1982 Cotton Bowl Classic
46th Cotton Bowl Classic
1234 Total
Texas 00014 14
Alabama 0705 12
DateJanuary 1, 1982
StadiumCotton Bowl
LocationDallas, Texas
MVPRobert Brewer (Texas QB)
Robbie Jones (Alabama LB)
FavoriteAlabama by 1½ points[1]
RefereeDonald Safrit (ACC)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersLindsey Nelson,
Roger Staubach
Cotton Bowl Classic
 < 1981  1983

The 1982 Cotton Bowl Classic was the 46th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, January 1. Part of the 1981–82 bowl game season, it matched the third-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the #6 Texas Longhorns of the Southwest Conference (SWC). Down by ten points, slight underdog Texas rallied in the fourth quarter to win, 14–12.[3][4][5][6][7]


Main article: 1981 NCAA Division I-A football season

Both teams entered the matchup with identical 9–1–1 records.


Main article: 1981 Texas Longhorns football team

The Longhorns were ranked #1 entering their fifth game of the season, but they lost to Arkansas, and a tie to Houston three weeks later knocked them out of serious championship contention.


Main article: 1981 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

Alabama was co-champion of the Southeastern Conference who had been ranked #2 after their first game, but a loss to Georgia Tech and a tie four weeks later knocked them out of contention, though they won the SEC title due to them having a perfect SEC record along with Georgia. Their win over Auburn the previous game gave Bryant his 315th win.

Game summary

Televised by CBS, the game kicked off shortly after 1 p.m. CST, a half hour after the Fiesta Bowl started on NBC.[8]

Trailing 10–0 in the fourth quarter, the Longhorns scored their first points with a quarterback draw by Robert Brewer on a third-and-long with 10:38 remaining.[9] On Texas' next possession, Terry Orr scored from eight yards out to cap an eleven-play, eighty-yard drive to put the Longhorns up 14–10 with 2:05 remaining. Alabama's Joey Jones returned the ensuing kickoff to the Texas 38-yard line, and Alabama quarterback Walter Lewis took over with 1:54 left. On the very next play, UT's William Graham picked off a Lewis pass at the one. The Longhorns took a safety to insure better field position and make the final margin 14–12.[10][11]


First quarter

No scoring

Second quarter

Third quarter

No scoring

Fourth quarter



Statistics   Texas   Alabama
First Downs 21 15
Rushes–yards 52–158 44–163
Passing yards 201 144
Passes 12–22–0 8–13–1
Total Offense 74–359 57–307
Punts–average 6–36 5–45
Fumbles–lost 0–0 1–1
Turnovers 0 2
Penalties–yards 4–17 1–5


Texas climbed to second in the final AP poll, while Alabama fell to seventh.


  1. ^ "The latest line". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. January 1, 1982. p. 27.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 18, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2010.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b c Freeman, Denne H. (January 2, 1982). "Akers' gamble wins it". Victoria Advocate. (Texas). Associated Press. p. 1B.
  4. ^ Amdur, Neil (January 2, 1982). "Gambling Longhorns stem the Tide". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. New York Times News Service. p. 12.
  5. ^ a b c "Longhorns take a safety, give Bear a 14-12 defeat". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 2, 1982. p. 3B.
  6. ^ Putnam, Pat (January 11, 1982). "Cotton Bowl". Sports Illustrated. p. 18.
  7. ^ Browning, Al (January 2, 1982). "Longhorns hook Tide hopes". Tuscaloosa News. (Alabama). p. 1.
  8. ^ "Bowl games". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). January 1, 1982. p. 25.
  9. ^ Robert Brewer QB draw on YouTube
  10. ^ "Great Games & Moments: 1980s", Mack Brown Texas Football, archived from the original on July 22, 2009
  11. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 11, 2014. Retrieved December 28, 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further reading