Some random thoughts after watching the Razorbacks’ big win over Missouri State.
- We have to start with the first play of the game. Dennis Johnson’s opening kickoff return TD (the second of his short career) made sure the Hogs got off on the right foot this season. All 11 players did their part, but a huge block by Van Stumon was key to springing Johnson.
- Quarterbacks Ryan Mallett and Tyler Wilson were almost flawless. Shattering the school single-game passing mark of 387 yards, both were as sharp as you could hope for to start the season. 10.9 yards per attempt is off the charts.
- Of course, all those passes had to be caught by someone. Receiver Jarius Wright was racking up yards all night, while Joe Adams turned a routine wide receiver screen into a 40-yard touchdown with his extra effort. And despite Mallett firing bullets, Razorback receivers did not drop a pass all night. In all, thirteen different players caught at least one pass on Saturday night.
- Several freshmen got a chance to gain some valuable early experience. David Gordon, Cobi Hamilton, Austin Moss, Colton Nash, Anthony Oden, Terrell Williams and Darius Winston all saw action. True freshmen running backs Ronnie Wingo, Jr. and Knile Davis ran hard, ripped off big chunks of yards and looked good in their debut.
- While he did eventually plunge across for a first quarter touchdown, Broderick Green was denied five other times inside the Bears 5-yard line. Partial credit to the Bears’ defense but we didn’t see Green ‘delivering the blow’ that you want to see from a back his size. We’re still not sold that this team’s short yardage problems from a year ago are solved.
- Kicker Alex Tejada was sporting a new number on Saturday night: #2. And two is also the number of field goals that Tejada successfully converted. Unfortunately, it’s also the number of kickoffs that he kicked out of bounds. Which leads us to…
- Minus the kickoff return touchdown to start the game, the special teams play was bad. Having three kickoffs go out of bounds was worse than just the usual ‘opening game sloppy.’ A muffed punt, a kick catch interference penalty and allowing a long kickoff return (setting up Missouri State’s only touchdown drive) will give special teams coach John L. Smith plenty to work on during the bye week.
- Cox sucks, and we don’t mean Georgia starting quarterback Joe Cox. How many monkeys does it take to put on a simple pay-per-view channel once a year where paying customers actually get to see the ENTIRE game??? Don’t ask Cox Cable…they wouldn’t know.
- We’ve heard the excuse about how it was some sort of satellite signal problem. Whatever…that supposed ‘glitch’ didn’t seem to be affecting any of your competitors. Customers on DirecTV, Dish Network and U-Verse were reportedly just fine. Maybe it’s time for Hog fans on Cox to find a new ‘friend in the digital age.’
Update 5:30 p.m. – Cox Cable is now (finally) apologizing and saying it will be “automatically issuing a 100 percent full refund to all customers who ordered the game.” Full text of the press release is over at WholeHogSports.com. Our response: competition is a great motivator.
Walking on Sunshine also contributed to this post.