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College Football | COTTON BOWL

Oklahoma Shuts Down Arkansas

January 02, 2002|From Associated Press

DALLAS — Arkansas coaches had a month to find some weaknesses in the Oklahoma defense. They couldn't do it.

With major award winners Roy Williams and Rocky Calmus leading the way, the No. 10 Sooners tied a school record with nine sacks and held the Razorbacks to 50 yards in a 10-3 victory Tuesday in the Cotton Bowl.

Oklahoma (11-2) blew a chance to play in the Rose Bowl by losing to Oklahoma State in its final regular-season game. The Sooners bounced back with a vengeance, allowing Arkansas (7-5) only two completions for 13 yards.

"Just amazing," Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops said. "I don't care who you're playing, everyone would agree that's hard to do."

Offense was the main reason the Sooners weren't able to defend their national title, and it left a lot to be desired against Arkansas (7-5).

New offensive coordinator Chuck Long stuck to a conservative plan and produced only a one-yard touchdown run by Nate Hybl in the first quarter and a 32-yard field goal by Tim Duncan to open the second half.

That 10-0 lead seemed insurmountable, though, considering how the Sooners were defending their turf.

Arkansas didn't get into Oklahoma territory until a short punt put it there late in the third quarter. The Razorbacks drove past midfield once, on a series that ended with a 32-yard field goal with 9:46 left.

Williams, winner of the Bronko Nagurski Award for the nation's top defensive player and the Thorpe Award for the top defensive back, had two sacks.

Calmus, a runner-up for the Nagurski and winner of the Butkus Award for top linebacker, made nine solo tackles, two assists and recovered a fumble.

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