Brandon Allen and Brey Cook are too young to recall the heated nature of the Arkansas-Texas rivalry, but they know enough through their parents that it's clear that the Texas Bowl is a great matchup.
Cook, senior right tackle, went to dinner with his mother, uncle and grandfather just after learning of the bowl matchup on Sunday.
"The excitement was obvious with my relatives," Cook said. "This is the game they wanted. My whole family couldn't be happier.
"The history of this rivalry and all of the great players who have been in it from both sides is what I know about it. I think our team is excited."
Allen had heard rumors of other possible matchups during the day. He was holding out hope that they were wrong and the Hogs would draw Texas instead. The junior quarterback said the official twitter feeds confirmed his hopes to be true.
"I just kept refreshing my twitter feeds," Allen said. "When I saw the official bowl tweet from Houston, I got excited because then I knew it was true and we were going to play Texas."
Bobby Allen, the Fayetteville product's dad, coached for Arkansas against Texas several times, including as the interim defensive coordinator in the Cotton Bowl. There's been some family talk about the matchup.
"I've been around a couple of those games," Allen said. "But I was real little. My dad talks about them and I'm sure we are going to visit more about those games in coming days. He knows what this rivalry means.
"I think we all know that it means a lot to our fans. As for the players, we wanted to play a big program like Texas. It's very exciting for our team. You just say Texas and it's a big thing for all of us. We understand the magnitude of the rivalry. Not much really needs to be said."
Defensive end Trey Flowers grew up around the Auburn-Alabama rivalry in Huntsville, Ala. He was told by some in the hours after the Texas Bowl match was announced that Arkansas-Texas was in the same territory.
"I do know it's very important," Flowers said. "I understand there is some hatred there with our fans and that they got some for us, too. To be my last game and to play in a rivalry game like this, it's huge. It's big time.
"I thought LSU was our rival. But as I look at twitter and see what our fans think of Texas, I get it now."
In fact, that's what Allen said. The players are in tune with the fans thoughts for Texas.
"Our players do get it," Allen said. "I really do."
Allen said he's recovered from the oblique strain that bothered him against Missouri, particularly in the second half. He threw without trouble in Sunday's practice, the first since the 21-14 loss to the Tigers.
"It was just above the hip," he said. "I spent most of the last week in rehab, in the training room. We had a physical practice Sunday and I didn't have any trouble. I think I'm 100 percent. I'm fine. I threw with no pain yesterday. The injury (against Missouri) limited some things we wanted to do. I wasn't as mobile as I would want. But I feel good now."
Allen said the loss to Missouri left "a bad taste" and the Hogs are excited to get a chance to finish on a better note.
"We are a 6-6 team," Allen said. "That's what we earned. We have a chance to earn one more. We were close in a lot of other games. We want another chance because that last game did leave a bad taste. We didn't do as well as we could have.
"I do think our schedule prepares us for this game against Texas. We know we can play with anyone. We played good teams all year."
Allen: Hogs Excited to Play Texas
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