huge midseason referendum for teams that often had national title hopes. Finally, in 1969, the schedule changed.
With college football celebrating its centennial, the Arkansas-Texas game was moved to Dec. 6. It was the only game in the country that day. Texas entered ranked No. 1 in the nation, and Arkansas was No. 2. President Nixon was in Fayetteville for the game.
``He was entertained,'' Royal said with a chuckle.
In what was dubbed the Big Shootout, the Longhorns fell behind 14-0 then rallied for a 15-14 victory. James Street's 44-yard pass to Randy Peschel on fourth-and-3 set up Jim Bertelsen's winning touchdown.
s clash - tense and low-scoring. It was also the rivalry's peak. The Longhorns won eight of the next nine meetings and now lead the series 55-21.
Even after Broyles stopped coaching, there were plenty of games to remember. Hatfield coached Arkansas for six seasons starting in 1984, and he can recap each matchup with Texas with ease.
In '84, Arkansas lost 24-18.
``We had a 17-play drive and drove down to about their 10-yard line. The last play of the game, got stopped on the half-yard line,'' he said. ``We threw a pass and completed it, and they tackled the receiver on the half-yard line.''
In '86, the Razorbacks beat Texas in Austin for the first time in 20 years. The following season, Arkansas was ahead 14-10 in Little Rock when quarterback Bret Stafford led the Longhorns on one final drive. Tony Jones caught an 18-yard touchdown pass with no time on the clock for a 16-14 win.
``Their quarterback throws such a bad pass, it's behind Tony Jones and he grabs the ball and presses it against his butt to catch the ball,'' Hatfield said. ``I told the Texas quarterback, 'If you'd thrown the ball and been a good enough quarterback, we'd have intercepted it.'''
wn Hook 'em Horns hand gesture.
The teams also played a home-and-home series in 2003 and 2004, with the road team winning each time.
This year's game is also part of a home-and-home, although the return game in Fayetteville won't happen immediately. Razorbacks athletic director Jeff Long said it might be played in 2014 - and there's no telling what shape this old feud will be in then.
``I think the rivalry is over for good,'' Hatfield said. ``Once you're not playing every year and everything, I think it definitely lost its flavor.''
Current players would beg to differ, of course.
``This is Texas-Arkansas and not just another team,'' Texas offensive lineman Adam Ulatoski said. ``All bets are out the window in a rivalry game like this. We're going to have to go out there and play our best game against them.''
These teams don't face each other much anymore - but as long as there are memories, the rivalry will endure.
``It's going to be jam-packed, because I know that their fans are going to be here and be ready to cheer for their team, and obviously, our fans are going to be here in their burnt orange,'' Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo said. ``It's going to be a great game.''
 

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