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Texas still burned by Arkansas celebration
Posted: Wednesday September 8, 2004 2:40AM; Updated: Wednesday September 8, 2004 2:40AM
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas still remembers Arkansas' players prancing all over the field, waving their state flag in the end zone and digging up pieces of the turf after the Razorbacks beat the Longhorns 38-28 last season.
The underdog Razorbacks had snapped Texas' 20-game winning streak at Royal Memorial Stadium and several players flashed upside-down horns signs for cameras.
"I thought it was pretty disrespectful the way they celebrated on the field," Texas receiver Tony Jeffery said. "That's one image that I carry around with me ... we want to win at all costs."
Emotions run high in an old-school rivalry that dates to the glory days of the old Southwest Conference. The No. 7 Longhorns (1-0) and Razorbacks (1-0) meet again Saturday night in Fayetteville in the 35th anniversary of their classic 1969 "Big Shootout" that Texas won 15-14.
Texas safety Phillip Geiggar said the Longhorns were steamed by last year's loss and the postgame celebration that took on an air of mockery.
"That made us even more mad," he said. "But you know, we couldn't do nothing. They came in here and beat us in our own house."
Old-timers remember Texas vs. Arkansas as a blood feud between border rivals that regularly decided the conference champion when Darrell Royal and Frank Broyles roamed the sidelines for the Longhorns and Razorbacks.
In 1969, Texas was No. 1 and Arkansas No. 2. President Nixon came to the game and declared Texas national champions after the Longhorns' victory, a game that still evokes pride in Austin and bitter disappointment in Fayetteville.
Most of that history is lost on today's players, said Texas coach Mack Brown.
"I don't think they understand the '69 game," said Brown, who recalled watching it on television at home in Tennessee. "I'm sure their parents probably do."
Last year, Brown tried to drill into his players the intensity of the rivalry.
Longhorns players kept a picture of Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt giving the upside-down horns in their locker room. Speeches were made and players were urged to be ready to take Arkansas' best shot.
None of it worked as Arkansas pushed Texas around the field. The Razorbacks rushed for 265 yards and made big play after big play to earn their post-game celebration.
Texas players say they're more concerned about recent history. Last season's loss ruined Texas' national title hopes early.
"That's the only memory I need," Texas defensive tackle Rod Wright said. "They beat us when we had a winning streak going. They ran the ball down our throats."
Texas players say they expect a hostile reception in Arkansas where fans printed "Beat Texas" shirts before the season started. They've heard the stories of Fayetteville's intimidating atmosphere.
"I'm sure their fans are going to be crazy and wild, have alcohol in them," safety Michael Huff said. "We don't know what to expect."
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Re: Texas still burned by Arkansas celebration
It will be a completely different UT football team when they take the field tomorrow night. They are going to run right down Arkansas's throat. Heisman Trophy winner Cedric Benson is going to have a field day.
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