The Razorbacks entered the game at 10-1, sharing the Southwest Conference title with Houston. Greg Kolenda was an All-American offensive tackle. Arkansas' defense gave up 9.8 points per game on the year, the sixth-best scoring defense.
Alabama entered the game undefeated, and had won two national championships already in the decade. The Tide did have three close calls however, including a 3-0 win at LSU.
Arkansas scored first in the first quarter, on a 34 yard Ish Ordonez field goal, to give the Razorbacks a 3-0 advantage. Alabama running back Major Ogilvie scored on touchdown runs of 22 and 1 yard as Alabama led 14-3 at the end of the 1st quarter. In the second quarter, Alan McElroy kicked a 25 yard field goal giving the Crimson Tide a 17-3 advantage. In the third quarter, Kevin Scanlon threw a 3 yard touchdown pass to Robert Farrell as the score became 17-9. In the fourth quarter, Steve Whitman scored on a 12 yard run as Alabama won by a 24-9 margin.
Major Ogilvie was named Sugar Bowl MVP. He also rushed for a touchdown in three consecutive Sugar Bowls.