1989 Cotton Bowl Classic
The 1989 Mobil Cotton Bowl Classic
was a college football bowl game
played on January 2, 1989, at the Cotton Bowl
. The game was played on January 2, the day after New Year's Day, since New Year's Day fell on a Sunday. The bowl game featured the Arkansas Razorbacks
from the Southwest Conference
and the UCLA Bruins
from the Pacific-10 Conference
and was televised in the United States on CBS
. UCLA defeated Arkansas 17-3 for its first Cotton Bowl win. Troy Aikman
, the UCLA quarterback
and LaSalle Harper, an Arkansas linebacker
were named the Most Valuable Players of the game.
The 1988 Arkansas Razorbacks football team
was undefeated through Southwest Conference play. In the final regular season game, the #3 Miami Hurricanes
defeated the Razorbacks, 18-16. Arkansas was invited to the Cotton Bowl Classic as the winner of the Southwest Conference. Arkansas played in its first Cotton Bowl Classic since the 1976 Cotton Bowl Classic
Going into the UCLA–USC rivalry
was 9-1 and had been ranked #1 for a couple of weeks earlier. Eric Ball
, the 1986 Rose Bowl
MVP had a crucial fumble in the UCLA vs Washington State
game, when the #1 ranked Bruins were upset at home by the Cougars 34-30. The game was one of the notable ones in the UCLA–USC rivalry
in that it was for the Pac-10 championship, a possible Heisman Trophy for either Troy Aikman
of UCLA or Rodney Peete
. It was also for the Rose Bowl berth. Rodney Peete was found to have measles in the days before the game. USC used a strong ground game and "bend but don't break" defense, in front of the largest Rose Bowl Stadium
regular season crowd in history, to beat the Bruins 31-22. The Cotton Bowl Classic agreed to take the team that would not be going to the 1989 Rose Bowl
. UCLA was the first Pac-10 team to play in the Cotton Bowl Classic and first from the West Coast since the 1949 Cotton Bowl Classic
where the University of Oregon played SMU.
The 1989 game between UCLA and Arkansas was highly publicized in the Dallas area because UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman
was expected to be the #1 pick in the NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys
. Much was made of Cowboys coach Tom Landry
watching Aikman practice at Texas Stadium
(UCLA's practice facility for game preparation). Head coach Ken Hatfield suspended All-American defensive end Wayne Martin
and All-American offensive guard Freddie Childress
days before the game, for an undisclosed violation of team rules. This severely hampered Arkansas' play on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
UCLA — Mark Estwick, one-yard run. Alfredo Velasco converts.
UCLA — Corwin Anthony, one-yard pass from Troy Aikman. Velasco converts.
Arkansas — Kendall Trainor, 49-yard field goal.
UCLA — Alfredo Velasco, 32-yard field goal.