Razorback History-The 1965 Texas Game

by Animal on June 30, 2009

The Razorbacks had the longest winning streak in college football at 16 straight wins when Texas came to Fayetteville in 1965. The Horns had a 26-1 record over the last 2 years, the lone loss coming at the hands of the Razorbacks the previous October. The Horns were ranked #1 in the country, the Hogs #2.

The rivalry was now becoming one of the biggest in the nation, and NBC came to town to broadcast the game as its game of the week.

The whole state was consumed with the game in the week leading up to the contest. Reverend Andrew Hall of First Baptist Church of Fayetteville was sitting in his study during that week and felt that things were getting out of hand. He picked up his pencil and wrote

Football is only a game
Eternal things are spiritual

Then even Reverend Hall was caught up in the moment as he added

Nevertheless BEAT TEXAS

His message appeared on the church’s marquee.

42,000 fans packed Razorback Stadium as Arkansas prepared to take the field. Once again Broyles turned the pregame speech over to Wilson Matthews. All-American defensive tackle Loyd Phillips would later say, “If Wilson Matthews couldn’t fire you up before a game, you didn’t have a pulse.”

National media packed the press box. Sports Illustrated sent photographer Neil Leifer to do a cover shot with the latest technology: a “fish-eye lens” that could take a picture at 360 degrees. Right before kickoff Leifer put the camera on the field facing up and told the Hog offense to huddle up around it. At the time Harry Jones was still playing in place of the injured Jim Lindsey. When Broyles walked by and saw Lindsey standing off to the side he told him to join the huddle and get in the picture.

A year later, offensive lineman Dick Cunningham ran across Leifer at an NFL game when Cunningham was playing for the Buffalo Bills and asked him how the photo turned out. Leifer responded, “You’re not gonna believe this, but that was the picture we were gonna put on the cover. But our editors said there was no way we could put it on the cover, there were 12 guys in the huddle.”

Arkansas took an early lead when the Hogs’ special teams forced a fumble on a punt return deep in Texas territory and Glen Ray Hines and Martine Bercher recovered it in the end zone.

Texas drove, but the Hog defense forced a fumble that flew into the air and was caught by Tommy Trantham who returned it 77 yards for a touchdown. The Hogs missed the extra point and led 13-0.

The Razorback offense refused to let up and drove 60 yards for a touchdown, capped by Jon Brittenum’s 11 yard touchdown pass to Bobby Crockett to put the Hogs up 20-0.

Texas came roaring back though, and scored 11 points in the 2nd quarter to make it 20-11 at the half. The Horns had the momentum and kept scoring, and late in the 4th quarter took the lead 24-20.

With 4:06 left in the game, the Hogs took over on their own 20. They had not made a 1st down yet in the 2nd half, and Broyles turned to Brittenum and Crockett.

On 1st down Brittenum hit Crockett with a 22 yard pass. The injured Jim Lindsey provided senior leadership and ran for 6 yards. And Brittenum continued to hit Crockett as every fan in Razorback Stadium was on their feet.

On 3rd and 4 from the Texas 15, Crockett was double-covered but still made a leaping catch inches away from the end zone. Brittenum scored on a quarterback sneak, and Arkansas won 27-24.

The Hogs had beaten mighty Texas two years in a row, had a 17 game winning streak, and now had the inside track to the national championship.

Next up: Razorback History-Triumph and Heartbreak

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