FAYETTEVILLE — The short video clip has made its rounds on social media all week, serving as the perfect picture of Arkansas’ overpowering win at Texas Tech.

FAYETTEVILLE — The short video clip has made its rounds on social media all week, serving as the perfect picture of Arkansas’ overpowering win at Texas Tech.


Dan Skipper, Arkansas’ 6-foot-10 offensive lineman, used his right arm to fling a helpless defensive tackle to the turf on a draw play in the first quarter. On the surface, it was an eye-opening display of Paul Bunyan-like strength. But Skipper wanted to clear something up about the block earlier this week: It took some unrecognized help from Arkansas center Mitch Smothers to accomplish the feat.


"When you see the side view it looks like I really got the guy," Skipper said Tuesday. "But Mitch on a back block really knocked him across. … And when Mitch gets someone rolling out my way it doesn’t take a whole lot to sling him."


Whether Skipper had the help or not, the play will remain the lasting image of the sophomore’s best performance as a Razorback.


The left tackle, who has gained notoriety largely because he walks the fine line between aggressiveness and dirty play on a snap-by-snap basis, was noticeable on all fronts in helping Arkansas roll over the Red Raiders.


He’ll remain key to Arkansas’ success Saturday, too, when the Razorbacks (2-1) try to repeat the feat against Northern Illinois (3-0) and its sound defense. The good news, according to Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman, is that Skipper’s well-known tenacity is being matched by his technical performance at the position.


"He’s always played hard, but that was kind of his forte. ‘This is bad. This is bad. But he plays hard and he finishes people,’" Pittman said. "That’s not the case anymore. He can fit you, he can lift you, he can pass protect. He’s all-around now. I think he graded out at 94 percent, and we say if you grade out at 85, you can probably win an SEC game. I thought we could have won a lot of games with his play on Saturday."


Of course, it doesn’t mean Pittman is breathing any easier with Skipper on the field.


Skipper still scares him. Pittman lets the lineman know it all the time.


The reason? It hasn’t taken Skipper long to develop a reputation as being one of the nastiest players in the Southeastern Conference. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said earlier this month Skipper has become a "marked man" as he fights the urge to carry on after the whistle. And it’s no surprise the trait means Skipper is disliked by opponents, creating some interesting one-on-one confrontations during games.


"He’s in on every play," Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen said. "It seems like he’s usually the last one blocking right up until the whistle on every play. He’s been mentioned being like the most hated linemen ever, but he plays within the rules. He does things well. I think his physicality and his mentality that he’s going to try and flatten you up until that whistle blows is what a lot of people don’t like."


Arkansas defensive end JaMichael Winston, who has seen his share of Skipper’s antics in practices and scrimmages, said the tackle can get under your skin.


He’s a defensive lineman’s nightmare. It was evident last Saturday, when a Texas Tech defender earned a 15-yard penalty after growing tired of Skipper’s antics.


"Not for me, but for other players that don’t like him it can be difficult," Winston said. "Because he is a very physical guy and he’s going to get after you every play. There ain’t no plays off with Dan."


Arkansas’ fear is that the ticking time bomb will explode at a bad time. They don’t want Skipper — who is the most likely Razorback to tangle with teammates during practices — to go too far and draw a costly penalty. Or, even worse, an ejection.


Skipper did lose his cool on occasions last season. He has coaxed opponents into doing the same. In fact, Skipper said he took a cheap shot in the "nether region" by a Texas Tech defender last week, but shrugged it off by calling it a "grazer."


In a small way, Allen described the reaction as a sign of Skipper’s maturation.


"I think last year he got heated a lot," Allen said. "He would get caught up in the moment and he would want to throw the punch. This year, he’s matured a lot more. I think what he does well right now is he gets the other team riled up where they want to punch him and he doesn’t swing back."


Pittman knows it won’t be the last time Skipper is involved in an incident in one way or another. The lineman has become a target because of his temper, giving opponents opportunities to test his willingness to fight back. But Pittman also believes Skipper has embraced the bad guy role and is fine "if he’s smart about it."


Skipper understands the importance of staying under control. He can’t change his intensity on the field or the reaction it receivers, calling football his "release." But Skipper said the persona doesn’t dominate who he is in other walks of life.


"I don’t walk around class throwing people," Skipper said. "I mean, I’m pretty quiet. I sit down and listen to the teacher. I’m pretty low key. I’m not going to be the center of attention. That’s not my goal in life."


Still, learning to harness the aggression on the field is an ongoing process.


"I feel like I’m a smarter player," Skipper said. "Still, every time I watch film I’m like wow, ‘That was stupid. Why did I do that?’ In the moment I feel like I’m starting to get a little bit better. I’ll just try to get better each week."


The results of Skipper’s controlled madness can be impressive. It was evident last week, when the infamous one-armed block was just one of his 80 offensive snaps.


No one likes having to deal with a tenacious offensive lineman who pushes the envelope the entire game. But Bielema — a former defensive lineman — believes Skipper deserves respect because his performance is starting to match the intensity.


"Dan doesn’t necessarily talk with his mouth. He talks with the way he plays," Bielema said. "I think he’s the first to admit he has grown every day in the way the game is supposed to be played and the true reward is when you turn the film on Sunday and see how really, really good he’s playing."