After each of their 2021 campaigns began with victories, the No. 15 Texas Longhorns and Arkansas Razorbacks must renew their old SWC and future SEC rivalry on Saturday evening against an exhausted crowd in Fayetteville.
BON staff got together to discuss what we saw last week, what we’ll see in Arkansas, and what’s key to getting Texas to the forefront.
Now that we have the first look at the 2021 Longhorns, which player or unit do you trust more than last week and what worries you the most?
Cody – I wasn’t sure what to expect with Hudson Card in his first real experience playing QB in Texas, but I was more than impressed with his position and efficiency, as well as his obvious talent in his arms, so I’m pretty sure in him forward. The OL performance was worrisome because of the few lanes that had their backs beyond the outside areas, so Kyle Flood has his hands full for the immediate future.
Curry – It’s hard to say I’m too worried about any group of positions. I was surprised that the defensive line didn’t have as much impact as I expected, but understanding that it was a strategic approach to keeping a mobile QB in my pocket, I’ll assume it was said in the outline. Think we’ll learn more about Texas DL this week, but KJ Jefferson is a mobile quarterback, so it could be a similar week for this group.
I think it’s easier to get excited about runners. Janbviament, Bijan Robinson is a force, but Keilan Robinson and Roschon Johnson combined 70 yards with 16 runs. Excited to see more of these guys against Arkansas, especially Keilan’s ability to play as a receiving goal.
Gerald – It’s not that I didn’t trust linebackers to get into the game, but the way Luke Brockermeyer and DeMarvion Overshown seemed to take on this defensive system like fish in water was a big boost to my confidence. The offensive line pauses me. Honestly, I had questions before the season, but I think I’m more concerned now. Problems can be corrected, however, how quickly can Kyle Flood solve these problems?
Cameron – Hudson card. Last week I was about to pick Louisiana because I didn’t know what to expect from the real first year. But the man delivered. Incredibly prepared in his pocket and I could see him throwing a soccer ball all day. I look forward to seeing it develop under Sark. Like everyone else, I’m a little worried about OL. There were good times and some bad ones, but it was week 1. He’s interested in seeing how they handle the Hogs defensive line.
The Razorbacks didn’t perform very well against Rice, but they do have a good deal of talent. What are the few players who can cause trouble in Texas on Saturday?
Cody – S Jalen Catalon is a name that most Texas fans should know, as he was one of the Horns’ key targets and is now a budding star for the Razorbacks. WR Treylon Burks should give the Texas DBs their first real test of the season, and I think QB KJ Jefferson and RB Treylon Smith could cause some problems if Texas doesn’t contain them well.
Curry – I think the obvious answers are Arkansas WR Treylon Burks and S Jalen Catalon. But obviously I’m worried about KJ Jefferson. It reminds me of Tyrone Swoopes. Against Rice he ran the ball nine times for 90 yards, but I think we’ll see more this week. His arm isn’t worrisome, but Texas has to make sure it keeps Jefferson content and not Taysom Hill-ing Texas at will.
Gerald – In recent years, Texas has struggled with double-threat quarterbacks, so KJ Jefferson scares me, especially with what his legs open on the low field for the other guy that really scares me, like the Treylon Burks wide receiver. I would also lie if I didn’t say I would be happy. Bumper Pool will only play the second half.
Cameron – Jalen Catalon has the ability to affect the result of the match with his safety skills and athletics that make him compete all over the field. The boy finds ways to do plays. But he can’t do everything. Treylon Burks has problems with any D1 defense, but the question is can KJ Jefferson get the ball?
The Arkansas special teams didn’t look exactly good to start the season, and this is a drive that should be a strong point for the Horns this year. What impact do you think this dimension of the game will have on the outcome?
Cody – I would say that the impact will make a difference in the game. I’m not sure Jamison and / or Worthy have any comebacks at home, but I think we’ll see a few comebacks that give Texas an ideal field position and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a point or goal from Arkansas blocked after Rice reached one last week.
Curry – Rice blocked a point against Arkansas, which is not a good look for Arkansas special teams. I imagine they will have it cleaned up this week. I hope Texas has enough control in attack and defense so that special teams aren’t critical, but the Longhorns have an advantage with an experienced Cameron Dicker. It will not affect the result and if it does, we will have bigger fish to fry.
Gerald – As long as they can prevent D’Shawn Jamison’s returns from coming back due to penalties, it will have a big impact. He would probably have the school record of touchdowns if not penalties. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him, or Xavier Worthy, do it on a Saturday.
Cameron – Rice had a great opportunity to score following a counterattack after 71 minutes, but Arkansas’s shot from the left sailed high over the bar. Texas, on the other hand, should be able to do that. If Dicker can continue to bet as he did against Louisiana and force Arkansas into a bad position on the field, that will make things tan much easier Saturday for the Horns.
Question in two parts: What are your statistical predictions for Hudson Card, Bijan Robinson and who is the main receiver of Longhorns, and who is the defensive player of the Texas game?
Cody – Card – 15/23, 248 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT … Bijan – 23 goal, 147 yards, 2 TD, 4 rec., 41 yards … Whittington – 6 rec., 92 yards, 1 TD. .. Discovered: 10 aircraft, 1 sack, 1.5 TFL.
Curry – Terrible in predictions, but why not? The card throws it 30 times for 300 yards and 2 TDs (no INT – protects the ball). Bijan runs 25 times for 150 yards and 2 TDs. Jordan Whittington doubles and J. Moore increases and gets 8 passes for 100 yards and a TD. I can’t make a prediction for the defensive player of the week, but I hope DeMarvion Overshown, who led Texas in attacks against Louisiana, makes big plays against Arkansas and Texas is able to generate more rotations than last week.
Gerald – Hudson Card: 18/12, 200 yards, 2 TD. Bijan Robinson: 22 yards, 150 yards, 2 TDs. Xavier Digne: 7 rec, 110 yards, TD. DeMarvion Overshown: 12 attacks, 1.5 TFL
Cameron – I hope the card eclipses 200 yards with at least 2 TDs, Robinson approaches mark 150 with a minimum of one TD and I look for Jordan Whittington to lead the team to receive again, close to that mark of 100 yards. Defensively, I think it will be between Overshown and D’Shawn Jamison if he gets the job of defending Treylon Burks.
If Texas improves to 2-0 by winning the Razorbacks, it will be because …
Cody – The Hudson Card settles in and adjusts the stage and environment fairly quickly, the defense prevents quarterback KJ Jefferson and runner Trelon Smith from starting and the offensive line improves their performance against Louisiana. And of course, Bijan does Bijan stuff.
Curry – Texas wins battle for +2 turnover. If that happens, Texas covers -6.5 easily.
Gerald – The defense puts on a tough look and prevents KJ Jefferson from kicking them. The attack of two arms of deep shots to Digne and a constant diet of Bijan maintain the unbalanced defense and the offensive that dictates the game.
Cameron – The offense runs just like it did against Louisiana, Card avoids costly bills, Sark finds ways to get the ball to Bijan and J-Whitt and the defense doesn’t let KJ Jefferson find any pace in the passing game .
Prediction: Texas revives this old SWC and future SEC rivalry with its 57th win over Arkansas?
Cody – Yes, and I don’t think it will be particularly close. 37-17 Texas.
Curry – This will be the most hostile fan base Texas football has seen in years. It will be a great starting point for a renewed rivalry, and a fun home for years to come.
Gerald – Yes. 35-21 Texas.
Cameron – Yes. Texas 34 – Arkansas 17.