It seemed very appropriate since the crowd was draped in coordinated Red, White and Blue as was the Razorback at mid-field and the logos on Arkansas' helmets in a remembrance of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 tragedy.
Pretty soon after that, New Mexico went down like Apollo Creed as No. 14 Arkansas rolled up a whopping 632 yards total offense to the delight of the 52,606 fans on hand although the Razorbacks did get three starters nicked.
"Again, we came down here and got done what we needed to get done," Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino said. "We had a good week of preparation, I thought our players traveled well. It was good to through our routine in the hotel when we travel. We came out and had a lot of emotion and a lot of focus and did a good job of executing and getting the ball in the end zone.
"Defensively we would have liked to have stopped them more and not allow some of those plays," Petrino said of allowing the Lobos 297 yards total offense. "One thing you are always disappointed in is when you don't get a sack in a game. But we did a nice job of changing the field position and giving the offense the ball in good shape."
"It was really special to come here and see that Hog painted in red, white and blue and the entire atmosphere," Petrino said. "We all know what tomorrow is and we remember that day and know how hard that day was. To be able to come out here and have a special gathering with the people that are able to support our troops and who allow us to do what we love to do. That is the way I look at it. We are very, very lucky to have a military that allows us to do what we love to do.
"I think they (the Razorbacks) really liked the (helmet) style," Petrino added. "They like it when they look good."
Arkansas' 103 points in its first two games is the most in Razorback history since the record-setting 165 scored by the 1911 football squad.
Really the only problem Arkansas had Saturday night was getting some of its top players healthy – three of which were injured in the first half.
Razorback quarterback Tyler Wilson, wideout Jarius Wright and defensive end Jake Bequette all came up lame in the opening half.
"We had three guys that got a little bit nicked up in the game," Petrino said. "Jake tweaked his hamstring a little bit, Jarius Wright strained his knee a little bit and Tyler - at halftime – we noticed as we were going through the script how were going to start out that he did not have the exact focus that you would like.
"So we notified the trainer and he had symptoms of a concussion," Petrino continued. "I don't know if he has a concussion or not, but he did have the symptoms and you know how we go about that nowadays."
Before he left, Wilson was 18-of-26 passing for 259 yards passing and also had 48 yards rushing. But it was his 7-yard touchdown run that would knock him out for the rest of the game.
Unlike last week when Wilson landed on his head while diving for the end zone, Petrino was okay with his attempt to get in for the score this week.
"When you are a quarterback and to be able to do the things that you have to do, you have to be a willing runner," Petrino said. "You have to be able to take off and go get first downs at times. You have to be smart enough to get the first downs and keep yourself healthy. In that instance, where he is running he is trying to score a touchdown and he has a competitive spirit that allows your teammate to see you as a leader. It's hard not to ask somebody not to compete like that."
Wilson's injury gave back-up Brandon Mitchell a whole half to play. Mitchell was 8-of-13 passing for 114 yards an a touchdown and he also rushed for 59 yards a touchdown and a score.
"I thought that was great for Brandon Mitchell to get all of that experience and I was really happy with the way he played and operated," Petrino said. "He really ran the offense, did what he was coached to do and we got to see his physical ability in running the football. I always felt like we will never know how good Brandon is until it is live and he gets out there and gets opportunities to run the ball."
There were plenty of other standouts with Cobi Hamilton hauling in 5 catches for 132 yards and a score, Wright 5 catches for 72 yards and a touchdown, Joe Adams catching 6 passes for 78 yards and rushing twice for 33 yards and Marquel Wade ripping an 85-yard kick return for a score.
While Ronnie Wingo led the rushing attack with 73 yards on 12 carries, it was freshman Kody Walker (10 carries, 32 yards) getting the goal line carries again with a pair of one-yard scoring plunges.
All of that impressed New Mexico head coach Mike Locksley, whose program lost for the 24th time in 26 games.
"Obviously very disappointed in the loss, but Arkansas is a talented team and very deserving of their ranking, as it showed today," Locksley said. "We didn't tackle very well on defense and offensively we could not sustain a drive to help get our defense off the field. That's a good football team."
Hamilton continues to have big games in Little Rock.
"Cobi Hamilton likes Little Rock," Petrino said. "I think that is like three games now where he has had like huge games down here. His ability to run after the catch and his ability to catch the ball in his hands really showed up."
Hamilton has a knack for getting into the end zone at War Memorial and did it again by hauling in a 54-yarder from Mitchell.
"It feels good to go get a long one like that," Hamilton said. "In practice, coach makes us go four yards after the catch and that is something that we always do. It keeps everyone blocking and transfers to the game."
Adams, who had a 75-yard touchdown reception negated by a holding call, lined up at tailback to start the game before drifting back out to his normal wide receiver spot.
"We wanted to get him touches," Petrino said. "Toss him the ball, throw him the ball quick. We know how special he is running with it. We are going to have to continue to do that, to use him as many ways as we can so he gets touches. It was unfortunate that we had a holding on that one play because that would have been a nice touchdown for him. He is very, very explosive, very hard to tackle and I think his confidence is really high right now."
Adams had two touchdowns on punt returns last week, but he and fellow returner Wade were kicked away from this week. Wade did get his chance on kickoff returns and brought one back 85 yards for a score.
"Again we got good play out of our special teams, another touchdown on special teams – which is huge," Petrino said. "We really feel like we have a couple of special returners. We just have to do a great job of coaching everybody else to do their job, get their blocks, give them some room and then we've got a chance to go all the way."
Arkansas rushed for 259 yards, which was much better than the 104 it accumulated in a 51-7 win over Missouri State in the opener.
"I was happy to see Ronnie Wingo break tackles and just about break a long one," Petrino said. "I think we got some good play out of De'Anthony Curtis (7 carries, 18 yards and 3 catches for 29 yards), maybe more so catching the ball. He certainly showed he can help us there. I am really happy with Kody Walker. His ability to run short yardage and goal line for us – we are getting better there. And Brandon's yardage in the run game certainly helped us."
Wingo had 11 carries for 43 yards last week and almost doubled his output on just one more carry on Saturday.
"I think I played well," Wingo said. "The only thing is I fumbled today and that is a sin around here. I just need to make a point of protecting the ball in practice. I feel like I ran the ball better than last week."
Arkansas scored on its first possession, which began with Adams lining up at tailback and ripping off a 15-yard run and Wilson following with a 30-yard bootleg dash.
Two plays later, Wilson hit Wright for a 12-yard score to complete a 4-play, 70-yard sprint down the field. Zach Hocker's PAT made it 7-0 with 13:03 still left in the first quarter.
New Mexico avoided the shut out when James Aho drilled a 47-yard field goal, but Wade ran the kickoff back to put Arkansas up 14-3 with 4:42 left in the opening quarter.
Zach Hocker missed a 48-yarder, but was good on 24-yarder in the second quarter while Walker and Wilson also scored to send the Razorbacks to the half ahead 31-3.
Walker added his second 1-yard run, Hamilton made his big play and Mitchell ran in from 14 yards out to cap the scoring.
All of that impressed New Mexico defensive back Dante Caro.
"They had open space and we missed a couple of open field tackles," Caro said. "They opened us up a bit. We were expecting their speed. We knew they had a lot of speed and they obviously have a great core of receivers."
Jerry Franklin had nine tackles to lead the Razorbacks defense while fellow linebacker Ross Rasner had six.
Arkansas should take a step up in competition next week as it hosts Troy in a 6 p.m. game Saturday night in Fayetteville before heading to Alabama to open SEC action the following weekend.
"Obviously I need to watch the video, but I felt like we did (play better than last week)," Petrino said. "I thought we had better execution, we were playing faster. I felt like we made improvement from a week ago."
Cobi Hamilton uses a stiff arm to break away from a defender.
Joe Adams had over 100 yards rushing and receiving in the game.
Freshman tailback Kody Walker continues to have success on the goal line and now has four touchdowns this season in two games.
Bobby Petrino's team may have won big, but he wasn't always pleased.
Arkansas defenders Greg Gatson, Ross Rasner and Terrell Williams haul down a Lobo.
Marquel Wade heads off on his 85-yard kickoff return.
Ronnie Wingo had 12 carries for a team-high 73 yards.
Tyler Wilson accounted for over 300 yards total offense in the first half before getting injured.
Brandon Mitchell got to lead the Hogs during the entire second half.
Jarius Wright had 5 catches for 72 yards, including a 12-yard TD reception that opened the scoring.