Arkansas is set to square off against Texas this Saturday, in what will surely be the most heavily-anticipated game in second-year Razorback head coach Sam Pittman’s tenure.
The game will feature a pair of schools who once shared a fierce Southwest Conference rivalry, and will soon share a renewed Southeastern Conference rivalry once Texas formally joins the SEC in a few years.
Pittman recently gave some thoughts on the upcoming matchup, which is expected to set a new home attendance record. He was especially complimentary of Texas’ defense.
“They’ll probably move all over rate place after I say this, but they are very, very sound. Not a tremendous amount of movement. Lot of fireman pressure,” he said.
“I like (DeMarvion) Overshown, he’s a really good player, No. 0 can run. They’ve got a redshirt in there I like a lot. And Coburn at nose guard is a big 350-pound guy. B.J. Foster is a really good safety. Against Louisiana, they played primarily a two-high safety look and said we can stop you with safeties rotating down and numbers in the box are equal. I look to see them put a another guy in the box because of the running ability of KJ and make him throw it. And that’s what we’re kind of anticipating.”
Pittman also made sure to mention Texas quarterback Hudson Card and running back Bijan Robinson, who many think could contend for the Heisman trophy.
“I like (Card) a lot. He’s got enough mobility to hurt you. Especially early in the Louisiana game, he hurt them with his feet. He certainly can throw the football. He looks like a really, really fine player with good touch on the ball. He runs the offense well.
“Robinson is hard to tackle. He has elusiveness in space, but he also runs over you. He’s got a lot of speed. I just really like him. There’s a reason they have him returning kickoffs and punts. I’ve never seen a guy recently that was your starting tailback that was also your starting punt returner and kickoff returner. They obviously think of him over there what I do. He’s a special, special player.”
Pittman concluded by placing a special emphasis on downfield passing, which he says opens up only if your offense can stay on the field for a few first downs.
“Anytime you can have a threat vertically, you’r going to loosen everybody up. If you look at our game Saturday, we had three-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out. And so, you’re not going to throw a lot of deep balls. Know what I mean? We’re trying to figure out how we can stay on the field, keep our defense off the field and get a first down. It probably wouldn’t have been the most popular call from KB at the time to throw four verts? Four verts is good if you catch it and if not, it’s second and 10 and no time off the clock.”
According to FanDuel Sportsbook, home team Arkansas is currently catching a whopping (+7.5) against the Longhorns. Both teams looked solid but not particularly dominant in their debuts last week, so a touchdown plus the hook feels like a lot here. If the Razorbacks can control the clock and not give up big plays like a special teams touchdown, there should be massive backdoor cover potential here at worst. Give me Pig Sooie with this number.