The absurd is routine at Arkansas.
This is not new. But another chapter was written Saturday night in Fort Worth.
The Razorbacks, who narrowly, scarily escaped last week with a one-point win over Louisiana Tech, thrillingly escaped this week against #15 TCU in double overtime.
For most of the game, it didn’t appear it would be anything special. Brooks Ellis returned a pick-six in the second quarter off Kenny Hill to add to a pair of field goals to give the Hogs a 13-0 halftime lead, then teams traded touchdowns in the third, and then Arkansas drove down the field early in the 4th quarter.
And that’s when it went wacky. Take a look at this.
- Cole Hedlund’s 22-yard field goal doinked off the upright.
- TCU zipped down the field three times to take a 28-20 lead with a couple of minutes left.
- After the last touchdown, Hill made a throat-slash gesture that forced TCU to kick off from the 20.
- Arkansas took advantage of the field position to score a touchdown and converted a reverse-pass back to the quarterback to complete the two-point conversion.
- But TCU still had a chance to win with a last second field goal, but Arkansas offensive lineman Dan Skipper blocked it.
- Arkansas and TCU traded touchdowns in the first overtime, with TCU converting on a wild scamble and throw by Hill on third-and-long.
- Arkansas held TCU to a field goal in the second overtime, and Arkansas needed a 5-yard quarterback sneak by Austin Allen, who had to be pushed the last few yards into the end zone to win the game.
For most of the game, it appeared Arkansas’ offense was just as lethargic as we all feared it was after the Louisiana Tech game. But somehow, they were able to make every single play they needed to beginning with the last drive in regulation. It somewhat resembled last year’s Auburn game, when a relatively low-scoring initial 60 minutes broke into a high scoring battle with the Hogs making every single play in overtime.
That game is also what catapulted the Arkansas offense into what it became the second half of last season. Can this do it again? We shall see.
What may be safe to say is that Bret Bielema’s teams have figured out late games and overtime. After failing miserably in his first few overtime games at Arkansas, the Hogs have now won three consecutive overtime games. He’s also figured out how to win on the road. All that’s left is beating some of the bigger-name teams in the SEC.
Whether or not you include Texas A&M in that group is up to you, but the fact is that Arkansas has given away the last two games against the Aggies and Bielema has yet to beat them. If Arkansas wants a chance at taking advantage of this “best home schedule ever” and make this a truly memorable season, beating TCU makes it all possible, and the next hurdle is ending the four-game losing streak to the Aggies.
But for tonight, that was magical. There’s nothing like a big road win. I started seeing all sorts of “game over” notes during TCU’s big 4th quarter run. I thought it was done too.
And judging by Bielema’s history with the Razorbacks, we might not be done with these types of games this year. It’s been the norm lately.