Jacksonville Sports Day

Arkansas is Cheez-It Bowl National Team of the Week with Upset of Longhorns

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS (FWAA) – The Arkansas Razorbacks jumped out to a 16-0 halftime lead and kept No. 15 Texas at bay in a decisive 40-21 win in Fayetteville, the Hogs’ first home win over a ranked non-conference opponent since 2008.

For moving to 2-0 on the season for the first time since 2016 with a win over its longtime and soon-to-be SEC rival, the Razorbacks have earned the Cheez-It Bowl National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 11, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

In the first meeting between former Southwest Conference rivals in Fayetteville since 2004, the Hogs shut Texas down in the first half, outgaining them 228-78. The Longhorns were 0-for-6 on third downs and were held scoreless at halftime for the first time since 2015.

Senior linebacker Hayden Henry led the defense with a career-high 15 tackles – including 2.5 tackles for loss – his first career double-digit tackle game that also marked the first time he’s led Arkansas in tackles in a game.

The Arkansas rushing game handled the rest, rolling up 333 yards. Five different Razorbacks rushed for at least 44 yards and four of them scored touchdowns. Texas got to within 16-7 on its first possession of the third quarter but Arkansas responded with an 81-yard drive capped off by Trelon Smith’s one-yard run and the Hogs pulled away with a 17-point quarter.

“It was a surreal moment (celebrating with students on the field post-game),” quarterback KJ Jefferson said. “It kind of felt like a dream. That’s a moment you live for. You beat a big rival team like Texas and the fans rush the field, That’s something you want to see on TV. To live in that moment and embrace that moment was a really big deal.”

This is the 20th season the FWAA will select a national team of the week. Each honored team will receive a custom Cheez-It “care package” along with a hand-crafted game ball made in America by Dallas-based Big Game USA, the nation’s leading manufacturer of custom footballs. For Arkansas, this marks the fourth time the program has earned this distinction and the first time since the 2016 season.

Arkansas hosts Georgia Southern at 3 p.m. CT Saturday in a game on the SEC Network.

The other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 11 are:

Jacksonville State (1-1): The Gamecocks scored on a 59-yard touchdown pass from Zerrick Cooper to Damond Philyaw-Johnson on the final play of their 20-17 win at Doak Campbell Stadium and earn a win over an FBS school for a second consecutive season. The Gamecocks scored the game’s final 13 points in the last 4:45 to stun the Seminoles.

Oregon (2-0): The No. 12 Ducks never trailed in beating No. 3 Ohio State for the first time in 10 meetings, shocking 100,482 fans in Ohio Stadium and stopping the Buckeyes’ 23-game home win streak. CJ Verdell ran for 161 yards on 20 carries and opened the game up with a 77-yard run to give Oregon a 21-7 lead. It was Oregon’s first win over a top-five team since 2011.

Stanford (1-1): Tanner McKee passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another in his first collegiate start, guiding the Cardinal to a 42-28 win at No. 14 USC in the 100th meeting between the Pac-12 rivals. Nathaniel Peat scored on an 87-yard run, part of his career-high 115 yards, and Stanford held a 29-point lead in the fourth quarter.

About the Cheez-It Bowl
The Cheez-It Bowl takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 5:15 p.m. ET in Orlando, Fla. The postseason contest is hosted by Florida Citrus Sports, a Central Florida-based nonprofit, and annually features top teams from the Atlantic Coast and Big 12 Conferences. Cheez-It®, the best-selling cracker brand in the United States, signed on as the game’s title sponsor in 2020 as part of its season-long support of college football. Last bowl season, No. 21 Oklahoma State beat No. 18 Miami 37-34 in front of an audience of Cheez-It “Wheel Live Fans.” This year’s Cheez-It Bowl will be the 32nd edition of the game and its 21st in Orlando.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *