Arkansas 31, Texas 7
HOUSTON — It might as well have been called the Arkansas Bowl.
Arkansas left little doubt as to the better team on the field at NRG Stadium Monday night, defeating Texas 31-7 in the Texas Bowl.
The Razorbacks' defense held Texas to 59 yards of total offense with a stifling effort that included three sacks and two turnovers, one of which resulted in a defensive touchdown. During one point, the Longhorns had five consecutive drives result in negative yardage. Texas rushed for 2 yards and passed for 57 yards, 34 of which came on the Longhorns' final drive.
The Razorbacks improved to 2-0 against their former Southwest Conference rival in bowl games and finished the season with a 7-6 overall record. Arkansas has won three of its last four bowl games dating to the 2009 season.
In many ways, the game felt like a repeat of the last time the teams met in the postseason at the 2000 Cotton Bowl in Dallas. In that game, Arkansas sacked Texas quarterbacks eight times and held the Longhorns to minus-27 yards rushing in a 27-6 win.
With its defense playing the leading role, Arkansas' offense produced more than enough points Monday night. Quarterback Brandon Allen threw a pair of second quarter touchdowns and defensive tackle Taiwan Johnson recovered a Texas fumble in the endzone to help the Razorbacks build a 24-7 halftime lead.
After Adam McFain kicked a 32-yard field goal to give Arkansas a first quarter lead, the Razorbacks added to the advantage on a well-thrown 36-yard touchdown pass from Allen to Demetrius Wilson early in the second quarter.
Johnson scored when Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes and running back Jonathan Gray botched a handoff exchange at the Longhorns' 4-yard line. Johnson recovered the ball in the endzone to extend the Razorbacks' lead to 17-0.
Texas (6-7) scored its only touchdown with 3:59 remaining in the second quarter on a 9-yard touchdown run by Swoopes. The scoring drive was set up when Jacorey Warrick returned a kickoff to the Arkansas 44.
Arkansas responded with a 9-play, 61-yard drive that was capped by Allen's second touchdown pass, which went 5 yards to Keon Hatcher on a third-and-goal with 24 seconds remaining before halftime.
Jonathan Williams added a 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter and Henre' Toliver intercepted Swoopes to kill the Longhorns' final offensive drive. Arkansas took a knee three times from the Texas 4 in the final two minutes.
Allen was named the game's most valuable player after completing 12 of 23 passes for 160 yards. He also had 13 rushing yards and helped the team covert nine of 17 third downs.
Williams rushed for 105 yards on 23 carries for the Razorbacks. Alex Collins added 76 yards on 17 carries.
Alex Collins is greeted by Arkansas fans on his entrance to NRG Stadium.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema makes the "A" sign on his way to the game.
Photos by Jason Ivester, Hawgs Illustrated
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