Arkansas Athletics photo / Reynolds Razorback Stadium housed a surprise slaughter Saturday night as Arkansas routed No. 15 Texas 40-21.

The official Twitter account of Arkansas football held nothing back after Saturday night's 40-21 victory over longtime rival Texas in Fayetteville.


The 15th-ranked Longhorns were playing their first Southeastern Conference opponent since requesting and accepting an invitation to join the SEC, and they were promptly led to an unexpected slaughter. Arkansas rushed for 333 yards and 7.1 yards per carry and mostly used a three-man defensive front in holding Texas scoreless until the third quarter.

Arkansas football's Twitter account also revealed second-year coach Sam Pittman's poignant PG-13 speech to his players afterward.

"What you did is you made history," Pittman said. "You made the people in Arkansas who believe in your ass — they're here, so they believe in you — you made them come back. On Sunday morning, when they get up to go to church or to Waffle House or whatever they want to do, you have given them the opportunity to be proud of the damn Arkansas Razorbacks.

"That was one hell of a job."

Arkansas led by 26 points on two occasions, and Pittman was asked later Saturday night on a Zoom call what this win meant to him personally. The Razorbacks were just 1-23 in SEC games in the three seasons before his arrival but won three league contests last year and now own this nonconference jewel.

"I just feel really blessed to be the head coach of Arkansas," Pittman said. "We're going to lose a game eventually, and people are not going to like me so much, but most of them like me now, and I like that."

Texas first-year coach and former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian on a much more somber Zoom call said, "This was not a performance I was anticipating." As Pittman's call was winding down, he was told that thousands of Razorbacks fans and several former players in attendance were flashing the "Horns Down" symbol and was asked if he would do the same.

"I ain't doing that," Pittman responded. "That's not my style. Anybody who wants to do it can do it, but that's not my style."

The Razorbacks are 20th in the latest Associated Press poll, their first AP ranking since the 2016 season.

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AP photo by Wade Payne / Pittsburgh wide receiver Jordan Addison, top, and Tennessee defensive back Trevon Flowers go airborne during Saturday's game in Knoxville.

We all knew Tennessee was in for a pretty significant rebuild under Josh Heupel after last season's 3-7 collapse and the mass exodus of many top players through the NCAA transfer portal.

Winning the turnover battle would be more important than ever, but the Volunteers through two games have lost five and haven't collected any. That resulting minus-2.50 ratio per game ranks last among the 130 members of the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Tennessee's last offensive play in Saturday's 41-34 loss to Pittsburgh in Neyland Stadium was Hendon Hooker's interception at the Panthers' 17-yard line with 4:52 remaining, and perhaps this week's mismatch against Tennessee Tech will allow a Vols defender to finally celebrate a change in possession.

"We emphasize it, and it's how we start every practice," Heupel said. "Yes, we've been disappointed that we haven't been able to create a game-changing play on that side of it. I don't think it's lack of effort or our practice.

"We just haven't made the ball bounce the right way."


"Show Your Gold!"

"Anchor Down!"

Whatever the slogan, the Vanderbilt Commodores have every reason to celebrate the 24-21 comeback triumph at Colorado State that didn't end until Sunday morning for East Coast television viewers. Vandy had lost 11 consecutive games dating to a 38-0 blanking of East Tennessee State University in 2019, and it would be ETSU that extended the misery on Sept. 4 with its 23-3 surprise rout of the Commodores in Nashville.

"I'd like to say how proud I am of our team," Commodores first-year coach Clark Lea said on a Zoom call. "Our team fought. Obviously it wasn't a pretty game, but it was a formative game for us. It's a result that we can build off of, and it's an effort that we can build off of."

The Commodores trailed 14-0 in the second quarter, a deficit that would have been 20-0 had the Rams been able to connect on a pair of field-goal attempts.

"When we forced the first field-goal attempt that missed, that was a big moment for us," Lea said. "That was really the first time we've counter-punched as a program. That was a moment that injected some spirit into our sideline."

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The Coloradoan photo by Jon Austria via AP / Vanderbilt kicker Joseph Bulovas celebrates after kicking the winning field goal against host Colorado State on Saturday night.

The preppiest name in SEC football history — Stetson Bennett IV — has worked most of this year as Georgia's third-string quarterback after starting five games a season ago.

Yet with JT Daniels ailing and with redshirt freshman backup Carson Beck lacking significant experience, Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart and offensive coordinator Todd Monken determined Bennett should get the nod against the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The former walk-on responded by completing 10 of 12 passes for 288 yards and five touchdowns in a 56-7 blistering.

"It seems like that's usually an Oklahoma stat line when they play some North South West Texas," Bennett said.

Bennett is a great story and a great quote — "It does always seem like I'm fighting for my supper," he said Saturday of his career — but I would be shocked if this turned into a Jacob Eason-Jake Fromm scenario. When Daniels is healthy enough to return, he will reclaim the starting role.


After scoring four touchdowns in three seasons as a Georgia receiver, Demetris Robertson reached the end zone three times in Auburn's 62-0 humbling of Alabama State. The transfer had scoring catches of 6 and 28 yards, as well as a 36-yard touchdown run.

"He came in late, so he didn't get the entire summer like everybody else," Auburn coach Bryan Harsin said. "He was able to come in and pick things up fairly quickly. He's always been positive, and he's always excited for his teammates. The portal allowed us to get a player like that."

Said Robertson: "It was very satisfying. I'm grateful for my opportunities, for my teammates and for the coaches for putting me in these positions to help the team out."


Bryce Young is the first quarterback in Alabama history with seven touchdowns in his first two starts, but all eyes are on the health of sophomore outside linebacker Will Anderson (knee). The Crimson Tide visit Florida this week, where they will try to stop Gators backup quarterback Anthony Richardson, who has 275 rushing yards through two games. ... Shane Beamer is the first South Carolina coach to start 2-0 in his career since 1982, when Richard Bell wound up 4-7 in his one season and was replaced by Joe Morrison. ... In the 12 games Ole Miss has played under Lane Kiffin, the Rebels have surpassed 500 yards eight times. ... The Mark Stoops era at Kentucky opened in 2013 with a loss to Western Kentucky and a 2-10 record, but Saturday night's 35-28 outlasting of Missouri bumped him over .500 with the Wildcats (51-50) for the first time. ... In Texas A&M's 10-7 defeat of Colorado, the Aggies held the Buffaloes to 54 second-half yards. ... Mississippi State's Mike Leach on having to punt seven times during Saturday night's otherwise impressive 24-10 downing of North Carolina State 24-10: "I hate punting, and I feel like a failure every time I do."

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.