The #15 Texas Longhorns (1-0) take on the Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0) in a non-conference showdown in Week 2. Texas opened up the season with a 38-18 victory over UL-Lafayette, and Arkansas mounted a second-half rally to down Rice, 38-17. This will be the first time the two teams have met since 2014.
The kickoff of Saturday’s contest is at 7 p.m. EST inside Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, AK. The Longhorns come in as a 7-point road favorite, and the total point over-under is at 57.
What to Know – Texas Longhorns
Texas started slow but outscored the Ragin’ Cajuns 24-12 in the second half to pull away in Week 1 to give first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian an opening victory over a ranked opponent. Sarkisian spent the last two seasons at Alabama as the offensive coordinator and has made previous head coaching stops at Washington and USC.
The Longhorns’ tallied 435 yards of total offense, including 265 through the air and 170 on the ground. Texas didn’t turn the ball over and converted on 10-of-15 third-downs.
Freshman quarterback Hudson Card threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns on 14-of-21 passing and added a rushing score late in the third quarter. It was Card’s first start as a Longhorn after replacing long-time starter Sam Ehlinger.
Sophomore running back Bijan Robinson, one of the top backs in college football, carried the ball 20 times for 103 yards and a touchdown. Robinson added four receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown out of the backfield.
What to Know – Arkansas Razorbacks
The Razorbacks erased a three-point halftime deficit to escape with a season-opening home victory over the Rice Owls. Arkansas looked shaky early on and struggled in the passing game but pulled it out for second-year head coach Sam Pittman.
Arkansas gained 373 yards of total offense, with 245 yards coming on the ground. The Razorbacks were only 3-of-11 on third down and committed 13 penalties.
In the victory, the sophomore quarterback KJ Jefferson threw for 128 yards and rushed for 89, accounting for three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing). Jefferson committed one turnover in the contest, a second-quarter interception.
Junior running back Trelon Smith rushed 22 times for 102 yards, scoring the go-ahead touchdown to put the Razorbacks ahead for good 24-17 early in the fourth quarter. Arkansas averaged 5.6 yards per carry as a team on the ground.
The Pick is In
On paper, you’d think these two teams had similar opening week performances. However, the Longhorns controlled the game against UL-L while the Razorbacks struggled against a Conference USA team predicted to finish near the bottom of its conference standings. Although UL-L was ranked preseason #23, the question remains just how good the Sun Belt squad was expected to be.
Saturday’s matchup is a rivalry of neighboring states and should bring a sellout crowd to Razorback Stadium. Arkansas didn’t look good in the opener, but this line is an overreaction, and we don’t believe Texas’ victory was that impressive. We like Arkansas to cover at home here.