The Arkansas Razorbacks 2020 football season saw the team make vast improvements under first-year head coach Sam Pittman. Though the team finished 3-7, the Razorbacks looked solid in all three phases of the game. Feleipe Franks put forth a stellar season at quarterback. The senior passed for 2,107 yards and 17 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Arkansas’ future is bright under Pittman and his staff. Despite a losing record, the Hogs are set up for success for years to come.
While the Razorbacks may be looking ahead to 2021, let’s take a look back at Arkansas’ 2020 season and how the team showed improvements that weren’t indicated by the win-loss total.
Arkansas Razorbacks 2020 Football Season Review
Sam Pittman came to Fayetteville with the mentality to take the Razorbacks to new heights. In 2020, he did just that and much more in his first season. The offense played solid in the majority of its games, and Franks was a big reason why. He completed 68.5 percent of his passes and finished the season with a 163.1 passer rating. Freshman quarterback K.J. Jefferson showed promises of the future in the limited action he saw as well.
Trelon Smith put forth a phenomenal season in the backfield. He rushed for 710 yards on 134 attempts with five touchdowns. Pretty impressive numbers through a 10-game season, for sure. While at receiver, Treylon Burks led all pass catchers with 820 receiving yards and seven touchdowns on 51 receptions. His average yards per catch was 16.1 for the year.
On defense, Arkansas totaled 13 interceptions as a team. Linebacker Grant Morgan led the team with 111 total tackles, two sacks, five passes defended, and one interception. If the defensive MVP was to go to any one player, it would be Morgan. But the entire Razorbacks defense showed fight and poise to get the job done.
Room For Improvement
In the team’s first three games, the Hogs finished 1-2 with a 21-14 win over Mississippi State during the second week of the season. The two losses came to Georgia and Auburn. Through six games, the Razorbacks were sitting at 3-5. Arkansas went on to lose the remaining games to Missouri and Alabama, respectively. The Hogs nearly beat Missouri but gave up the game-winning field goal after scoring a wild touchdown with under two minutes left.
There is certainly plenty of room for improvement going into 2021. Pittman and his staff know they have to take different approaches in certain game situations to give the program a chance of winning more than three games. 2021 could be a solid season for this Arkansas program. With Jefferson likely being the starter next season, there is hope and hype around the program.
The 2020 Razorbacks season proved that the program is slowly on the rise. While Arkansas had one of the toughest schedules in the SEC, the Razorbacks managed to pull off three wins. Maybe with a few different decisions in the games against LSU and Missouri, and they could have got the team to five wins. Plus, the Hogs nearly pulled off a road upset at Auburn. Had the program won those games, the team would have finished 6-4 in a season that was almost over even before it began.
Looking to the future, the fan base has to remain patient with Pittman and his staff. The wins may come at a cost, but the Razorbacks could turn this into something worthwhile within the next few seasons. Buckle up Hogs fans, 2021 should be an exciting time for Arkansas football.