A few years ago, late night show host Jimmy Kimmel decided to poll random Americans on whether they could name a country – any country – on a blank world map depicting only outlines of various nations.
The results were not what you would call “heartening.”
If his admittedly cherry-picked bloopers reel is any indication, way too many Americans have trouble differentiating Alaska from Greenland, the continent of South America from the nation of South Africa or even know that Africa is a continent, not a single nation.
Such geographic ignorance fits well, of course, with the stereotype Americans are a bunch of inward-looking, hamburger-loving Dollar General customers. Surely, though, Americans would do better if they were forced to name states in their own nation? Right?
Not necessarily, as a BYU football video that came out on Friday shows.
BYU Football Must Enjoy Poking the Bear
For some reason, the Cougars’ marketing department thought it would be a great idea to broadcast to the world how a large percentage of its football players could not easily locate the state of Arkansas on a map ahead of Saturday night’s Arkansas vs BYU game in Fayetteville, Ark.
In the below TikTok, we see BYU football player after BYU football player fail to locate their opponents’ home on a blank U.S. map with only state outlines.
Some, like 6’5″ 235 pound punter Ryan Rehkow, guessed in the right general area on the first attempt before getting it right on the second or third attempt. A lot first pointed at Missouri while freshman Sam Dawe and senior Darius Lassiter at first confused Mississippi with Arkansas amid teammates’ giggles.
Predictably from a roster full of players who aren’t from the South, at least one pronounced it “Ar-kansas” while another simply complained “Who cares?” when the task was presented.
Freshman Dom Henry confidently pointed at Kentucky before getting set straight. One of BYU’s offensive linemen even guessed four different wrong states before giving up. Finally, at the 1:42 mark below, you can see freshman Isaiah Glasker turn himself into an instant crowd favorite by responding to the prompt with “It’s a state?”
Lone Arkansas Football Native Gets Exasperated
Plenty of BYU football players did pinpoint the right state from the beginning. Backup quarterback Cade Fennegan is a Dallas native and taught his teammates the old MIMAL trick for remembering which state is which around these parts:
M = Minnesota = Hat
I = Iowa = Face or Head
M = Missouri = Shirt or Body
A = Arkansas = Shorts or Thicc Thighs
L = Louisiana = Boot
It should be pointed out that generally there are good relationships between the fanbases, too. Many Arkansas football fans raved about the hospitality of BYU during last year’s game in Provo, and a few Cougars fans were even spotted wearing “BYU Loves Arkansas!” shirts. Plus, BYU’s sponsoring institution, the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints, has donated 40,000 pounds of goods to the food bank of St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Fayetteville.
It also turns out that the Cougars do have a single native Arkansan on their team. oJunior defensive tackle Caden Haws was just one of just three BYU players to play in and start all 13 games last year.
The Little Rock native attended Pulaski Academy as part of the prep football dynasty that Anthony Lucas carries on to this day. “He’s a great player,” Arkansas offensive lineman Brady Latham said this week. “I actually know a lot of PA guys. Used to room with Hudson Henry and JD White. I’m really good friends with Luke Jones from playing with him. And if I know one thing, those PA guys are smart and they’re going to play really hard. So, I remember him from last year and I expect him to play the same way.”
In the BYU football video, Haws makes a brief appearance. “Arkansas is right here,” he says, jabbing his finger onto the location of Little Rock. “I’m from this little spot in the middle, alright? It’s not that hard.”
What will be hard is the task ahead of BYU to beat Arkansas given how ready a salty Hogs defense is to prove to the nation it is very much for real and as good as the first two games’ stats indicate. There’s also an offensive line led by Latham and Beaux Limmer that has had to answer questions all week long about whether they are physical enough.
No doubt, under the bright lights, they will be ready to atone for subpar performances through much of the first two games.
Arkansas might have thought it had put itself on the national map after two straight bowl game wins and a couple Top 10 appearances in 2021 and 2022, but BYU’s video reminds the Hogs they still have work to do. Already beating the Cougars once at BYU last season apparently didn’t leave enough of an impression, but a back-to-back beat-down would be much harder to forget.
LIVE UPDATES – Arkansas vs BYU
For the first time this season, Arkansas lost the pregame coin toss. BYU chose to defer to the second half, so the Razorbacks will receive the game’s opening kickoff.
13:21, 1Q – Arkansas 7, BYU 0
It took until the third game of the season, but Arkansas finally got the kind of explosive run play fans have come to expect. It comes in the form of a 55-yard touchdown run by AJ Green.
11:29, 1Q – Arkansas 14, BYU 0
The defense gave up a first down via a pass interference penalty on the first play, but then forced a punt. Isaiah Sategna returned it 88 yards for a touchdown.
8:28, 1Q – Arkansas 14, BYU 7
The Cougars dialed up some trickery with a double pass and executed it to perfection, with wide receiver Parker Kingston throwing a 37-yard touchdown pass to a wide open running back, Deion Smith, to get BYU on the board.
2:24, 1Q – Arkansas 14, BYU 14
An ugly sequence by Arkansas led to BYU tying it up. It started with a questionable offensive pass interference call on Luke Hasz, setting up a third-and-long on which KJ Jefferson was sacked. Then Max Fletcher shanked a 10-yard punt. On BYU’s first offensive play, LJ Martin took it 45 yards to the house.
END of 1Q – Arkansas 14, BYU 14
12:54, 2Q – BYU 21, Arkansas 14
BYU takes its first lead of the game on a 1-yard touchdown run by LJ Martin. That capped a 10-play, 70-yard drive by the Cougars.
1:43, 2Q – Arkansas 21, BYU 21
The Razorbacks put together a 10-play, 70-yard drive of their own to tie it up late in the second quarter. Their drive was capped by a 19-yard touchdown pass from Jefferson to Luke Hasz. It was the freshman tight end’s first career score.
HALF – Arkansas 24, BYU 21
Arkansas recovered a fumble forced by Dwight McGlothern and quickly got into the red zone on a long pass to Hasz. However, the drive stalled land they had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Cam Little.
11:41, 3Q – Arkansas 31, BYU 21
After the defense forced its fourth three-and-out of the game to open the half, Arkansas took it right down the field to extend its lead. AJ Green scored on a 7-yard run. He’s up to two scores and 72 yards on six carries.
4:43, 3Q – Arkansas 31, BYU 24
The Cougars got into the red zone before Arkansas’ defense stiffened and forced a field goal attempt. BYU dialed up a fake and the Razorbacks appeared to sniff it out for a turnover on downs. Instead, a delay of game penalty was called on the Cougars before the snap and they got another chance. This time they took the points, with Will Ferrin’s 43-yard field goal pulling them within a touchdown.
1:52, 3Q – Arkansas 31, BYU 31
KJ Jefferson’s first interception of the season is a costly one. Max Tooley returned it to the 20 and then BYU scored on the very next play, with Kedon Slovis connecting with Parker Kingston for a 20-yard score to tie it up.
END of 3Q – Arkansas 31, BYU 31
8:00, 4Q – BYU 38, Arkansas 31
After Cam Little doinked a 49-yard field goal attempt, BYU took it down the field for a touchdown to go back on top. The drive included a third-and-10 conversion and a third-and-8 conversion, the latter of which was via a scramble by Slovis. On the next play, Keelan Marion beat McGlothern on a 37-yard deep ball down the sideline and, two plays later, Chase Roberts made a really nice one-handed catch for a 7-yard touchdown.
FINAL – BYU 38, Arkansas 31
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