December 15, 2017

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — UTEP

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks’ win over UTEP.

The Good

  • Knile Davis (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)Saturday night marked only the second time in the Bobby Petrino era that the Hogs had more rushing yards (326) than passing yards (251).  Knile Davis led the way on the ground with an impressive 182 yards on 11 carries.  Quite an accomplishment when you consider the struggles in the running game that this team had to start the season.
  • Ryan Mallett continues to set staggering passing records.  In a little under two seasons, Mallett’s five touchdowns against UTEP now gives him 54 for his career.  That leaves him just three TDs short of the all-time school record held by Clint Stoerner (57).
  • Chris Gragg showed he is the heir apparent to senior D.J. Williams at tight end.  The third-year sophomore from Warren, who is basically a wide receiver trapped in a tight end’s body, caught four passes for 44 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
  • On defense, Tramain Thomas turned in another super performance.  Thomas blocked a first quarter field goal attempt, and then followed that up with a second quarter interception — his fourth of the season to lead the team.

The Bad

  • Easily the worst play made by the Hogs on Saturday was gifting a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to UTEP.  Credit talented UTEP returner Marlon McClure for making something out of nothing.  But that’s no excuse for the ‘lowlight’ turned in by what has mostly been a bad kickoff coverage unit all season.
  • Not as much bad as it was funny — Hog punter Dylan Breeding was almost ‘missing in action’ for his first appearance of the game late in the second quarter.  Breeding did finally sprint onto the field with about 12-14 seconds left on the play clock.  With temperatures in the upper-30s, that sideline heater must have felt pretty good, huh Dylan?

The Ugly

  • While UTEP was hardly a worthy enough opponent to warrant many boos from the crowd, they did do one thing to piss us off.  Before running onto the field, the Miners buried their cermonial axe into the $1.2 million artificial turf of Razorback Stadium.  Yeah…you’ll be receiving a repair bill this week, Coach Price.  And no…we don’t accept company credit cards.

Of course, we can’t possibly mention everything that was “Good, Bad and Ugly.”  What did we leave out?

Walking on Sunshine also contributed to this post.

  • soupdhog

    Seriously? They cut the turf with their axe? Wow. I suppose they’ll only make $695,000 instead of $700,000 for this game.

    • Jim Dogg

      It’s a pick-axe. Makes only a small hole.

      • Small hole or not…we must protect this house! 😉

  • Carolina Hog

    Good: Having a coaching staff who can take something that is our weakness (like a running game) and turn it into a strength by the 7th game of the season. We’ve had coaches who could go all year without correcting our flaws (like a passing game).

  • Hawgfan100

    Add to that the fact we went from abysmal in punt returns to #1 in the conference and #4 nationally (as of this week). Now, if we could only get some progress made on kick offs (coverage and returns). :^/

  • OlyWaHog

    You’d think for $1.2M, the turf would look better (less shiny) on TV.

  • Carolina Hog

    Bad: I’m red/green color blind and when we wear all red I can’t see a damn thing.

  • tomahog

    The good is our building of the high octane offense each week. You nailed the bad, but the ugly? It had to be Bequette’s continued celebration when the UTEP quarterback was injured and in obvious pain. I felt more respect was due to an injured player regardless of which team he plays for.

    TB

    • Carolina Hog

      Agreed. I wasn’t sure Bequette knew yet the seriousness of it. I hope not.

  • Beans, Greens and Co

    The Good: Victory! Settling down and executing game plan… The Ugly: Slow start on D and STs… The Bad: STs…100-yard KOR …uh,uh…Thats a no-no … Got to finish plays on KOs and KORs … The execution was there by forcing UTEP to the sideline… And then all h-ll broke loose … Did not contain or use the sideline and miss, miss, miss and miss AGAIN poorly attempted tackling… everyone reaching and grabbing. This was a TRAP game … whereas the Backs may have been on their tip-toes looking past UTEP a little. Those two quick UTEP scores was a pop- in- the-mouth wake up call. A show of Mental toughness by the Hogs. Must start fast and finish strong @MSST. WPS! GHG!!!

  • Hawgfan100

    I don’t believe Jake knew how serious the damage was on Vittatoe. Jake is an all-around class act, not like that criminal scum fairley at auburn.

    • HOG FAN n MOBILE AL

      I couldn’t have described Fairley any better. OUTRAGEOUS!!

  • I would rate everything as “GOOD”, except for our defensive secondary coverage (bad, at times) and our STs coverage. (simply ugly)

    I still hate those stinking red pants though, but I can live with it as long as we’re winning.

    GO HOGS GO, BABY!!!!!