All Our Exes Live in Texas – Do We Still Hate the Texas Longhorns?
Ten years ago this week Arkansas beat sixth-ranked Texas 38-28, scoring more points on the turf of its most hated rival than any previous Razorback team.
Texas took the opening kickoff and scored 10 plays later to start the game up 7-0, but quarterback Matt Jones led Arkansas on a drive that tied the game. Arkansas never fell behind again. Jones overcame the lingering effects of a strained hip muscle to score two touchdown while running for 102 yards and passing for 139 more. Tailback Cedric Cobbs chipped in with 115 yards and a touchdown.
The Hogs’ defense was at times just as impressive as it constantly harried Texas quarterback Chance Mock while limiting Longhorn tailback Cedric Benson to 2.1 yards per carry. In all, Texas ran for only 62 yards.
As the game wound down, sports columnist Wally Hall wrote that the roughly 4,000 Razorback fans among the 83,271 spectators who watched the game in Austin that day let loose what was the first hog call ever heard in Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
No doubt Frank Broyles, who was visiting the stadium for the first time since his last game as a coach on Dec. 4, 1976, joined the call.
After the game, tailback De’Arrius Howard staked an Arkansas flag in the north end zone turf in front of the Hog fans while coaches and players “celebrated and hugged with the kind of emotion usually reserved for a championship, according to the Democrat-Gazette. “Almost everyone in red flashed the downward Hook ’em ’Horns sign except the coaches.”
Wally Hall, the paper’s columnist, added: “Forget 1969 and the other 53 losses. This was 2003 and the Big Pig Shootout. Unranked Arkansas 38, No. 6 Texas 28, and it was not an upset.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; September 13 & 14, 2003]
Throughout the 20th century, Arkansas Razorback fans considered Texas the program’s top rival. For good reason: the Longhorns and Hogs regularly vied with each other for SWC titles and sometimes national championships.
But Arkansas has now been in the SEC for more than 20 years and younger fans no longer share the same memories with older fans of Texas games with championship implications.
Many of these younger fans have grown up in an SEC-centric world and they are more likely to think about great games with other SEC powers when recalling Arkansas’ most important moments of the 21st century. LSU and Alabama are now chief among Arkansas’ most hated opponents. Recent Razorbacks circle showdowns with these teams in the same way Frank Broyles’ teams would target their annual tussles with Texas.
In fact, it used to be that Arkansas Razorback fans rooted for any team playing against Texas. This weekend Ole Miss travels to Austin and you are as likely to find as many people pulling for the Longhorns as for the Rebels, which begs the question: Do we still hate the Texas Longhorns?
UAPB and UCA played in the inaugural Capital City Classic to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C.
UCA, a Division II team, beat UAPB, a Division I-AA team, 42-28 but it wasn’t an upset.
Heading into the game, UCA (2-0) was ranked 15th in Division II while UAPB (1-2) was ranked 106 out of 121 D1-AA teams. Despite receiving 27 fewer scholarships than a Division I-AA school, the Bears were a 12-point favorite and played like it early on jumping out to a 28-7 halftime lead.
Things looked to be getting even more out of hand early in the third quarter when UAPB fumbled a punt return and the ball one-hopped to Bears sophomore Robert Virgil. Virgil, who’d already been running toward the returner to get into coverage, grabbed the ball and kept running. And running. Until he found himself in the endzone 46 yards away.
“I was so tired after running, man I was out of it,” he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “I was too tired to even turn around. I just kept running and thinking ‘Please don’t nobody catch me, my Mama’s watching.”
A short while later, said mama probably started grimacing when UAPB reeled off 21 straight points to close the gap to 35-28.
But UCA defender Iscom Jones stripped Golden Lions receiver Brian Jones at the UCA 13-yard-line, likely preventing a UAPB touchdown. UCA recovered the ball, and kept the win. “This is only the second win in school history against a I-AA team,” UCA head coach Clint Conque said. “So, it’s a big step in our program.’’
A majority of the 13,274 people who attended the game at War Memorial Stadium got in for free – including members of the military, firefighters, police, emergency medical personnel, the Red Cross and their immediate family. “Generating revenue isn’t the primary concern for this particular game,” UCA Athletic Director Vance Strange said. “This game is to honor our heroes.”
It was scheduled as the first in a four-year series. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Sept. 11 and 12, 2003]
A decade ago, UCA was the state’s most explosive Division II football team. These days, that title belongs to Henderson State, which ranks No. 9 in the nation and rolled up 855 yards of total offense in its season opener. Boasting 19 returning starters from a team that went 10-1 last year, these Reddies look like legit contenders for a deep D-II playoff run.
But how well would they draw if matched up against an in-state D-I team? Are they intriguing enough to draw fans who would normally never watch a live D-II game?
UAPB vs. ASU not included because it was already played this season in Jonesboro. About 30, 450 people attended.
UA vs. any team not included because, c’mon, you know why.
25 years ago …
The NAIA Division I Top 25 poll featured five Arkansas teams with UCA at No.1. For the second straight week, the Bears held the top spot over No. 2 Mesa, Colo.
Harding came in at No. 15, followed by UA-Monticello (No. 18), Arkansas Tech (No. 19) and Southern Arkansas (No. 25). [Associated Press; Sept 14, 1988]
50 years ago …
“A Pain in the Backside”
Lady luck hasn’t been kind to the Razorbacks heading into their season opener against Oklahoma State. Two key players – Glen Ray Hines and Jim Lindsey – were injured in a dummy scrimmage three days before the game.
A different fate befell another key contributor, wingback George Walker, while he was in a classroom.
“Walker stood up in class today and hurt his back,” head coach Frank Broyles reported to the Associated Press. [Associated Press; Sept. 19, 1963]
What? How? Seriously? Are you kidding me? These are the first in a series of what I would consider natural follow up questions for Broyles, Walker, Walker’s teacher and Walker’s classmates. No more detail is provided about the injury in this article, though. Apparently, AP sports reporters back in the day just wanted to file something and call it a day.
100 years ago …
The spitball is a lightning rod of controversy in baseball circles.
Many think the pitch – which entails spitting on a baseball and usually a coating of tobacco, saliva and dirt – is unsanitary. The health commissioner of Chicago disagrees.
“I don’t believe the spitting on the ball by the pitcher has any more effect on the health of the player than spitting on the bait for luck [in] fishing has to do with the size of the catch,” he said. “Unquestionably there is much to be said, when the question is viewed from the side of esthetics.”
This statement is great news for the best pitchers of the Little Rock city league, writes Arkansas Democrat columnist “Sully.” He recalls a pitcher by the name of Smith who “nearly spit a lake full in one of the most recent games at West End Park. Still he lost.” [Arkansas Democrat; Sept. 18, 1913]
Demirel loves that Twitter is more popular than veritable ballpark lakes of saliva nowadays.