Q. Our first question this week is from Alex4Hogs88 who wants to know: Where does this win over Texas rank in your favorite wins vs UT?
A. Got to be at the top for me and for several reasons. First I kept hearing about how younger fans didn’t get the Texas rivalry. It was the old people who got fired up to play the Shorthorns. That the rivalry was dead.
Well nonsense. I have not seen a reaction like that at RRS since the the 2010 Alabama game. If Texas already gets our fans fired up the way a dogfight against Alabama does, it’s a rivalry. I can’t wait for them to enter the SEC.
Then there’s what that game did for Arkansas’ image in the SEC. Fans and the media who were popping off about how Arkansas might get booted out of the conference if it keeps expanding, had to eat their words on Saturday.
The focus of the entire conference was on Arkansas. SEC gameday was in town. Clay Travis and the Outkick people came in. They saw what Northwest Arkansas is really like the week of a big game. And by routing Texas, Arkansas has a new image around the SEC.
Then there’s the impact that game had on rebuilding this program from the Bret Bielema-Chad Morris ashes. Lose that game, the team and the fans would have taken a step back.
This was the best Texas win I’ve seen but the ’64 game still has to be the biggest because it led to a national championship.
Q. We have the same question asked in a more creative way: Großer Kriegschwein wants to know: On a scale from the “Millennium Mauling” to the “Ambush in Austin”, how would you rank the beatdown on those Burnt Orange clowns (with the see-thru football pants) to our southwest.
(I apologize for not even being able to type their team name, the hatred runs generations deep)
A. I lean more toward the “Ambush in Austin” end of the scale. That game was a blast because of the fun of watching Texas get beat in front of its own fans. Especially the way Matt Jones embarrassed them and there was nothing they could do about it. But Saturday’s win went beyond that for the reasons I’ve already given.
Q. parallaxpig says: Saturday’s Texas game was listed as a sellout but only 9th largest crowd in history. Did expansion shrink the stadium? Or past accounting of crowd size over stated?
A. No one from the athletic department has provided me with an explanation so far. The record crowds is supposedly the 2010 Alabama game. Capacity at that time was 72,000. By selling standing room only tickets on the top of the south end zone they supposedly got the crowd to 76,000. There are almost 4,000 more permanent seats today with the north end zone expansion. I would think if the 2010 number was correct they could have had 80,000 Saturday under the same arrangement.
This is just a guess but even though it was a sellout maybe some folks didn’t show up, or maybe the SRO number wasn’t what it was in 2010, or the 2010 number could have been inflated.
Q. T.L. Slaten on Facebook asks: What surprised you most about the blowout over Texas?
A. All those running backs stepping up. Texas had to be thinking, Who is THAT guy. Wait, who is THAT guy? Are you serious? Another one? Treylon Smith did what we expected. But Dominique Johnson showed why Sam Pittman keeps taking about how much he likes Johnson. There was a lot of preseason hype about Rocket Sanders and he stepped up and delivered. Finally, there’s been a lot of excitement about A.J Green who was mostly hurt during August camp. He came through big time too.
Houston Nutt had D-Mac, Felix Jones, and Peyton Hillis. Sam Pittman has Smith, Sanders, Johnson and Green. All four of them ran for a touchdown against the Longhorns. All four had runs of 20 yards or more.
Q. Lanny says: I still hear a lot of talk from fans that Jefferson is not the right fit at QB. I like him. There have been some issues but overall I think he’s settling into that job really well. What to do you think?
A. He looks like to me a guy who is using these early games to settle in at quarterback. He was hit and miss the entire first half against Rice. It was mostly reduced to the first quarter against Texas.
His problem is making the right RPO reads which is essential in Kendal Briles offense. That doesn’t happen overnight. He has to reach the point where he doesn’t think about it but reacts instantly to what he sees.
His completion percentage jumped from 55% in game one to 72% against Texas. His QB rating went from 55.4 to 83.5.
That’s good progress.
Q. Okay remember when Twinky 275 predicted three weeks ago on Ask Mike that Arkansas would go 11-1 this season? He’s back at it. He says: I still believe an 11-1 season can happen, though anything above 6-6 would be phenomenal!! If we do – just say in make believe land – with the lost being Bama – would we be a contender in the playoffs or not?
A. Okay, I’ll play along with your alternate reality world. If Arkansas loses only to Alabama in the regular season, yes, the Hogs would likely get into the playoffs. A win over Georgia, along with wins over Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Auburn, LSU, Missouri and Mississippi State would seal it unless Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC Championship game with one loss. If Bama won, Arkansas would get the second invite from the SEC instead of Georgia. But if Georgia won it would probably be Georgia and Alabama. The Hogs would get left out.
Q. BloodRedHog says: Gene Chizik on SEC Now said Arkansas was the most improved SEC team from week 1 to week 2. Was Texas overrated or are the Hogs potentially a top 3 team in the West?
A. It’s too early to say if Texas was overrated last week. But instinct says Texas was slightly overrated but they’re still maybe a top 25 team before it’s over. Arkansas has a lot of work to do but beating the Aggies a week from Saturday would be a big step forward to ending up in the top three of the SEC West. They’d still need to got 2-1 against LSU, Ole Miss and Auburn while take care of Mississippi State and and Missouri.
Alice Radler on Facebook wants to know: What’s the next big step for Arkansas after the Texas win?
A. That’s easy. Don’t look past Georgia Southern. Beat them and then beat the Aggies. 4-0 is the next big step in bringing this program back from the disaster of 2016-2019. The worst four year stretch in the history of Hog football.
Q. porkbellys says: This may be a silly question but, what kind of watch does Coach Pittman wear. I like it.
A. We’ve got a photo of it and it’s very high tech. It’s a Casio G-Shock. He keeps it on military time.
Some fans might think that with what he’s getting paid Coach Pittman might wear a Rolex or an Omega. But this watch says Sam Pittman to me. I don’t wear watches but if I did, yeah, I could see getting one of these.
Q. PorkSoda wants to know: Which RB were you most impressed with?
A. That’s tough. All of them were impressive. I’d go with Dominque Johnson just because he’s got a nose for the goal line inside the 10. Those are the toughest yards on the field. Arkansas needs a guy who can bull his way when he has to but with the quick feet needed to avoid getting stopped by multiple defenders in close quarters. Arkansas has had deep redzone problems for at least five seasons. Johnson has the potential to change that.
Q. @ballybrooks asks: Can you give us a update on Grant Morgan
A. At Monday’s presser Coach Pittman said he was day to day. They were going to see what he could do at Monday’s practice and go frm there but my guess is they will be very cautious with him. Arkansas has really good depth at linebacker. If they need to rest him until next week for the A&M game to make sure he’s 100% recovered I’m sure they will.
@ mousetown says: We need another funny Texas-Arkansas game story from you.
A. It not about a real Texas-Arkansas game but a photo electric football version. Photo electric football was tthe closest version of a video game we in the late 60’s when I was in college. It involved a lot of stretegy as each player placed offensive and defensive plays into a box and then when you pulled out a sliding piece of thin cardboard the play would be revealed.
So in the fall of 1969 several and my friends and I picked our SWC team and played a complete 10 game schedule against each other. My best friend was Frank Broyles, coaching the Razorbacks. I was J.T. King coaching Texas Tech. We got into December when the last game of the regular season was to be played between Texas and Arkansas. It was set for Sunday, the day after the real game, on a living room table on our apartment.
But my buddy got really sick with the flu and it looked like he was gonna have to forfeit. But all the other guys got together and decided that it would be okay to let me play as Arkansas in place of my friend. So I got to be Frank Broyles in the big shootout
Long story short the guy who was Darrell Royal out coached me and would have won but there was an element of chance to the game that did not involve strategy. You would spin a dial on kickoffs, punts and field goals. I got incredibly lucky. Arkansas ran back a punt for a touchdown. Blocked a punt. Made three field goals, one from 50 yards. But Texas fumbled a kickoff, missed an extra point and had two field goal blocked.
So I won on pure luck. The Darrell Royal guy, who was a huge Texas fan, got up when it was over and threw his plays against the wall in disgust and would not speak to me for several weeks. When he did, he accused me of cheating. Like I could somehow control the spinning dial. I told him he was a typical sore loser Texas fan.
Q. Finally we have an update on the fan who wanted to know Sam Pittman’s middle name thinking maybe he wanted to use that name for his son who is soon to be born. Pittman’s middle name is Don after his dad. Well the fan, who goes by Tanner Hog on Twitter, sent us this photoshopped image with his son’s name displayed across the front of the Broyles Center. The name is Samuel Walker which sounds like a very good name to us.