Razorback Report: Pool the record holder with 6 regular-season games remaining

STARKVILLE, Mississippi — University of Arkansas fifth-year linebacker Bumper Pool had just enough tackles against No. 23 Mississippi State on Saturday to become the Razorbacks’ career leader.

Pool had 14 tackles to bring his total to 409, one ahead of the 408 of Tony Bua, who played as an outside linebacker and safety from 2000–03.

“I wish we’d won,” Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman said after Mississippi State’s 40-17 win. “If we had done that I think what a great celebration it would have been for him.

“I’m so proud of him. Guys, he’s hurt all the time. You never hear it, but he is. People are like, ‘Well, he missed that tackle.’ Well, hell, you would too , if you felt like Bumper Pool. But he’s tough and he’s the best we have. He’s doing fine otherwise he wouldn’t be out there. He’s been like this for basically three years. He got hurt. But He Is hard.”

Pool said he was dealing with a hip injury.

“Yeah, honestly that was one of the biggest challenges this year,” said Pool. “I’m struggling with an injury to my hip and I just have to fight every day to make sure you do your best for your teammates. It’s never easy, especially when you’re losing. “But I just tried my best to make sure I can give them everything I have no matter how I’m feeling.”

Pool has 60 tackles in six games.

“Something his kids can say forever — until someone else breaks it — but for a long time, they’re going to be able to say, ‘My daddy has ever attacked more boys than anyone else in Arkansas,'” Pittman said. “And I think that’s a huge, huge thing.”

Pool has 57 tackles in four games against Mississippi State, including a career-high 20 two years ago.

Bad starts

Neither half started well for Arkansas.

Jake Bates, a walk-on transfer who had 25 touchbacks in 29 attempts and regained his onside kick against Alabama last week, hit the opening kickoff out of bounds to give Mississippi State possession at 35.

The Bulldogs had one touchdown in nine games to lead 7-0.

Coach Sam Pittman said when Bates transferred from the state of Texas he had a scholarship offer from the state of Mississippi.

“So I’m sure when he tried to kick it into the nickel grandstands he blocked and kicked it over the limits, which gave them the 35-yard line,” Pittman said. “Of course you also have the right to stop someone from there, you know.”

AJ Green muted the push in the second half, tracked him down in the end zone, then came out and was stopped in the 1.

Green could have knocked it down for a touchback to give Arkansas possession at the 25, but he came out and narrowly avoided a safety.

“There was a little bit of panic on the part of AJ because we worked through that scenario in practice where it’s a muff in the end zone and you just go back there and step on it and take the ball to the 25,” Pittmann said. “But he panicked and got the ball back to the inch line.”

health updates

Not only did the Razorbacks play without All-America safety Jalen Catalon and cornerback LaDarrius Bishop out for the season Saturday, and Saturday’s nickelback Myles Slusher, they also lost more defensive backs.

Receiver Jadon Haselwood is also dealing with an AC sprain in his shoulder. Haselwood led the Razorbacks with three catches for 114 yards.

Nickel Back starter sophomore Jayden Johnson and safety starter Khari Johnson both came out of the game.

Neither player returned and coach Sam Pittman did not update his injury status.

However, he said Slusher, who was struggling with a calf injury, could potentially be available to travel to BYU on Saturday.

record for Rogers

Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers set the SEC record for career completions with a shovel pass to Dillon Johnson, who gained 34 yards in the first quarter.

It was Rogers’ seventh finish of the game and 922nd of his career, breaking the record set by Georgia’s Aaron Murray (2010-13).

Rogers finished 31 of 48 for 395 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has 946 career completions and 69 touchdown passes, just one short of Dak Prescott’s Mississippi State record of 70 from 2012-15.

Big Foot

Arkansas kicker Cam Little hit a 51-yard field goal in the second quarter to match his long career.

Little also had a 51-yard field goal in last year’s 31-28 win over Mississippi State.

farming time

Senior Reid Bauer, the Razorbacks’ lead player for three of the last four seasons, may have regained his job.

Freshman Max Fletcher handled all of Arkansas’ punts in the first five games, but after his 25-yarder on the Hogs’ first possession, Sam Pittman switched to Bauer.

Bauer averaged 46.3 yards in three kicks Saturday. In 36 previous games, he averaged 41.6 yards on 156 attempts. He is also the owner of Platzkicks. Fletcher averaged 38.3 yards on 27 punts.

Personnel update

Arkansas receiver Warren Thompson and defensive end Jashaud Stewart both played after sitting out with undisclosed injuries.

Stewart missed the last three games and Thompson didn’t play last week.

Stephen is beaming

Redshirt freshman Bryce Stephens, who scored on an 82-yard punt return against Missouri State, nabbed his first touchdown catch of his career.

Stephens got behind cornerback Daniel Greek and jumped to catch a 54-yard touchdown from Malik Hornsby, who drew Arkansas within 27-17 in the third quarter.

Red Zone TDs

Mississippi State scored touchdowns on all four possessions in the red zone. The Bulldogs have now scored on 20 of their 21 red zone trips, including 19 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Arkansas traveled into the red zone 1 of 3 and was stopped twice on fourth downs inside the 10.

Clark safe

Razorbacks junior Hudson Clark made his 14th career start and his first to safety. His other 13 starts, including the first two games this season, have been cornerback.

Proud father

The football weekend got off to a good start for Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek on Friday.

Yurachek’s son Brooks, a senior linebacker at Fayetteville High School, returned an 85-yard interception for a touchdown in the Bulldogs’ 60-20 win over Fort Smith Southside at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

“It was a special night for the Fayetteville High School football program, with the players, cheerleaders and band all performing at Razorback Stadium,” said Hunter Yurachek. “But of course it was a little extra pleasure for me to see Brooks had a really good game and on top of that had that 85-yard interception return for a touchdown. It kind of helped turn the tide of the game.”

Fayetteville plays Springdale on October 21 at Razorback Stadium.

The Bulldogs’ Harmon Field is under a construction project that limits the availability of parking, concessions and restrooms, and Fayetteville athletic director Steve Janski called Yurchek to see if it was possible to play some games at Razorback Stadium .

Vs. State of Mississippi

Arkansas fell to an all-time 13-9-1 against Mississippi State, including 8-8 at Starkville. The Bulldogs earned their first win over Arkansas since 2019 when they defeated the Razorbacks 54-24 in Fayetteville.


Whoever decides which songs to play at Davis Wade Stadium before Mississippi home games need to know that Coach Sam Pittman is a “jukebox hero” for Arkansas.

Fans arriving for Saturday’s game in the early morning could hear Foreigner’s 1981 hit song “Jukebox Hero” blasting through the stadium’s speakers.

Arkansas also plays “Jukebox Hero” when Pittman comes to home games at Frank Broyles Field in his third season.

Pittman earned his first win in Arkansas as the Razorbacks won 2020 at Mississippi State, 21-14.

Yurachek speaks

Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek will speak Wednesday at the Hawgs Illustrated Sports Club luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fayetteville. Doors open at 11:30 am, Yurachek speaks at noon.