FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas sophomore running back Rawleigh Williams III’s second-quarter fumble in a 45-24 loss to Texas A&M last Saturday proved to be one of the pivotal plays.
Williams was stripped by Aggies defensive back Armani Watts at the 1-yard line. Watts recovered the loose ball on a play Williams almost certainly would have scored to give the Hogs a 2-score lead. Arkansas led 10-7 at the time.
Williams quickly bounced back, scoring on an 8-yard run later in the second quarter on the same play call to put the Razorbacks ahead 17-10. It was a glimpse into how mentally tough Arkansas’ go-to running back has become.
“I beat myself up about it,” Williams said. “But, at the same time, I have great teammates. I have a great coaching staff. They helped me get rid of it in my head really quickly. So when (offensive coordinator Dan Enos) called that same play again I was excited because I knew that showed that they have a lot of trust in me. I knew when he called the play I had to get in the end zone, and thank God I did.”
Despite the mistake, Williams has been an underrated star for the Hogs this season. He has 433 yards on 88 carries through four games behind a shaky offensive line. He’s quickly showed no ill effects from the serious neck injury and subsequent surgery he sustained last season.