The Texas Longhorns returned to Fayetteville in hopes of renewing the old SWC rivalry in style, but instead were completely manipulated by the Arkansas Razorbacks in what was probably the most embarrassing loss of Longhorns since Kansas in 2016. .
This was a game, I’m sure most would love to get through sooner rather than later, but first, here are some initial ideas about Texas ’40-21 loss to Arkansas.
Texas has a lot of work to do in the trenches. This is true for both sides of the ball. The offensive line is a complete disaster right now and Kyle Flood almost has to try new bodies on his starting unit, especially instead of a Denzel Okafor, who has a strong fight. No matter how good Bijan Robinson is or how positive Hudson Card is, it hardly matters until the Texas offensive line is even respectable. On the other hand, a Texas defensive line that was supposed to be the strength of the team was completely overwhelmed, allowing Arkansas to destroy the Horns for one shot gain after another.
Steve Sarkisian should probably have made a change to the quarterback before he actually did. Sark switched from Card to Casey Thompson at the end of the third quarter, but it was probably too late. Card missed a few deep throws, but maybe he wouldn’t have made a big difference, as he was simply in a situation of not winning with the horrible way his line played. Given that and the fact that things weren’t working offensively even in the final part of the third quarter, Sark could have benefited from switching to Thompson’s more dynamic runner before the game effectively ended in the 33-7. But he didn’t.
We’ll probably hear a lot of news about a quarterback battle next week. Sarkisian probably made the right decision to tell Card his starter and, as noted, Card was essentially in a non-winning situation on Saturday with an offensive offensive play and some low Jordan Whittington keys that could having changed the dynamics of the game. But after directing a single touchdown in a short field and finishing with just 60 total yards in nearly three quarters, Thompson added more yards (101) and double touchdowns in just two sets. So whether it’s fair or not, we’ll probably hear about a quarterback in Austin until next Saturday. Get ready.
Pete Kwiatkowski should put a better product on the field. Much of this has to do with Texas being completely overtaken in the trenches, which allowed for very open lanes to be opened, but the second line did them no favors by not filling in the gaps, and the Texas secondary simply passed ahead a couple of times. In total, Arkansas ran throughout the Longhorns defense to the tune of 333 yards running four touchdowns to headline a 40-point sample.
Texas is not yet ready for the SEC. Regardless of the hostile crowd and the impact it has, Texas was completely wasted, overtaken, executed, coached and out of everything by a Razorbacks team that won three games last season and will likely end up in – or for below – .500 this year. Almost either way, there was an embarrassing loss for Sarkisian’s Longhorns.
Whatever your expectations for this season are, it’s probably advisable to lower them a bit. It will probably be a long season. That’s all.
Now, with one of the worst performances in Texas in recent years, in the rearview. burn the game tape and move on.