HOUSTON — Brandon Allen threw for 160 yards and two scores as Arkansas rolled to an easy 31-7 win over Texas in the Texas Bowl on Monday night, the Razorbacks’ first bowl appearance since 2011.
It was the first game between these former Southwest Conference rivals since 2008 and ends a two-game skid in the series for Arkansas. The game was played in front of a sellout crowd that included Earl Campbell, who won the Heisman Trophy at Texas in 1977.
Arkansas (7-6) built a 24-7 lead by halftime and Jonathan Williams, who finished with 105 yards rushing, added a 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to make it 31-7.
Texas (6-7) was smothered by Arkansas’ defense almost all night and finished with a season-low 59 total yards. It is the second straight lopsided bowl loss for the Longhorns, who lost 30-7 to Oregon in the Alamo Bowl last season.
Tyrone Swoopes, who was hurried and harassed all night, finished 13 of 25 for 57 yards with an interception for Texas.
Alex Collins added 76 yards rushing for the Razorbacks and Keon Hatcher had 41 yards receiving with a touchdown.
Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers had a sack and two tackles for losses to give him 47 1/2 tackles for losses in his career.
The Longhorns had just 25 yards on offense in the fourth quarter before Swoopes went 5 for 6 for 34 yards on one drive. But just when things were looking up for Texas, Henre’ Tolliver intercepted a long pass by Swoopes and returned it 46 yards and the Razorbacks ran out the clock.
These teams played 60 straight years before the Razorbacks joined the SEC after the 1991 season. The Longhorns came in having won the last two games, including a 52-10 victory in 2008.
The touchdown run by Williams made it 31-7 early in the fourth quarter. Williams gained 5 yards on fourth-and-1 a play before the score to keep the drive going.
Texas couldn’t do anything offensively for most of the game, but things were particularly bad in the third quarter where the team lost 17 yards to enter the fourth quarter with just 29 yards of total offense.
The Longhorns had negative 1-yard passing before Swoopes completed four passes for 31 yards on a drive capped by his 9-yard touchdown run that cut the lead to 17-7 about four minutes before halftime.
Russell Athletic Bowl
No. 18 CLEMSON 40, OKLAHOMA 6: In Orlando, Florida, Cole Stoudt threw for three touchdowns and ran for another for Clemson.
The Tigers (10-3) reached double-digit victories for the fourth consecutive season. Clemson was 10-4 in 2011, 11-2 in 2012 and 11-2 in 2013.
Stoudt was 26-for-36 for a season-high 319 yards. He was sacked four times, but Clemson never turned the ball over. The Tigers, who came in ranked No. 1 in the nation in defense, held the Sooners to 275 yards.
Oklahoma (8-5) had five turnovers, including three interceptions by Trevor Knight.
The Sooners entered the game averaging nearly 40 points but didn’t score until late in the fourth quarter.
Clemson was efficient in all phases but was also the beneficiary of three early Sooners turnovers in building a 27-0 halftime lead. A 47-yard interception return for a touchdown by Ben Boulware was part of a 17-point first quarter.
Stoudt completed his first six passes and finished the half with a pair of touchdown throws — a 65-yarder to Artavis Scott and a 26-yarder to Mike Williams.
Tigers kicker Ammon Lapkip also did his part to deepen the hole for Oklahoma, connecting on a pair of field goals, including a career long from 49 yards in the second quarter.
The Sooners were out of sync on both sides of the ball during the opening 30 minutes.
Knight was 5-for-14, with a pair of interceptions. Samaje Perine rushed for 62 yards but had a fumble inside the Tigers 25 that ended the Sooners’ best drive late in the second quarter.
Trailing 20-0, Oklahoma’s defense nearly grabbed a bit of momentum when defensive end Charles Tapper appeared to tip, intercept and return Stoudt’s pass for a touchdown. But the play was called back for offside.