Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12-SEC match up in our Texas vs. Arkansas preview and prediction!
6:00 p.m. CST, Saturday, September 11th, 2001; Fayetteville, Arkansas, Donald W. Reynolds Razorbacks Stadium
Radio: Longhorn IMG Sports Network/Razorbacks IMG Sports Network — Sirius/XM Channel 135/191
Spread: Texas -6.5
Fun Fact: The Razorbacks and Longhorns will clash for the 79th time in the historic rivalry that dates back to 1894. Texas owns a 56-22 lead in the series, but Arkansas has won four of the previous six meetings. The two programs most recently met in the 2014 Texas Bowl on Dec. 29, 2014, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, as Arkansas rolled to a 31-7 win.
RB Bijan Robinson
He’s the easy answer, but he’s also the right answer. Most importantly, getting Robinson off to a hot start will be an incredible help to redshirt freshman QB Hudson Card, who is making his first road start of his career. Robinson had over 170 yards of offense last week, scoring on the ground and through the air and clearly became a safety blanket for Card, which he desperately needs. Since Robinson starting playing consistently late last season as a freshman, over his last five games, he has 625 rushing yards on 67 carries (9.3 ypc) with five touchdowns, while also hauling in 12 receptions for 202 yards (16.8 ypc) and scoring three touchdowns.
LB DeMarvion Overshown
Overshown was the only player from the 2020 season in the Top 5 in tackles for Texas to return this fall. He is also the leading returner in tackles for loss with eight, quarterback pressures with four, interceptions with two, forced fumbles with two and pass breakups with seven. In the season opener last week against Louisiana, he racked up 13 tackles and half a sack, the most tackles in a season opener for a Longhorn since Dusty Renfro collected 14 against New Mexico State in 1998.
QB K.J. Jefferson
The dual-threat QB rushed for two touchdowns and threw one last week against rice, becoming the first Arkansas QB in 10 years to rush for two scores in a game. Through the air he went 12/21 for 128 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while rushing for 89 yards on nine carries. At 6’3”, 245 pounds he can certainly take the hits and is perceived the best fit for Kendall Briles’ offense. His legs definitely can create problems for defenses and it will need to be the key focus for Texas on Saturday.
DB Jalen Catalon
Catalon was named a preseason All-American by the Associated Press and he got his season off to a great start last week against Rice. The redshirt sophomore notched 11 stops, the eighth double-digit tackle game of his career, and a career high two interceptions. While the season is young, he is the only player in the country to post 10-plus tackles and record two interceptions in a game this season. Considering his knack for finding the ball, getting a chance to pick off a redshirt freshman on the road will be extra enticing.
Texas needs to protect redshirt freshman QB Hudson Card. The strength of the Arkansas defense is in the secondary, not up front. So if the Longhorns offensive line can keep Card upright and give him a clean pocket for most of the afternoon, while also getting the running game going, the intimidation factor of being in your first road game as a starter in an SEC stadium will dissipate quickly.
Arkansas needs to win this one on the ground in a rugged, slug-it-out style of a game. They return their entire offensive line from a year ago, which is littered with Preseason All-SEC selections. Texas is working through some new pieces on its front seven, which could create opportunities for QB K.J. Jefferson on the ground, along with running back Trelon Smith, who has been effective since transferring from Arizona State in 2019.
Prediction: Texas 35, Arkansas 27
The Longhorns are the better team heading into this match up and that will show on Saturday. The Razorbacks front seven won’t have an answer for Bijan Robinson, which will open things up for the rest of the Texas offense. Arkansas needs this game to stay low scoring and own time of possession. But Texas will jump out to a comfortable lead on the road, which they will never relinquish.