Run and Shoot: Will the Defenses Show Up Today at the Cotton Bowl?

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Will the Defenses Show Up Today at the Cotton Bowl?

DALLAS - Will Arkansas run wild in the Cotton Bowl? Or will Missouri Chase down the Razorbacks?

While Arkansas is trying to persevere through the turmoil of the past month with a victory in the Cotton Bowl, Missouri is attempting to rebound from its disappointing loss in the Big 12 Conference Championship to Oklahoma.

The Razorbacks’ drama started three days after they defeated then-No. 1 LSU 50-48 to finish the regular season. Coach Houston Nutt resigned and then was hired by Ole Miss. Many of the Razorbacks assistants will join Nutt in Oxford, Miss., after the Cotton Bowl.

Arkansas hired Atlanta Falcons coach Bobby Petrino to replace Nutt. Petrino left the Falcons after only 13 games. He informed his team about his departure with a note. He will attend the Cotton Bowl in a behind-the-scenes capacity. Defensive coordinator Reggie Herring will serve as the interim coach.

More drama consumed the Razorbacks this week. KARK-TV in Little Rock reported agent Mike Conley Sr. helped Darren McFadden get a Cadillac Escalade, which brought the running back's eligibility into question. But Arkansas looked into the allegations and announced Monday it had cleared McFadden to play.

The Tigers will try to bounce back after their short stay at No. 1. After falling 38-17 to Oklahoma, Missouri fell out the of BCS. Although the Tigers defeated Kansas, the Jayhawks were selected by the Orange Bowl as the at-large team from the Big 12. After the initial shock, the Tigers have gotten over the disappointment, looking relaxed but focused in practice.

The game features two Heisman Trophy finalists: McFadden and quarterback Chase Daniel. Although both players can will their teams to victory, the game might be decided by the most balanced offense.

Will Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick be able to throw deep if eight Tigers flood the box? Will Marcus Monk, who's finally healthy, make a triumphant return? For Missouri, will tailback Tony Temple break out for another unexpected career performance in a bowl game? Last year in the Sun Bowl, Temple rushed for 194 yards and two touchdowns against Oregon State.

The sun is out in Dallas, but fans are bundled up because it's only 40 degrees. Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles is leading the Arkansas fans in the traditional Hog Call -- "Woooo! Pig! Sooie!"

The legendary Broyles is retiring today. He coached the Razorbacks in four Cotton Bowls and was the athletic director for five. Before Broyles joined the Razorbacks, he had only one head coaching job. Where was that?

Missouri, for only one season.

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