Rush also describes their similar veer offenses, although they sometimes pass effectively, too. If Arkansas runners Ike Forte and Jerry Eckwood have mended, they can gain yards in a hurry. Georgia would like to have Kevin McLee back, but All-America Guard Randy Johnson can make just about any ball-carrier look good. Arkansas has had the more resilient defense, thanks to players like End Dennis Winston, but it was Georgia's feisty bunch that inspired James Brown to record Dooley's Junkyard Dogs.
Although this could easily turn out to be one of the year's most entertaining games, the Cotton Bowl was hoping for a more nationally significant pairing featuring an unbeaten Texas A&M. Notre Dame or USC would have been an inviting guest, but after those two fell by the wayside, a soured Cotton Bowl official reportedly complained about the unattractive teams that remained. Georgia players say that put-down will only make them play better. Against Arkansas, they will need more advantages than that.
ASTRO-BLUEBONNET ( HOUSTON)
TEXAS VS. COLORADO
DEC. 27, 1975 3:30 P.M. EST ABC
According to Darrell Royal, whose judgment must be trusted in these matters, Marty Akins is Texas' best wishbone quarterback ever. With him at the controls the Longhorns are as good as their 9-2 record and Top Ten standing suggest. But without him, they struggled against TCU and stumbled against Texas A&M. Texas' chances against Colorado, another 9-2 Top Ten team that has won the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl twice, rest on the soundness of Akins' fragile right knee.
Even a healthy Akins would not eliminate concern for a Colorado offense that was the most effective in the Big Eight. Buffalo Quarterback Dave Williams led the league in total offense, completing 60% of his passes to Rocky Mountain high receivers like 6'5" Dave Logan and 6'8" Don Hasselbeck. A blocking front that averages 6'5", 260 pounds per man helped Fullbacks Terry Kunz and Jim Kelleher combine for 1,300 yards.
This balance could wear the Longhorn defenders to a frazzle unless the wishbone starts whooshing again. Perhaps it will if reserve Quarterback Ted Constanzo has honed his technique in the month since the A&M game. Otherwise, Colorado's defense, like the Aggies' before it, will gang up on 1,100-yard Fullback Earl Campbell and the Longhorns will not offend anybody.
With four losses in its last five bowl appearances, Texas could use a victory. But without Akins it's not likely.
GATOR ( JACKSONVILLE)
FLORIDA VS. MARYLAND
DEC. 29, 1975 9 P.M. EST ABC
If the Gator Bowl ends in a tie, both Florida and Maryland can claim cruel and unusual punishment. The two teams have had the same problem lately—an inability to win a big game. One of them deserves a reprieve.
The rap on the Gators is three-fold: they have never won a Southeastern Conference championship, they have dropped both their bowls under Doug Dickey and they lost this season to the only quality teams they played. The Terrapins have had no trouble in the Atlantic Coast Conference, breezing to two straight championships, but they have been mediocre outside the league, losing two bowls and failing to beat an SEC club.