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Ripping the Bandage Off 'Jump Six'

One last frame-by-frame look at the play that fans will never forget
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ARLINGTON, Texas – OK Arkansas fans. You've had a day to process.

Now it's time to rip off the Band-Aid so you can move on.

What I am about to show you will be traumatizing, but it will be for your own good. If you need to step away partway through then we all understand, but it's best you come back and push through.

KJ Jefferson-Texas A&M
KJ Jefferson-Texas A&M
KJ Jefferson-Texas A&M
KJ Jefferson-Texas A&M

There are so many great moments in Arkansas history that stand out. Two Miracles on Markham, huge upsets of Tennessee and LSU, numerous multi-overtime wins, 4th & 25, and the Joe Adams punt return are only a portion of the list.

Heart-breaking moments are not nearly as common. 

As detailed earlier today, heartbreak requires a level of hope that often felt around the Arkansas football program. Only then can the pain reach a level high enough to truly shatter the heart.

For fans in their mid 40s to mid 20s, the only play worthy of such status was the Clint Stoerner fumble against No. 1 Tennessee. All an undefeated Arkansas team had to do was run out the clock, but when Brandon Burlsworth accidentally stepped on Stoerner's foot, leading to the infamous fumble, the Volunteers went on the most painful drive ever witnessed by Razorback fans.

Tennessee went on to win the national championship so many Arkansas fans thought was theirs for the taking.

Arkansas' Clint Stoerner fumbles the ball in the closing minutes of play against Tennessee on Nov. 14, 1998, turning the ball over in Knoxville. The Vols' Billy Ratliff (40) recovered and Tennessee won the game 28-24. The play preserved Tennessee's undefeated season and they went on to win the national championship.

Even though it was the A&M game, Saturday didn't start off feeling like such a play could take place. After all, Missouri had just demonstrated the importance of ball security near the goal line as the Tigers gave away a win over Auburn.

It's not like Arkansas needed reminding. A fumble at the goal line nearly resulted in an upset at the hands of Missouri State the week before.

Surely coaches were in the players' ears hammering the importance of two hands securely on the ball in the red zone. Three points are always better than no points.

Razorback fans had no idea how short-sighted that thought actually was. 

Once the game began, there was no reason to suspect such a play could occur, much less be of consequence. Arkansas was executing the plan perfectly on offense, balancing a sound running game with just enough passes to keep the Aggies' defense from crowding the line.

Even the secondary was holding its own while drowning out what little confidence A&M might have brought with them. It took forever for Fisher's offense to generate a single first down.

Yep. Things were dandy. 

Even after Malik Chavis failed to put an eye on a ball that should have resulted in an easy interception in the end zone, allowing Evan Stewart to scoop Max Johnson's pass just short of the turf.

It wasn't going to matter though because the Arkansas offense was rolling and A&M had no hope of keeping pace. 

Then it happened. 

KJ Jefferson attempted to dive over the top from the 3-yard line even though his linemen didn't have their men driven back or lowered from a full standing position. As he jumped forward, a hand brandishing the latest in Addidas glove wear punched the ball loose, sending it bouncing high into the air and into the hands of A&M's Tyreek Chappell.

What makes the following events so difficult for Razorback fans to swallow is how close it came to being a non-factor. 

Chappell looked like he was stopped around the 18-yard line. However, in all the chaos, Chappell's teammate, Damani Richardson literally stole the ball from him and raced down the sideline for another touchdown to turn a dagger in the heart into an elixir of hope.

The high carried into the the third quarter, which eventually allowed the Aggies to steal a win. 

Time only remains to be seem whether this moment ultimately costs Arkansas a chance to compete for an an SEC championship. 

However, one thing that is certain. There may never be enough time to make Razorback fans forget this 10-point swing that turned an entire season. 

Arkansas divider

HOGS FEED:

PITTMAN IS TO BLAME FOR HOG FANS' PAIN AND THAT'S A GOOD THING

'WHAT IF' POINTLESS WHEN IT COMES TO GAME AGAINST AGGIES

BLAME THIS WHOLE THING ON WEARING THE WRONG HEADGEAR

LIVE BLOG: RAZORBACKS FALL TO AGGIES IN A HEART-BREAKER

WATCH: HODGES & SMITH TAKE A LOOK AT EARLY SEC ACTION, LATE AFTERNOON GAMES, WHO CAN GET IN TITLE CONVERSATION

SEC ROUND-UP: HS COACHES SAY HARSIN ABSENT IN RECRUITING, QB DAD DOESN'T HOLD BACK, AND MUCH MORE

TAKING FRESH LOOK AT LAST TIME ARKANSAS, A&M PLAYED EACH OTHER

RAZORBACKS MAY NEED LITTLE EXTRA KICK TO TAKE DOWN AGGIES

JEFFERSON WILL NEED ONE MORE BIG PLAY IF HOGS WANT SHOWDOWN WITH BAMA

HOGS' DEFENSE NEEDS TO CONTINUE NATION TREND OF KEEPING A&M OFFENSE QUIET

WHAT A&M WRITERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ARKANSAS THIS WEEK

SATURDAY WILL PROVE IF ASSUMPTIONS ON HOGS ARE RIGHT

SEC ROUNDUP: CAN ANYBODY BEAT ALABAMA THIS SEASON?

Arkansas divider

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