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Updated: Wednesday, January 1, 2003 10:28 AM EST
NCAA FOOTBALL PREVIEW
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LSU TIGERS
LSU Tigers
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TEXAS LONGHORNS
Texas Longhorns
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DALLAS (Ticker) -- Exactly 40 years later and in the same location, Texas will get an opportunity for revenge when the ninth-ranked Longhorns battle Louisiana State in the 67th Cotton Bowl.

The teams have not faced each other since the 1963 Cotton Bowl, when Charlie McClendon's LSU team shocked Darrell Royal's unbeaten and fourth-ranked Longhorns, 13-0. Texas leads the all-time series, 8-7-1.

The Longhorns (10-2) will be making a record 22nd appearance in the Cotton Bowl and are 10-10-1 in those visits. In their last trip, they suffered a 27-6 setback to Arkansas two years ago.

LSU (8-4) is appearing in only its fourth Cotton Bowl, going 2-0-1 in its previous three trips. The Tigers beat unbeaten Arkansas, 14-7, in their last appearance in 1966.

The contest marks the final college appearance for Texas quarterback Chris Simms, who like his coach, Mack Brown, has been criticized for not being able to win the big games. Most of that criticism has centered on his performance in the last two Texas-Oklahoma games, both Longhorn defeats.

But while Simms was unable to end Texas' 33-year national championship drought or even win a conference title, he did become the first quarterback to lead the Longhorns to consecutive 10-win seasons.

Now, he will get a final opportunity to win a game in the Cotton Bowl, which has been the site of much frustration for Simms. He threw four interceptions in last season's 14-3 loss to Oklahoma and was picked off three times in this year's 35-24 setback to the Sooners.

Overall, Simms completed 220-of-368 passes (59.8 percent) for 2,938 yards with 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Longhorns have plenty of firepower, led by sophomore running back Cedric Benson, who ran for 1,247 yards and 11 TDs, and junior wide receiver Roy Williams, who caught 60 passes for exactly 1,000 yards and 11 scores.

The Longhorns recently got some good news when Williams announced he would return to Texas for his senior year. There was speculation that he would enter the NFL draft.

LSU ended the regular season with a heartbreaking 21-20 loss to Arkansas that cost the Tigers a return trip to the Southeastern Conference championship game. Matt Jones tossed a 30-yard TD pass to Decori Birmingham with nine seconds remaining to give the Razorbacks the victory.

Still, the Tigers will be playing on New Year's Day for the second straight year, a feat they last accomplished in 1964-65. LSU defeated Illinois, 47-34, in the Sugar Bowl last season.

LSU overcame injuries to quarterback Matt Mauck and running back LaBrandon Toefield to gain a share of the SEC West title. Domanick Davis picked up the slack in Toefield's absence, rushing for a team-high 846 yards. Toefield returned late in the season.

Marcus Randall took over after Mauck underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in late October and passed for just 980 yards. The Tigers won with their defense, ranking fifth against the run and second against the pass.

LSU is just 16-16-1 all-time in postseason play, but the Tigers have won won five straight bowls, tied with Miami and North Carolina for the longest active streak in the country.

Texas is 19-20-2 in bowl play. Major Applewhite led the Longhorns to a 47-43 victory over Washington in last year's Holiday Bowl.


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