FAYETTEVILLE — To punt or not to punt was a decision Sam Pittman had to make in the closing minutes of Saturday’s 42-35 loss to Alabama.
The Razorbacks faced a fourth-and-11 play at their own 34 while trailing 42-28. Pittman sent the punt team out which seemed a strange decision at the time. Pittman though took a timeout and changed his mind to send the offense back onto the field. On Monday he explained what was going through his mind at that time.
“Alright, this is the truth,” Pittman said. “We’d played such a good game, and we’re down on the 35, and we’re 14 down. And I go, ‘If we don’t make it, they’re going to score again, and there’s a chance they can score again and beat us by 21, and that’s not going to be the tell-tale.”
However, after thinking it over Pittman allowed the Hogs to go for it. KJ Jefferson found tight end Trey Knox for a 16-yard gain and first down.
“And in that time when I sent the punt team out there versus the time that I called timeout, I said, ‘I ain’t giving these kids a chance to win, and if I do this they’re going to hold it against me, and I’m going to hold it against myself forever,'” Pittman said. “No matter what the outcome is, we’ve got to play to win, and that’s exactly what happened.”
It took 12 plays to complete the 75-yard drive, but Jefferson hit running back Rocket Sanders for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 1:02 remaining in the game.
Arkansas then tried an onside kick that was unsuccessful and the Tide ran out the clock.