January 18, 2019

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — Troy

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks’ sloppy win over Troy.

The Good

  • [singlepic id=260 w=240 h=180 float=right]Welcome to the party Ronnie Wingo.  After rushing for 109 yards on 20 carries (2 rushing TDs), it looks like the light may be starting to come on for the junior running back.  Wingo hit the hole faster and tried to make the ‘one cut and go’ move better than he ever has.  A promising sign.
  • The fast tempo and quality of execution on the Hogs’ first drive of the game was impressive.  The five play, 80-yard fast break — which included a fantastic 37-yard catch by Cobi Hamilton — should have even impressed Hog Basketball Coach Mike Anderson.
  • Tight end Chris Gragg had a nice night with four catches for 68 yards.  Gragg’s freak athleticism and running ability after the catch makes him yet another weapon for this team on offense.  And like he was against Troy, Gragg can be Tyler Wilson’s safety valve when teams try to blitz the Hogs’ quarterback.
  • Honorable Mention:  Great to see Dennis Johnson back out there after injuries kept him out of the last 13 games. …. Fullback Kiero Small made some monster blocks again on Saturday night.  Harry King took notice and was impressed with the “squatty fullback with a linebackers mentality.”

The Bad

  • The Hogs’ secondary finally got tested on Saturday night…and they failed to meet expectations.  While the coverage was usually pretty tight on the Troy receivers, defensive backs Tevin Mitchel, Darius Winston and Isaac Madison failed several times to actually turn their head and try and make a play on the ball.  While Mitchel is a true freshman and still learning, there’s no reason for that lack of execution by the other two veteran defenders.
  • [singlepic id=264 w=240 h=180 float=right]Giving up that many yards to a Sun Belt team brought back some bad memories of Willy Robinson’s defense from a few years ago.  Not sure which is worse…the 457 yards allowed or the fact that just one sack was recorded after saying we were going to “turn the defense loose.”  Not what you want to see before heading into the Alabama game.

The Ugly

  • In a game where the play got incredibly sloppy at the end, several first half quarterback-center exchange problems were mildly disconcerting.  We were hoping Tyler Wilson, who has had his share of problems taking snaps under center in the past, had moved past those issues.
  • The game clock and replay system problems in the second half were embarrassing and added to the sloppiness of the last 30 minutes of the game.  C’mon man…this is not War Memorial Stadium!  Luckily, there’s three weeks to get the problems fixed before Auburn comes to town.

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

TipsterHog also contributed to this post.


  1. Mike in Magnolia says:

    I don’t really know what to take from this game. The o line has me concerned as well as the d line. I just didn’t see the aggressivenes I thought we would have on the defense.

    The Good – Wingo and the first drive.

    The Bad- defesive line

    The Ugly- The defensive line

    What was a euphoric feeling now is reallity and I am really concerned about Saturday’s game.

    Go Hogs!!! Have I mentioned I hate Alabama

  2. For four years now it seems our primary problems are related to defense. With the recruits up there, we should be sailing on both sides of the ball — not struggling to defeat the third best school in Bama.

    Willy, that seat is getting very, very hot. I, for one, am out of patience with the Stache and whoever laughingly “coaches” the secondary.

    All credit to a feisty Troy team, but with the good athletes we have, I know we can play better football than that! Jeez.

    • The ‘Stache, as you call him, coaches the secondary.

      And remember: Willie’s seat isn’t hot until Petrino tells you it is…

      I’d agree we can play better football than that (and we did during the game) but it will be rare in this time of parity in college football that you will simply line up and roll over the best teams in the second tier (but we were doing just that before we took our foot off the gas, hmmmm?).

      Relax and breathe…otherwise it will be a long Game Week.

  3. If you turn on the TV Sundays, you can easily see that modern football has the defenses at severe disadvantages. Check out the college and NFL stats. This is another world we live in where decent offensive athletes feed on the poor, helpless defenders. I am not making a joke, this is the reality. The Alabamas and LSUs of the college scene are the rare exception. I think our defense is as competitive as it has ever been, but the statistics don’t always confirm my conviction. Let’s see what happens Saturday before we call for anyone’s head.