ARLINGTON, Texas — Jake Bequette forced a fumble and Zach Hocker kicked a 26-yard field goal to give No. 7 Arkansas a 3-0 lead over No. 11 Kansas State after one quarter in a Cotton Bowl with a BCS-worthy matchup Friday night.
Hocker's field goal came four plays after Bequette hit Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and knocked the ball loose. Tenarius Wright, the Razorbacks' other defensive end, jumped over a pile to recover the loose ball at the Kansas State 13.
Klein's fumble came on a second-and-33 play after a sequence that started with his 20-yard run to inside Arkansas territory being wiped out by an illegal shift penalty. He was sacked on the next play before a holding call and a false start pushed the ball all the way back to the 20.
The matchup of 10-2 teams is the only non-BCS game with both teams in the top 15 of the Bowl Championship Series standings — Arkansas is sixth, Kansas State eighth.
It also is the only bowl featuring the SEC vs. the Big 12, the top two conferences in the BCS computer rankings. Before the Cotton Bowl, the Big 12 was 6-1 in bowl games and the SEC 4-2.
Arkansas also had a big gain wiped out by a penalty, and didn't have a first down in the first quarter despite leading the game.
The Razorbacks had a 25-yard pass play for a first down nullified when All-SEC receiver Joe Adams was called for pass interference on a play when he wasn't the one catching the ball.
Kansas State had two first downs and 24 total yards after the first quarter. Arkansas had 37 yards.
Arkansas' only regular-season losses were to No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama, their SEC West rivals who will play for the BCS national championship Monday night.
At Kansas State, coach Bill Snyder has directed his second Wildcats turnaround. K-State could match the school record with its 11th victory, a mark it reached six times during a seven-year span in Snyder's first tenure before a three-year retirement.
The Cotton Bowl is sponsored by AT&T.