Oh, yes, Texas. This is not a garden variety game on Saturday. This is Arkansas.
Current UT players have never heard of The Big Shootout. They don’t know Frank Broyles or Houston Nutt. They have no idea how much Arkansas haters hate Texas. Wooo Pig Sooie!
But they know the Razorbacks (1-0) play in the SEC. And if the No. 15 Longhorns (1-0) want to win this league, they know Saturday night’s clash at the skillful Fayetteville should get their attention.
“It’s a men’s league,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said. “There’s a style of football in this league that’s a physical mark that when you cross to play, you have to be prepared to play that style of football. Or they make your ass fall. That’s how it goes.”
Sleeping Arkansas fans will leave the Ozarks to fill Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. It’s the Hogs ’first sale since 2017. Frankly, there haven’t been many things to cheer them on. This is a proud program that has not won more than four games in a single season since 2016.
Even that team led by Bret Bielema that won Texas at the 2014 Texas Bowl went 7-6. Nationally, no one has called the Hogs out of Jerry Jones and Bill Clinton, perhaps since 2011, when Arkansas went 11-2.
“I really don’t know what to expect too much,” UT quarterback Hudson Card said, “so I guess we’ll find out.”
Texas is between 56 and 22 years old in the all-time rivalry of the series, although most of these occurred during the Southwest Conference era. The two schools stopped playing annually when Arkansas left the SWC for the SEC before the 1992 season.
Texas Football:Who is the Longhorns ’biggest rival? These clashes had the most number of closed victories, which stung the nails
Texas ’DeMarvion Overshown is one of the few that has an idea of what Texas-Arkansas means. East Texas, where Overshown comes from, is fertile recruiting ground for the Razorbacks.
“I know they will be strong. It will get dirty. It will be physical, “the Arp defender said this week.” But the fact that he can play one of the biggest rivalries in history, I’m excited about it. I’m blessed. “
It is likely to become an annual meeting again when the Horns join the SEC in 2025, or sooner once all legal formalities, wheels and deal have been completed. Texas and Oklahoma have announced their plans to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, but the league is forcing schools to stay as long as possible.
Speaking of Big 12 lineup, the league is expanding before 2025, according to several reports. Houston, BYU, Cincinnati and Central Florida are working behind the scenes to join possibly in 2023 before UT and OU leave the scene.
It is unclear whether these four additions would allow Texas and Oklahoma to leave the Big 12 prematurely.
Goodbye, Big 12: Southeastern Conference Presidents Vote to Invite Texas and Oklahoma to Join League
Sarkisian, his coaches and the Horns themselves have no control over it. All they worry about is taking advantage of last week’s win over Louisiana and reaching 2-0.
“Every time you get a night game, two quality opponents and you get a crowd of soldiers, at what point is it hard enough?” Sarkisian said. “Everyone is tough. This will be another one, but it’s okay. That’s why we play the game.
“The hatred of Arkansas, as the University of Texas refers, will not make us play anymore,” the coach added. “We have to control what we can control.”
Card spent the week trying to keep a low profile. Having won his first outing, he will soon begin to be caught in various directions by all sorts of people, from football neophytes to nefarious ones.
When asked if his life changed after beating Louisiana, Card said, “For me, I think it’s so new and soon that I haven’t been able to experience much. But for me, you just have to keep the level and being who I am “.
Sarkisian said: “I don’t think you necessarily notice it with the naked eye. I don’t think he walks around like he’s an old man on campus. This is not their behavior. But I’m sure that internally that should feel pretty good for him. “
Sarkisian said he plans to play with Casey Thompson’s card and backup against the Razorbacks. But, as in the opening, the appearance and development of all this has not yet been determined.
The second week of games has not been easy here. Texas started 2-0 in 2016 and again last season. Before that, we need to look back to 2012, the year the Horns started 4-0. So save the atta-boys for later.
Texas needs a better offensive line play than they showed against Louisiana. Junior Angilau suffered a knee injury, but Sarkisian said the 6-foot-6 right-back would be allowed to play this week. The tight end Jared Wiley (shoulder) is a decision in playing time. Receiver Troy Omeire (knee) is still offside, but is expected to return later this month.
Month:“You have to get better every week”: The Texas line seems to get better with Arkansas waiting
Arkansas had the SEC’s third worst running defense last year under defensive coordinator Barry Odom. Texas is likely to feed Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson.
Robinson “changes the game,” Johnson said. “Everyone will have a game plan based on stopping it. So I feel like this can create a lot of things for everyone, honestly. “
Related:Reggie Bush started his Heisman career against Arkansas in 2005. Why can’t Bijan Robinson?
Arkansas initially struggled with Rice last week before retiring to win 38-17. Quarterback KJ Johnson completed just 12 of 28 passes from 128 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Trelon Smith was the Hogs ’top runner with 102 yards.
These don’t look like impressive numbers. And this is not a particularly impressive Arkansas team. The Razorbacks were chosen to finish second in the SEC West.
Still, something happens when you fill the stadium and turn on the lights. Wait until these Razorbacks start calling the Hogs.
For those with a touch of gray, this game still means something, even if today’s players consider it a Saturday night more.
“This year is a little different, as it’s no longer COVID, it’s only possible to see a full crowd,” said Derek Kerstetter, Texas line manager. “And some of them haven’t seen it, so it will be fun to see their first full atmosphere on the road with a lot of people there. It will be a good time. “
Contact Brian Davis by phone or email at 512-445-3957. Email email@example.com or @BDavisAAS.
15 from Texas to Arkansas
When: 6 p.m.
On: Frank W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, Ark.
Radio: 104.9 FM, 105.3 FM (Spanish), 1260 AM, 1490 AM
They have history
This will be Texas-Arkansas’ 79th game, but since the Razorbacks left the SWC before the 1992 season, they have only met five times: Arkansas has won three of those five, including the 1999 Cotton Bowl and the 1999 Cotton Bowl. 2014 Texas Bowl, which is also the last time they play.
This week, American columnist Kirk Bohls listed his most memorable games in the rivalry series:
1969: The Great Shootout. Or was it the Game of the Century? Both work. President Nixon was in the stands of Fayetteville to watch the 15-14 UT victory that came in celebration of James Street’s famous 53 Veer Pass to Randy Peschel for 44 yards to set the winning score.
1970: The Great Shootout II. At the end of next year’s regular season, Texas No. 1 dismantled Arkansas No. 4 42-7 “perhaps in the Longhorns’ most complete win of all time, ”Bohls wrote. And there it was.
1987: Stafford and Jones. Bret Stafford of Texas threw an 18-yard TD pass to receiver Tony Jones of 5 feet and 7, between two defenders, too, in the final play of the game in a 16-14 clash at No. 15 Arkansas at Little Rock.
1977: The big screen. Three great finishes by Randy McEachern helped Texas’ No. 2 score the game’s only touchdown, with 4:35 to play, in a 13-9 win over Arkansas No. 8. The largest was a 28-yard display for Earl Campbell up to the 1-yard line. The win came a week after Texas’ No. 5 won the then-No. 2 Oklahoma, and kept impeccable what would be the perfect regular season for the Longhorns.
1976: One last time. Texas’ 29-12 victory at Memorial Stadium served as a future answer to the curiosities: both Horns coach Darrell Royal and Arkansas Frenchman Frank Broyles, best friends who won 333 career games among them, they announced his retirement.
The last five
Texas’ last five games with Arkansas:
2000: Arkansas 27-6. Loss of Cotton Bowl at the end of the 99 season
2003: Arkansas 38-28. Royal, Broyles took part in the coin draw
2004: Texas 22-20. Horns got 188 yards, 2 TDs from Cedric Benson
2008: Texas 52-10. UT’s largest margin of victory over the UA in 92 years
2014: Arkansas 31-7. Only 57 yards in total for Texas at Texas Bowl