Seniors Grapple With Rare Home L; Promise Rebound

For Texas seniors, nothing like this has ever happened before.

The Longhorns 38-28 loss to Arkansas Saturday was the first home heartbreaker of their careers. Heading into Saturday's meltdown, Texas was riding the nation' second-longest home winning streak at 20, dating back to an October 2, 1999 loss to Kansas State.

Senior LG Tillman Holloway was a redshirt freshman when Texas dropped that 35-17 home loss to KSU in the last millennium.

"Even to the last horn sound we were thinking that we were going to pull this off," Holloway said. "We have the athletes. We have the game plan. We had everything. We have the toughness. We fought to the very end. Today, Arkansas had the chips in their favor."

With home games against nationally ranked Kansas State and Nebraska on the horizon (not to mention that little diversion against top-ranked Oklahoma on October 11), the mind boggling loss resulted in a feeling that Holloway does not want to experience again.

"I actually walked off the field a little lost-minded," Holloway said. "It's horrible. It's sickening. We like to show our fans that we appreciate their support. Their staying to the end of the game means a lot to us, and we like to pull out games for them. We honestly felt, as an offensive line and as a team, that we were going to pull it off. I had no doubt that we were going to win the game."

The loss dampened another record-breaking day for senior wideout Roy Williams. With 10 catches totaling 117 yards, Williams is now Texas' career reception leader (182) after breaking Mike Adams record (178).

"You never want to lose, especially not at home," Williams said. "Arkansas came out a did a good job defensively. We just have to put this one behind us and get ready for next week."

Senior B.J. Johnson was the game's leading receiver with 123 yards on six catches. Like many of his counterparts, Johnson refused to believe that the loss did permanent damage to his team's championship goals.

"It's better to lose early," he said. "We'll always have a chance."

CB Nathan Vasher concurred.

"It's still early and everybody else still has to play," he said. "It's just one of those things where we have to pick up on Monday."

The loss took its toll on underclassmen as well.

"I really am stunned," WLB Derrick Johnson said. "We have a really good defense but they did a couple of things to break our defense down. Every time we made a little mistake, they capitalized on it."

In surrendering 265 rushing yards (RB Cedric Cobbs ran for 115 yards on 12 carries while QB Matt Jones added 102 yards on 12 attempts), Johnson surmised that the Horns were particularly unprepared for the Razorbacks' cutback style to take advantage of an over pursuing defense.

"We weren't expecting too much cutback but they did," Johnson said, noting especially Cobb‘s 46-yard, one-play scoring run in the third quarter. "They had a great game plan. They executed well."

For Johnson (and presumably the rest of his teammates) the only remedy for this is to just win. And win again. And win again.

"We have to get ready for Rice," he said. "We have to come back tomorrow, look at the films, and get it out of our minds. We can't let losing this game hurt you for the next one. We know we're a great team and we have to bounce back. All great teams bounce back."

Of course, Johnson's premise is flawed from the beginning. Texas isn't a great team. Great teams don't get run out of their own stadium by a team like Arkansas.


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