HOUSTON -- In a battle of 6-6 teams in the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl, it wasn’t even close. Arkansas held Texas to 59 total yards of offense and rolled to a a 31-7 victory at NRG Stadium. Here’s how it went down:
How the game was won: It was a physical beating from the Razorbacks on both sides of the ball. We knew Bret Bielema had a top-25 defense and one of the nation’s best run games. Against Texas, those units made everything look easy. They notched their seventh win by overwhelming Texas up front -- both with its massive offensive line and consistent ability to fluster Tyrone Swoopes -- and capitalizing on ideal field position all night long.
Game ball goes to: Brandon Allen, though the Arkansas quarterback’s linemen deserve just as much praise. Allen threw for 160 yards and two scores and guided the Razorback offense with poise to earn Texas Bowl MVP honors and a new tan cowboy hat.
It was over when: Arkansas’ control of this game was rarely in doubt, but Jonathan Williams’ 1-yard touchdown run capped an eight-minute drive that put the Hogs ahead 31-7 early in the fourth quarter. The fans in red began chanting “SEC,” and the ones in orange hit the aisles soon after Williams found the end zone. The Hogs ran the ball 11 plays on the drive and pushed Texas’ D around, including on a 5-yard dash on a fourth-and-1 conversion from the 6.
Stat of the game: Those 59 yards. In fact, through three quarters, Arkansas held Texas' offense to 29 total yards. Considering Texas mustered a 44-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter, that’s kind of incredible. The Horns had just as many penalty yards (29) after three quarters. The Longhorns finished with 2 rushing yards as a team and -32 from Swoopes.
Best play: Demetrius Wilson’s 36-yard TD catch to put the Hogs ahead 10-0. Did he push off a little? Maybe so. But Wilson earns high marks for difficulty on this one after beating corner Duke Thomas for a diving snag on a beautiful ball from Allen.