SHREVEPORT, La. –- Cedric Cobbs started and finished his Arkansas career on top.
Cobbs, a senior tailback, rushed for 141 yards and one touchdown in Arkansas’ 27-14 victory against Missouri in the Independence Bowl on Wednesday.
Cobbs was named Offensive Most Valuable Player. In his freshman year, he was named Most Valuable Player of the 2000 Cotton Bowl.
Between the bowls, Cobbs has suffered injuries, one that caused him to redshirt a season, and other personal setbacks.
Arkansas senior receiver George Wilson said Cobbs’ play made for a great ending to his career.
“This just shows the perseverance, the dedication and the hard work that Ced has put in,” Wilson said. “It’s just a great way for him to end his career here.”
Cobbs, 6 feet 1, 225 pounds, had his seventh 100-yard game of the season and No. 11 in his career, the first an Arkansas record. Missouri players said they tried many methods to bring down Cobbs.
“It’s hard to tackle that guy,” Missouri defensive tackle Russ Bell said. “A lot of people tried to go low on him, tried to go high, he’s got long limbs, stiff-armed some guys, and just kept on going.”
Cobbs’ touchdown came with 5:59 left in the second quarter. It capped off the Razorbacks’ blaze of offense that put them up 21-7 at halftime.
On the play, Arkansas started at Missouri’s 41 after junior Brock Harvey punted 33 yards. Cobbs started to the right and ran into quarterback Matt Jones on the handoff. He cut left, though, and ran untouched into the end zone.
Cobbs said his good game and his team’s win certified his career for him.
“I think this definitely puts a stamp on everything and shows that I can run for 100 yards against any defense out there,” Cobbs said.
Cobbs had seven carries for 21 yards on Arkansas’ opening drive ending in a field goal and five for 34 the next time the Razorbacks scored.
Missouri cornerback Calvin Washington said Cobbs’ athleticism combined with the Tigers’ poor coverage accounted for his big day.
“Not taking anything away from him, but we gave him a lot of holes to run through,” Missouri cornerback Calvin Washington said. “He wasn’t doing nothing too special, but being the athlete that he is, he couldn’t help it if he’s got holes and everything to run through.”
Washington said the team made extra efforts to strip the ball from Cobbs but to no avail.
“We really wanted to make him cough it up, but he did a good job of holding onto the ball and just following his blocks and being the player that he is,” Washington said.