ARLINGTON, Texas — After Texas A&M extended the University of Arkansas’ losing streak to three games with a 34-22 beatdown on Saturday at AT&T Stadium, the Razorbacks could use an open date.
Or at least a home game.
But Arkansas won’t get either.
Instead the Razorbacks (2-3, 0-2 SEC) must play at No. 16 Ole Miss (4-1, 1-1) after the Rebels beat LSU 55-49 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Then Arkansas plays at No. 11 Alabama (4-1, 2-0), which won 40-17 at Mississippi State.
Playing at Alabama will mark the Razorbacks’ fourth consecutive game away from home in a stretch that started with a 34-31 loss at LSU.
“We’ve known that for a long time,” Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman said of the most challenging portion of his team’s schedule. “Every time you go out there, there’s a chance you’re not going to win.
“So you’re going, man, Lord please let us win. But the bottom line is, if you don’t, what do you do?
“Only way I know how to do it, you have to go back and fight. I mean, you’ve got to evaluate what’s wrong and try to fix it or throw it out and do something else.”
Texas A&M dominated at the line of scrimmage on defense and offense as the Aggies had 15 tackles for losses totaling 57 yards and didn’t allow a sack.
The Aggies outgained the Razorbacks 414 yards to 174.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Pittman said. “But I like our kids. I think they’ll come back and fight. But it wasn’t a good outing.”
The Razorbacks who spoke with the media after the game said the team will stick together.
“The team ain’t separating, we’re not dividing at all,” said fifth-year senior quarterback KJ Jefferson, who is in his third season as a captain. “I feel like we’re just coming together stronger.
“We’re in an adverse situation right now, so as a fighter, with your back against the wall, you’re going to come out swinging.
“That’s the mentality we’ve got right now, and we’re going to take it one day at a time and keep working.”
Junior defensive end Landon Jackson, also a captain, said the Razorbacks are a team of workers that will focus on what’s ahead, not on the losing streak.
“Everybody is ready to get back to work on Monday,” Jackson said. “I’ve always been taught not to look in the past. Once the game is over, it’s over.
“It sucks you lost, but you can’t get down after one loss and let it turn into losses the rest of the season.
“So I think our team is going to do a really great job of staying together and we’re going to go to Ole Miss and play a great game next week.”
Arkansas’ losing streak began when BYU rallied from a 10-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Razorbacks 38-31 in Fayetteville on Sept. 16.
This is the fourth time in Pittman’s four seasons the Razorbacks have had a losing streak of at least three games.
When the Razorbacks played a 10-game SEC schedule in Pittman’s first season in 2020 because of covid-19, they lost their final four games to finish 3-7. But that was a significant improvement over the previous three seasons when they were 1-23 in conference play.
The Razorbacks had a three-game losing streak in 2021, but then won 5 of 6 games to finish 9-4 capped by a 24-10 win over Penn State in the Outback Bowl.
Arkansas went on a three-game losing streak last season, then went 4-3 the rest of the way to finish 7-6 with a Liberty Bowl victory over Kansas.
“I think we still have the team,” Pittman said. “I think they’re fighting. We’ve got to coach better. In some areas, they have to play better, but I like the attitude of the team. It hurts them when they lose.
“I thought we got our … We got whipped, offensively especially. But I don’t think we didn’t fight. When you lose the fight is when you lose the team. I don’t feel that way at all really, to be honest with you.”