Timing on Texas Game Will Mean Celebration for Hogs' Fans ... or Wake

Starting game in morning pretty much guarantees a busy Saturday night on Dickson St.
Texas Longhorns defensive back Josh Thompson (9) tackles Arkansas Razorbacks running back AJ Green (0) during the second quarter at Razorback Stadium.
Texas Longhorns defensive back Josh Thompson (9) tackles Arkansas Razorbacks running back AJ Green (0) during the second quarter at Razorback Stadium. / Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — If nothing else, Arkansas' game with Texas on Nov. 16 will result in a party night all over town. The SEC released timing for the games Tuesday and playing it in the morning will guarantee things will be hopping on Dickson St. and, really, all over town in Northwest Arkansas.

Whether it's a celebration or a wake will depend completely on what happens in the game. About the only thing we know for certain is Razorback fans will think they got the short end of the stick from the guys in striped shirts on several calls in the game. That's just kind of become accepted over history, regardless of wins and losses.

They've played early games several times, but the one that stands out in my mind was the 1981 game when Fred Akers rolled into town with the No. 1 team in the nation. It was an early kickoff, too, but that was more notable because there were severe weather watches and warnings in place and it had been raining in Fayetteville all morning.

The game was played without delay (we didn't have these weather delays back then unless a tornado landed in the stadium). Quarterback Tom Jones played maybe the best game in his career, which meant he handed off a lot and made some conservative throws that coach Lou Holtz set up. What stood out, though, was the Longhorns not being able to get out of their own end zone.

At one point, a snap sailed over the punter's head out the back of the end zone and I caught it one-handed holding the camera. I went on the sidelines that day because the press box was stuffed with folks (ABC was televising it) and that appeared to be a better option.

After a 42-11 win was pretty much decided, fans started trying to tear down the goalposts in the south end zone and Holtz ran down to tell them to knock it off before somebody got hurt. Lou made a quick decision he might be the one getting hurt and hustled out of the first crowd rush in a long memory of games there. An upright got carried down to Dickson St. and was on display in a bar until athletics director Frank Broyles got wind of where it was and had it brought back.

The Hogs won, 42-11, and a good time was had by all that night. That was a celebration.

In November, we don't know if there will be celebrating or not. By that point in the season, things could go either way for both teams. The Longhorns are projected to be fighting for a spot in the playoffs. The Hogs are just wondering if there will be a coaching search started by then.


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Andy Hodges


Sports columnist, writer, former radio host and television host who has been expressing an opinion on sports in the media for over four decades. He has been at numerous media stops in Arkansas, Texas and Mississippi.