The Porkers didn’t exactly start the 1964 season like champions. In the season opener against Oklahoma State in Little Rock the Hogs lost two fumbles and threw two interceptions. They hung on to win 14-10, but quarterback Fred Marshall was injured in the process.
In the next game against Tulsa backup quarterback Bill Gray, who was also a starting defensive back, had to take the place of the injured Marshall. The Golden Hurricanes burned the Arkansas defense early for two quick touchdowns and led 14-0. But the Hogs took the game over in the third quarter behind Gray’s passing and won the game 31-22.
In the third game against TCU Marshall returned and the offense started to click. Marshall’s first pass was a bullet to Jerry Lamb and the Hogs were on their way.
Against TCU, the Razorbacks made one position change. Defensive tackle Tommy Sain was ill, and was replaced by fourth year junior Jim Williams of Forrest City. Williams would go on to be a key player in the 1964 season. The Hogs beat TCU 29-6 and in the process a folk hero was born: Harry Jones. Jones was a sophomore at the time and playing safety he returned an interception for a touchdown.
The next game was against Baylor at Little Rock. Early in the game the Hogs drove the length of the field and were about to score when Baylor’s Bobby Maples intercepted a Marshall pass and took off down the field. But he was caught by guard Jerry Jones who not only brought Maples down but forced a fumble that Arkansas recovered.
The Hogs went on to beat the Bears 17-6, highlighted by Marshall’s 202 passing yards.
The Hogs had struggled but they were 4-0 and ranked #8 in the nation by the AP. The Baylor win set up a showdown in Austin against the #1 ranked Texas Longhorns.
Next up: The 1964 Texas Game.