How the Card is Dealt
True freshman quarterback Hudson Card is making just his second start for the Longhorns in as many weeks. Saturday's contest is a night game, and it's the first sellout in Fayetteville since the 2017 season. Card did a lot of good things in the start vs. Louisiana, but the matchup against the Razorback presents a new set of challenges for him. A young quarterback playing in a primetime game with an electric crowd is a recipe for trouble.... Texas will be tested early and will need to respond in order to set the tone. If Card can play the role of game manager, let Bijan Robinson run the ball and and take the crowd out of the game early on, the Longhorns have a good chance for success on the offensive side of the ball.
Treylon Burks vs. the Texas Secondary
Burks, an All-American, is without question the best offensive player for the Razorbacks and possibly a first round pick in next year's NFL Draft. He’s the type of player that can turn the game on a dime if he’s not contained. Burks is an all around receiver and possesses size and speed that makes him difficult to contain. Texas is fortunate to have skilled defensive backs in their secondary, which will make this matchup fun to watch. Last week against the Ragin' Cajuns, the Texas secondary held their own. D’Shawn Jamison has high-end speed while also having good technique which is necessary to stop a playmaker like Burks. Josh Thompson is a veteran guy that is capable of playing better than he did last week against Louisiana, and he will have an opportunity to show that against the Hogs.
Last week against Rice, Arkansas had a blocked punt and fumbled a kickoff as well. If the Owls were able to create turnovers on special teams, then the Texas athletes should be able to wreak havoc as well. Other than Cameron Dicker’s missed 45 yard field goal, Texas was very solid on special teams last week. Dicker, who also punts, averaged over 51 yards a punt and return man D’Shawn Jamison returned a punt for a touchdown (which was subsequently called back for a block in the back). In a tumultuous atmosphere on the road, Jeff Banks' special teams unit has a real opportunity to showcase their talent and potentially win this game for the Longhorns.
Containing KJ Jefferson
Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson will look to use his legs before his arm when possible. Against Rice last week, Jefferson struggled in the first half largely due to his arm being ineffective. In the second half, Arkansas scored on 5 of 6 possessions. Why? Jefferson's ability to run the ball created opportunities for big plays. He's similar in style to TCU QB Max Duggan, who has torched the Longhorns the last two years with the use of his legs. Under new Defensive Coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, Texas is more equipped to stop one dimensional quarterbacks like Duggan and Jefferson. If Texas loses on Saturday night, it will most likely be because Jefferson ran wild and Texas failed to keep him in the pocket. If the Longhorns force him to throw, keep an eye out for turnovers. Many of his passes last week against Rice were high, and often times defensive backs can make plays on throws like that.