by: Tyler Priddy
LITTLE ROCK — Today, Arkansas made history at War Memorial Stadium after meeting sister-school and first-time SWAC opponent UAPB for a win of 45-3.
With a blowout show, the Golden Lions managed one field goal against their first-time SEC opponents. Punt returner Nathan Parodi made a touchdown from 81 yards with 6:50 remaining in the first half. It was Arkansas’ first punt return for a touchdown since Joe Adams did it in 2011. Parodi’s return put the Hogs up to 31
Parodi, a sophomore, has had a total of 10 returns for 41 yards until Saturday’s first UAPB Game. A return this far was very unexpected.
When discussing Parodi’s return at an after-game press conference, Coach Sam Pittman talked about what the Hogs had seen on film.
“We figured the hang time versus the distance didn’t really matchup,” Pittman said. “So, we felt like we could get the ball with at least 10 to 15 yards separation, and Parodi just turned the wheels on for that one.”
Other Razorbacks were stunned by the return, including wide receiver Treylon Burks.
“I was really pumped for Parodi, because he’s put in the work every week,” Burks said. “He got his opportunity and he made something happen.”
Linebacker Bumper Pool, also described Parodi’s return as a buildup of confidence on the Hog sideline.
“For it to come to fruition today and for him to get a touchdown, I think the whole sideline was rowdy,” Pool said. “And it was awesome for him.”
Parodi’s return was seen as the highlight of the in-state game. With Arkansas first in-state game in 77 years, they also made their first punt return for a touchdown in 10 years.