Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a member and past president of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year 10 times and has been inducted into the Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Like It Is:
Razorback win comes across loud and clear
Arkansas fans rush the field to celebrate Arkansas' win over Texas during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Fayetteville. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
FAYETTEVILLE — Turn the damn jukebox up.
It was thought none of the students and most of the fans under 40 years of age had an idea what a University of Arkansas game with Texas means.
It didn’t sound that way.
From start to finish, the majority of the 74,531 were louder than Times Square on New Year’s Eve as a good chunk stormed the field after the 40-21 win.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey was at the game experiencing the old and anticipating the new when the Longhorns become part of college football’s most powerful conference in 2025.
Former Razorback and current Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and many of his undefeated national champion teammates like Jim Williams and Fred Marshall watched with smiles.
It was not an upset. Texas was favored and ranked No. 15 in the country, two mistakes made by people who haven’t taken the time to listen to Arkansas head football coach Sam Pittman and his players.
Texas generally has a top-10 recruiting class, but this game was about preparation and believing.
The days of being cellar dwellers appear finished, remarkably in just Pittman’s second season as Head Hawg.
Turn up the damn jukebox.
The party is just beginning.
Pittman is not anything like the new wave of sterile coaches who are driven by money that comes from winning.
Pittman is like a father-grandfather-favorite uncle with an unassuming attitude that puts his players first 24-7.
That showed Saturday night in the desire of the Razorbacks who just wanted it more.
Wins over Texas are few and far between, and his players, like their fans got the message loud and clear.
When the Longhorns made it 33-14 early in the final quarter, the Razorback offense lined up and controlled the line of scrimmage and the clock as they burned five precious minutes, driving 75 yards for its fourth touchdown by a fourth different running back.
Arkansas’ offense was very good, and its defense even better in an incredible team effort.
Some of it was bend but don’t break. All of it, all night, came with punishing, jarring tackles.
The defense held Texas to 256 total yards and a lot of that was after the game was decided.
Linebackers Hayden Henry, Grant Morgan and Bumper Pool (who just played the second half) combined for 38 tackles, but there were too many big plays by the whole defense to name them all.
It was a simple first half, the defense dominated and the offense ruled as the Razorbacks rocked to a 16-0 lead as Jefferson showed poise from start to finish.
Texas drove into Arkansas territory once in the opening half, was held to 78 total yards, averaged 2.5 yards rushing per carry and was 0-6 on third-down attempts.
Meanwhile, Jefferson rushed for 59 yards, including a 34-yarder, and passed for 82 yards on 12-of-15 passing.
Trelon Smith was the go-to back getting 61 yards on eight carries, but three other running backs got carries and scores.
Arkansas’ defense held Texas’ phenomenal running back Bijan Robinson to a total of 69 yards on 19 carries.
A couple of heads-up plays helped the Hogs big time.
A bad offensive snap was grabbed by Johnson and turned a 2-yard loss into a 9-yard gain that set up his own touchdown.
Texas senior punter Cameron Dicker dropped a snap, Jake Yurachek saw it and rushed and got a hand on the punt that was recovered by Mataio Soli at the Texas 9 and led to a field goal.
It was a memorable night for the players and the fans who appeared ready to stay on the field all night.
Turn the damn jukebox up.
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