Like most of you, I’m getting pretty bored staying “inside these 4 walls” all the time. Yes - I’m blessed to still have my health, and I do know that. Still…it’s just an eerie and sudden change in day-to-day life for all of us.
Also like many of you, I’ve complemented my Netflix/Amazon prime streaming (thank goodness for those technologies!) with some video from old games - either off my DVR, games I’ve recorded on VHS or YouTube. Today, I watched the full game replay of the 2000 Cotton Bowl game vs. Texas.
Although I remember the game well - I was there, as many of you were - I hadn’t actually watched the complete game replay in a long, long time. Probably shortly after the game was played. So, while I did remember some of the big plays, I would not have remembered others (until I saw them in the replay). I found it a thoroughly entertaining and (for an Arkansas fan) satisfying way to spend 2 and a half hours (commercials are not included in the version I found on YouTube).
There’s no need for me to “recap” the game - almost all of you remember at least some portions of it. But there were 2 or 3 things I noticed.
The game was actually closer than I remembered during the first half, given our overall domination. Part of that is because we had 2 turnovers, and they had none (in that half). But part of it (IMO) was because we were a bit too conservative in our offensive play-calling. We needed to throw the ball downfield a few more times. The last drive of the first half was a glaring example of that.
Bobby Allen did a masterful job of Defensive play-calling that day. If you will remember, D Coordinator Keith Burns had taken the Tulsa HC job during Bowl preparation and was not with us for the Cotton Bowl. We essentially shut Texas down almost all game, establishing some team rushing records that the Longhorns are still saddled with to this day, I believe.
Speaking of defense, the contrast between our D in 2000 and what we’ve seen the last few years was stunning. I guess I knew that intellectually before watching the replay - but it just jumped out at me early in the game. We appeared to be much quicker at virtually every position, and our DB’s demonstrated good coverage (for the most part). And they would hit you.
The North EZ goal line was not Texas’ friend. I’ll just leave it at that.
Probably the best part of all - after seeing all of the UT-Ark games over a 60 year period - was that this time, it was Texas that wore down and was dominated in the second half.
I’m sure many of you have better things to do with your time. But if you find yourself bored and looking for something to watch, I do recommend this. I streamed it from my phone to the big screen TV and got some popcorn. We’re all spoiled by HD, so video quality is only “OK”. but after you watch it for awhile, you adapt to it. That’s what we all watched 100% of the time not so long ago, after all.