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This is the renewal of an old rivalry that back in the 60’s and 70’s was as intense as it could get. Arkansas and Texas dueled it out for the Southwest Conference Championship in many of those years and the winner would go to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Now, they meet again in Fayetteville in 2021 and Texas is going to find that the Razorbacks have long memories and still hate them. Both of these teams have struggled in recent years (Arkansas more than Texas), but it won’t matter in this one. Let’s break it down.
Quarterback: For the first time in four years, Texas didn’t have Sam Ehlinger under center. They turned to Houston Card who was 14-21 for 224 yards and two touchdowns and Casey Thompson who was 4-5 for 41 yards and one touchdown. They were turnover free and directed the Horns to 38 points. The Razorbacks started dual threat K.J. Jefferson who passed for who passed for 121 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He was dangerous with his feet and added 89 yards on nine carries. Advantage: Slight edge to Texas
Running Backs: Arkansas got a good game out of Trelon Smith who gained 102 yards on 22 carries. Raheim Sanders chipped in 44 more on 7 carries. Texas will counter with Bijan Robinson who is destined to be the best back the Longhorns have had in awhile. He will be backed up by Keilan Robinson. Advantage: Texas
Receivers: The Horns welcomed former five-star Jordan Whittington back after battling injuries in 2020. He responded with 7 catches for 113 yards and one touchdown. Arkansas only completed 12 passes but return All-SEC Treylon Burks. Advantage: Neither
Defense: The Hogs held Rice 81 to yards rushing and forced three turnovers. They were led in tackles by 2nd-team All-SEC linebacker, Bumper Pool (14 tackles) and 2nd-team All-SEC safety, Jalen Catalon with 11. They also return 1st-team All-SEC linebacker, Grant Morgan. Texas had similar stats against Louisiana which is considered a much better opponent than Rice. Linebackers, DeMarvion Overshown and Luke Brockermeyer combined for 23 tackles in the openers. Advantage: Slight Edge to Texas
The Longhorns appear to have a slight edge in overall talent as Arkansas is continuing to rebuild under Coach Sam Pittman. Fayetteville is going to be rocking Saturday and we would expect a sell-out crowd of Hog lovers on hand. The margin of victory may come down to who can throw the ball better and it would seem to favor Texas after week 1. This will be a fun game to watch and emotions will be high. If Arkansas can win this game, Wal-Mart (with it’s headquarters in nearby Bentonville) might declare Sunday the 12th as a national holiday.
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