Arkansas didn’t do much wrong Saturday night and Texas couldn’t get a whole lot right.
The result of that was a whoop-de-do 40-21 win by the Razorbacks that sent the fans on the field at Razorback Stadium before they headed to Dickson St.
In all honesty, the game wasn’t as close as the final score sounds.
““Our defense, offense, and special teams played well,” Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said later. “Our players do anything we ask them to do.”
Sunday afternoon the Hogs were voted No. 20 by the media, 24th by the coaches and 18th in the ESPN Power Index. The Longhorns dropped from 15th to oblivion.
Arkansas won this game on playing a little better than anyone really thought they could, having a crowd involved in the game. Texas helped a little, too, when their quarterback accidentally got a pass near a receiver they dropped it.
Defensive coordinator came up with another defensive scheme that befuddled a young quarterback. Redshirt freshman Hudson Card never really settled down.
Odom basically gambled the Hogs could crowd people into the box to stop running back Bijan Robinson and force Card into making the mistakes youngsters often make. It worked perfectly.
Offensive coordinator Kendal Briles was going to run the ball until Texas shut it down and then figure it out from there. He never had to go there.
Four running backs and quarterback KJ Jefferson ran for 301 yards in the game. Jefferson alone had 73.
““Isn’t that something?” Pittman said later, crediting the offensive line that looked better than any group has for the Hogs in over a decade. “They took a lot of heat in the past.
The way they played against a good Texas squad, it was outstanding.
Because of that strong running game, Jefferson didn’t have to pass much. He was 14-of-19 for 138 yards and had one interception the offense shrugged off didn’t let it bother them.
“I was hard on myself because I know I can make plays, but Ricky (Stromberg” came up to me and said we were going to go back on the field and score,” Jefferson said later. “We did just that.”
Hogs wide receiver Treylon Burks caught five of the six passes where he was the target for 37 yards and a long gain of 20.
But passing wasn’t really needed.
Arkansas won this game with a running game behind Trelon Smith, AJ Green, Rocket Sanders and Dominique Johnson that left the Longhorns confused and pushed around.
“Over time they wore us out,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said later. “We never put any pressure on (Arkansas) to feel like they had to throw the ball. They were throwing the ball when they wanted to.”
For an offensive coordinator that’s music to the ears.
“We’ve taken a step and we need to keep climbing,” Pittman said. “We’ve played some pretty good teams and we’ve beat some pretty good teams. We’re headed that direction and we’ve got a long way to go but tonight sure was nice.”
And while Pittman is loved now, he knows that can be fleeting. It’s usually in direct proportion to the result of the last game.
“We’re going to lose a game eventually,” Pittman said. “People aren’t going to like me so much then, but most of them like me right now and I like them.”
How long that lasts starts Saturday against a Georgia Southern team the Hogs should dominate and be leading by three or four touchdowns at halftime.
“Our coaches have done a really good job of saying ‘y’ll can take the pats on the back,’ but when we get in here on Monday, we have to play Georgia Southern,” Pittman said. “We took a step already. That was the No. 15 team in the country and they beat the No. 23 team in the country last week.”
The big game, though, is coming up in two weeks when the Hogs go to Arlington to play Texas A&M.
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