Texas and Arkansas renew rivalry in Texas Bowl

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HOUSTON (AP) — Growing up as a child in Arkansas, Charlie Strong loved watching the Razorbacks and Texas play.

In his first season as the Longhorns' coach, he can't wait to renew the old rivalry Monday night in the Texas Bowl.

"No one ever lets you forget about the rivalry," Strong said.

These teams have met 77 times, with the first game coming in 1894. The old Southwest Conference foes met 60 years in a row before Arkansas left for the SEC after the 1991 season.

They haven't played much since then, with the last game coming in a 52-10 win by Texas in 2008.

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has worked to teach his players about the history of the rivalry, telling them about the schools' coaching greats: the Razorbacks' Frank Broyles and Texas' Darrell Royal.

"I think they've bought into it," Bielema said. "I say all the time we only stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. To be a part of something where Frank Broyles and Darrell Royal were such a big part of the game that we know today, it's just truly amazing."

Getting a chance to play each other again had both coaches talking about the possibility of these teams meeting more often.

"You love to see those old rivalries continue," Strong said.

Bielema agreed and hopes that he's part of it if it happens.

"It would be fun," he said. "It would be an easy one to sell. ... We're talking about games in 2021. I'm hoping to be alive and kicking. I just get crazy when we start talking about these event schedules."

Some things to know about Arkansas and Texas meeting in the Texas Bowl.

SHIPLEY TO PLAY: Texas receiver Jaxon Shipley has been cleared to play after missing the regular-season finale against TCU with a hamstring injury. Shipley is second on the team with 58 receptions for 571 yards. He is the third player in school history with three seasons of at least 50 receptions.

CENTURY MARK: Arkansas running backs Jonathan Williams (1,085 yards) and Alex Collins (1,024) are the only pair of teammates to each rush for more than 1,000 yards in FBS this season. It is the second time two players on a team coached by Bielema have accomplished the feat after James White and John Clay both did it at Wisconsin in 2010. Collins has 12 touchdowns runs and Williams has 11, which are career highs for both.

SACK ATTACK: The Longhorns are tied for seventh in the nation with 39 sacks. Malcolm Brown leads them with 6 1/2 sacks and 14 tackles for loss.

BREAKOUT SEASON: Senior receiver John Harris leads the Longhorns with 64 catches for 1,015 yards and seven touchdowns. His 1,015 yards receiving are the eighth-most in school history. Harris, who had just nine career catches before this season, has averaged 84.6 yards receiving, which is fifth in the Big 12.

MARTRELL'S MARK: Martrell Spaight leads the SEC with 123 tackles, which are the most by an Arkansas player since Tony Bua had 126 in 2003. He has 8 1/2 tackles for loss, a sack and an interception and has forced two fumbles and recovered one. He piled up a season-high 15 tackles against both Missouri and Mississippi State.

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