Arkansas learning about Texas 'hate'
Many of the players on Arkansas’ current roster knew nothing about the long, entrenched hatred between the Razorbacks and Longhorns the last time it played Texas.
Arkansas and Texas haven’t squared off since 2008, and many of the Hogs’ current players had yet to even be recruited by Arkansas.
When the Razorbacks were selected by the Texas Bowl on Sunday to play Charlie Strong’s Texas squad, the sentiment of many Arkansas fans became all too real.
“I’ve recently realized the hatred Arkansas has toward Texas,” senior defensive end Trey Flowers told Arkansas News. “I bleed Arkansas red so I guess I’ve got to hate them too.”
Flowers told Arkansas News’ Robbie Neiswanger after the team’s bowl destination and opponent was announced on Sunday afternoon that a fan sent him a message on social media describing the program’s history with Texas.
The two teams have met just four times since Arkansas bolted from the Southwest Conference for the SEC in 1992, causing Texas to be sent packing to the Big 12. That hasn’t slowed the deep hatred Arkansas fans have for their neighbors just one state to the west.
Flowers and his teammates have quickly com to understand what their bowl matchup in Houston on Dec. 29 means for their program and fans. It’s a chance to beat Texas, something the Razorbacks haven’t accomplished since 2003.
The two teams have met 77 times, leaving room for moments like Arkansas’ 27-6 domination of Texas in the 2000 Cotton Bowl. Quarterback Brandon Allen’s dad, Bobby, was the defensive coordinator for that Razorbacks team. However, Texas owns the all-time series 56-21, meaning Arkansas has had more than its fair share of gut-punch moments.
Head coach Bret Bielema has three weeks to ingrain what Texas means to Arkansas in his players’ heads. In the past, he’s invited Hogs legends such as Jerry Jones and Frank Broyles to speak to the team.
However, while not many Arkansas players may know much about Texas, right tackle Brey Cook does.
The senior offensive lineman said he was thrilled when he learned the Longhorns would be the bowl opponent, especially having grown up in Arkansas and learning a lot about the rivalry.
“Being from here you don’t dream about teams the NFL and all that,” Cook said. “You dream of beating Texas in Texas as a Razorback. To be able to do that as a captain and a senior is a very special opportunity.”
It may not be something Flowers and his teammates understood before Sunday afternoon at 4:10 CT, the exact time Bielema learned his team would face the Longhorns.
But they understand now.
“They don’t like us. We don’t like them,” Flowers said. “We’re going to go out there with just that in mind, understanding how big this would be for the whole Razorback nation. We’re going to try to make it happen.”