Throwback Thursday: 1988 Arkansas at Texas

We jump in the wayback machine to 1988, when the living was free and the loving was good and peek in at the Arkansas/UT matchup. A dad gum SWC classic, spoiler alert, the Hogs won but only after holding off a furious Texas comeback. 

Get to the Bullets.

  • Texas entered 1988 as the third best team in the country then promptly lost 47-6 at BYU and ended the season 4-7. 
  • The Horns came into their annual bloodbath with Arkansas ranked number 25 and smarting from a Red River Shootout loss to OU. 
  • David McWilliams coached the Longhorns. McWilliams is an interesting study. McWilliams played on the legendary 1963 National Championship team at Texas. He was an assistant at UT under Darrell Royal and Fred Akers before taking the head job at Tech. He led the Red Raiders to a 7-4 record and Independence Bowl birth before bolting back to Texas. 
  • McWilliams went 31-26 at UT including a 1990 "Shock the Nation" season that saw the Longhorns climb to number 3 before getting blown out by the U at the Cotton Bowl. 
  • McWilliams resigned a season later after a 5-6 campaign. 
  • Arkansas were in the midst of a two year SWC title run under Ken Hatfield. The Hogs went 10-0 to start 1988 before losing to Miami and then UCLA in the Cotton Bowl. 
  • UCLA started some quarterback named Aikman in the Cotton Bowl.
  • Kids, back in the day the number 60 was a sacred number assigned to only the great Longhorn Middle Linebackers. Britt Hager was such a linebacker. Could he play in todays game? Maybe not, but he was a tackling machine in the 80's. He passed on his linebacker genes to his sons, one of whom had a celebrated career at Baylor, another is at UT. 
  • Hager had the equivalent of a Texas High School football player's dream career starring at Permian and then wearing 60 at UT.
  • Arkansas was led by the diminutive Quinn Grovey, Grovey somehow slipped through the clutches of Barry Switzer and left Duncan, Oklahoma for Fayetteville. Grovey was a master of Hatfield's option offense.
  • Arkansas also boasted Barry foster the future ram rod for the Pittsburgh Steelers. 
  • The Longhorns boasted the great Eric Metcalf. Metcalf led the Horns in rushing and receiving in 1988 and would go on to a great career as a return man for the Cleveland Browns. 

Enjoy 6 minutes of greatness.