'65 Cotton Bowl Win Nets National Title

FAYETTEVILLE — Jim Lindsey can tell you exactly what he was doing when he realized Arkansas was about to win a national championship in football.

And he said it seems like yesterday.

"I remember standing there looking at it on TV in the lobby of the motel," Lindsey said. "Went to a party, went back later and watched it on TV. It all fell our way. It was a big day, a big night.

"It's something that will be with me forever."

Because Lindsey and his mates beat Nebraska 10-7 in the 1965 Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day and because Texas upset Alabama 21-17 in the Orange Bowl that night, the Razorbacks were left unblemished with an 11-0 record.

"Well, before Texas beat Alabama that night and we didn't know if we would be No. 1 when it was all said and done," Lindsey said. "We didn't know until Texas beat Alabama that we were the winners, you know."

Playing in front of standing-room-only crowd of 75,504, Arkansas and Nebraska played in the 29th version of the Cotton Bowl with a lot at stake for the Razorbacks.

Following a short Nebraska punt, the Razorbacks jumped in front 3-0 on Tom McKnelly's 31-yard field goal in the first quarter.

The Cornhuskers, however, responded and went ahead 7-3 in the second quarter with a 10-play, 69-yard drive. Halfback Harry Wilson finished the march with a 1-yard touchdown run.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Razorbacks, behind the passing of quarterback Fred Marshall, would decide the issue. Passes to Lindsey, Jerry Lamb and Bobby Burnett pushed the Porkers 80 yards in nine plays.

With 4:41 left in the game, Burnett dove into the end zone for a 3-yard TD. Arkansas then stiffened on defense to halt any threats by Nebraska.

Successive defensive plays by the Razorbacks sealed the win. After the 'Huskers earned a first down at midfield, linebacker Ronnie MacSmith and tackle Jim Williams combined to sack Nebraska quarterback Frank Churchich for a nine-yard loss.

Then, following a seven-yard completion, Loyd Phillips stopped an end-around for no gain. One fourth down, Williams dropped Churchich for a 15-yard loss.

"We made some big plays on offense and the defense played great," Lindsey said. "That's how we won the game."

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