Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Arkansas' 2021 football schedule announced
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman looks toward referee Marc Curles during a game against LSU on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE The remaining dates for Arkansas’ 12 scheduled football games in 2021 were released Wednesday.
Half of the dates were already known, including the Razorbacks’ season opener against Rice on Sept. 4 in Fayetteville and the SEC opener against Texas A&M on Sept. 25 in Arlington, Texas.
The Texas A&M game and regular-season finale against Missouri at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock are designated home games, which will leave Arkansas with only two on-campus SEC games in 2021 — against Auburn on Oct. 16 and Mississippi State on Nov. 6.
Opp., 2020 Record, Final AP Ranking
Rice, 2-3 (2-3 C-USA), NR
Texas, 7-3 (5-3 Big 12), 19
Georgia Southern, 8-5 (4-4 Sun Belt), NR
Texas A&M, 9-1 (8-1 SEC), 4
Georgia, 8-2 (7-2 SEC), 7
Ole Miss, 5-5 (4-5 SEC), NR
Auburn, 6-5 (6-4 SEC), NR
UAPB, Will play 6-game spring schedule
Mississippi State, 4-7 (3-7 SEC), NR
LSU, 5-5 (5-5 SEC), NR
Alabama, 13-0 (8-0 SEC), 1
Missouri, 5-5 (5-5 SEC), NR
The Razorbacks are also scheduled to host Texas on Sept. 11, Georgia Southern on Sept. 18 and Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Oct. 23 in nonconference games.
The Texas game is the second half of a home-and-home series that began in 2008 when the Longhorns defeated the Razorbacks 52-10 in Austin. Texas’ return to Fayetteville was originally scheduled for the following year, but pushed back after Arkansas scheduled Texas A&M to a longterm nonconference series beginning in the 2009 season.
The Longhorns have not played in Fayetteville since 2004 — 17 years to the day from this year’s scheduled matchup — and have played at Arkansas only once since the Razorbacks left the Southwest Conference following the 1991 season.
Texas leads the all-time series 56-22, but the Razorbacks have won three of five meetings since moving to the SEC, including the most recent matchup, 31-7 in the 2014 Texas Bowl.
Texas and Auburn will bring first-year head coaches to Fayetteville in 2021. The Longhorns hired former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and the Tigers hired former Boise State coach Bryan Harsin following the 2020 season.
Arkansas has not played Rice since it left the SWC, which ended a streak of 62 consecutive seasons with a matchup between the programs. The Razorbacks lead the series 35-29-3 and have won 16 of the past 18 meetings against the Owls, who are now a member of Conference-USA.
This year’s games are Arkansas’ first scheduled against Georgia Southern of the Sun Belt Conference and UAPB of the Southwest Athletic Conference in NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision.
The Razorbacks have not played a football game against an in-state program since 1944. This year’s game is the first of two scheduled between Arkansas and UAPB, who are also scheduled to play again in Fayetteville to open the 2024 season.
The Razorbacks have road games scheduled at Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Ole Miss this season. Georgia from the SEC East is on Arkansas’ schedule for the second consecutive season due to a scheduling quirk.
The Bulldogs were one of two SEC East teams (Florida was the other) added to Razorbacks’ schedule in 2020 when the SEC pivoted to a 10-game, conference-only schedule, and Arkansas and Georgia have been scheduled to meet in 2021 as part of the league’s cross-divisional schedule that was set seven years ago.
The Razorbacks — who lost 37-10 to the Bulldogs in the 2020 season opener in Fayetteville — will be making their first trip to Georgia’s Sanford Stadium since 2010. It will also serve as a homecoming of sorts for Arkansas coach Sam Pittman, who was hired away from Georgia after four seasons as the Bulldogs’ offensive line coach.
Pittman went 3-7 in his first season as the Razorbacks' head coach.
Arkansas’ season finale against Missouri is scheduled for Nov. 27 but could be moved up by one day when the SEC finalizes some TV agreements in the spring. Prior to the 2020 season the Razorbacks and Tigers had met on the day after Thanksgiving for six consecutive seasons.
Arkansas has not played at War Memorial Stadium since a 24-14 loss to Missouri to end the 2019 season. The Razorbacks are under contract to play their home game against Missouri in Little Rock every other year through the 2023 season.
Prior to last season Arkansas had played in Little Rock at least once every year since 1932, and had played at War Memorial Stadium every year since it opened in 1948.
2021 Arkansas Football Schedule
Sept. 4: Rice
Sept. 11: Texas
Sept. 18: Georgia Southern
Sept. 25: Texas A&M (in Arlington, Texas)
Oct. 2: at Georgia
Oct. 9: at Ole Miss
Oct. 16: Auburn
Oct. 23: Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Nov. 6: Mississippi State
Nov. 13: at LSU
Nov. 20: at Alabama
Nov. 27: Missouri (in Little Rock)
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