January 18, 2019

The Good, The Bad and The Very Ugly — Alabama

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks’ very ugly loss to Alabama.

The Good

  • [singlepic id=293 w=240 h=180 float=right]On a day when there wasn’t much to cheer about, the Hogs second quarter goal-line stand was encouraging.  The defense bowed up and stopped ‘Bama from the 1-yard line on three consecutive plays, with Alonzo Highsmith breaking free to make two of the stops in the series.
  • Say what you want to about Tyler Wilson, but Saturday he proved he’s one tough hombre.  The Tide never let up in its pursuit, chasing and hitting Wilson until he was wisely removed from the game early in the fourth quarter.  Of course, we’d all prefer that Wilson stay as clean as Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron did for most of the day.
  • Honorable Mention:  Cobi Hamilton’s amazing, acrobatic third quarter touchdown catch in the back of the end zone.  Ranked #6 on ESPN Top Plays of the Day.  ….  The Hogs only got into the Red Zone twice, but did at least convert both for touchdowns.  For the season, they have converted 15-for-15 in the Red Zone with 12 TDs.

The Bad

  • For a team that didn’t need any more injuries, the defense suffered three more Saturday.  Defensive end Tenarius Wright, cornerback Isaac Madison and safety Tramain Thomas suffered injuries that did not allow them to finish the game.  Wright’s fractured left arm injury appeared to be the worst…possibly season-ending according to Quinn Grovey on the radio broadcast.
  • You don’t realize how far away the Hogs are on defense until you see the Tide do their thing.  Bama’s ability to play a Tampa two-deep zone (sometimes even three-deep) with six defensive backs for much of the game…and STILL hold the Hogs to 17 rushing yards on 19 carries speaks volumes.  They are in a league of their own.
  • [singlepic id=307 w=240 h=180 float=right]Honorable Mention:  Not calling timeout before the successful Alabama fake field goal.  Bobby Petrino admitted afterwards, “I did think of calling timeout and didn’t get it done.  That’s my fault.”

The Ugly

  • The Hogs’ punt coverage team includes two offensive lineman who would have trouble covering anything but a breakfast buffet.  The bumbling attempts by the entire unit to tackle Marquis Maze on his 83-yard touchdown return was painful to watch.  With the depth of skill players on this team, there’s no reason why the Razorbacks shouldn’t have excellent kick coverage units.
  • There are some things as a defense you should never do, and stunt and loop with your defensive linemen in goal line situations is one of those.  Eddie Lacy’s 4-yard touchdown walk in the third quarter was right through a hole vacated by defensive tackle Byran Jones who was looping to the outside.  Go watch the film…it happened.  Willy, you’ve got to do better than that.  C’mon man.

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.



    • chris morley says:

      your right, he has no heart at all, he is scared of contact, maybe we should use bran mitchell, hes not scared to get hit, and hes pretty big and fast. I say we start over with someone else.

      • Carolina Hog says:

        Maybe, maybe not. I didn’t see any holes that Knile Davis would do any better with and Dennis Johnson is sure as hell not afraid of contact and he couldn’t get going. I believe it is more likely an offensive line issue with Wingo as a convenient scapegoat.

      • Agree Carolina. Wingo wasn’t the problem. Trent Richardson couldn’t have run through what our O line was not opening up.

        Chris Stafford, you do know you can turn off the “Caps Lock” key on your computer keyboard, right?

      • I’ll have to side with either Chris here. Wingo does not run behind his pads, he does not run downhill, he is not even a convincing scat back. He has too much speed to be that slow to the hole. Give Johnson and the freshmen a shot. Wingo is a good third down back, maybe a slot reciever.

  2. The Good: Highsmith on defense … The Bad: (U choose). No running game (speed is great but this aint T&F… there is a great need for physicality); STs blunder; coaching the moment … When in doubt call Timeout! … The Ugly: The glaring superiority… But All is not lost, The oppurtunity to bounce back next week is coming … If u wish to be included the SEC elite and refocus and regain purpose then a win is a must. Give A&M another SEC type whipping!!! WPS GHG!!!

  3. chris morley says:

    our defense seems to lack courage sometimes, maybe they get it from willy, he doesnt have the killer instinct. so of course they wont either. I didnt see much “good” we looked like a sunbelt team gettin beat the f*** up out there. Now we are all banged up and couldnt afford to lose anyone else. Im afraid that we all may have drank the koolaid this year and we were wide eyed about the promised land, including myself, I drank a bunch of it. without a deep threat and absoloutly no running game, we cant hang out hat on crossing routes and litle dumps in the flat. an 8 win season doesnt look too bad now, now that we know how “good” we really are, or arent. WPS, I still love the hogs, just maybe shouldnt have drank the koolaid in august, next year we should wait till october 🙂

    • Carolina Hog says:

      I don’t think you learn how good you are by playing cupcakes and sometimes you don’t learn how good you are by playing the best team in the country. We know we are not up there with Alabama, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t better than most other people in the country. This week will be our first true barometer.

    • As I have said, set goals and then reach them one by one. Half way to a bowl, get to six wins, and then work toward a quality bowl game. Little steps for little feet.

    • Childs, Wright, Hamilton, and Adams are not deep threats? If Mallet had played with this OL last year against Bama or LSU, he would just becoming out of his body cast.

      • Carolina Hog says:

        That’s exactly right. Throwing deep is a function of time and Wilson is not getting it.

      • That or throwing short and getting big yac. Looks like Bama at least has learned from the last couple of seasons: keep our receivers in front, don’t make risky plays on the ball, and smack the hell out them when they catch it.

        If we don’t adjust, receivers and staff, long pass plays may become few and far between…

  4. Without a running game (Knile Davis) we wont beat a few teams. When Knile stepped it up last year we looked like a totally different offense. Wingo is not going to run against real SEC opponents. I thought we would contend with Bama this year, but once I saw we couldn’t run a yard for 2 quarters we were finished. I hope we can turn it around and someone will step up the running game to open up the offense.

    Once again for the 5th year in a row we get to see Bama beat us again. This is very frustrating as an Arkansas fan.

  5. While Ronnie Wingo may not be a Trent Richardson or Felix Jones, he likely would have gained 100+ yards with an offensive line like Alabama’s blocking for him. I agree Wingo is a scapegoat, I believe even our heralded Knile Davis would be having a tough time this year.

    TAMU will be instructive, a better indication of whether we were grossly overrated or Alabama was underrated. That game is Tuscaloosa was painful to watch. Props to Wilson for staying in the pocket and making some good throws and praise to our defense for not giving up too much.

  6. Defense Wins Champio says:

    Speak our minds? I am not sure whether that is a good thing or bad thing! Nevertheless, this game tells us to not to put any stock in the talking heads and written media before the season opens as to how good our defenses and our offenses will be. Both were struggling! McGee seems to say that they just cannot carry out their assignments and I suppose that is a fair assessment. Seems as if the coaches have made many recruiting mistakes if this is the fighting spirit that they have. And who is our defensive and offensive line coaches. Oh well, it is just a game..nothing more…nothing less. Let’s move on. No doubt Alabama and LSU are top of the heap with a determination yet to be made re: Florida. Just because we pay millions in annual coach salaries is proving to not make a difference but we like most of the coaches. So, let’s not get on them too badly. They certainly want the team to be ready. However, I sure do miss our great running attacks of yore. That shortens the game and gives the defense time to rest. Except for Alabama, LSU, and Florida, I am beginning to realize that the rest of the SEC is perhaps over rated.

    • SEC is overated? Relative to what. Looking at the polls. The “experts” still consider the SEC the best in the country. MSU has been a disappointment, Auburn was expected to drop, Georgia is better than its record (lost to the 4 and 10 teams respectively) Tennessee and Vanderbilt are pleasant surprises. Ole Miss is not good but competitive and although Kentucky appears bad they are not as bad as the bottom feeders in the other conferences (Indiana, Oregon State, Kansas, Duke, Syracuse etc). Based on the USA Today poll I would say that if any conference is overrated it’s the Big !0 (so what’s new, they are always overrated – except for Wisconsin – watch out Nebraska this team is not typical of your grandfather’s Big Ten OSU dominated teams). Things will sort themselves out as to which is the better conference. It may have gone under the radar, but the polls think that the SEC is number 1 and the big 12 is number 2. So guess whose playing in Arlington for the honor of their respective conferences. As soon as the “experts” on ESPN figure this out there will be some interesting hype for this game.

  7. The offensive line is partially to blame, but they’re lack of production is expected, and I would think our coaches would do things to highlight their strengths. But when Ronnie is getting chased down by Jesse Williams from behind, he’s got a problem. No excuses.

  8. I Like Pigs says:

    Bill Parcells says, “You’re never as good… or as bad, as you think.” And so it is with the Hogs. They were out played by a much better team.

    For those of you arguing about whether it’s Wingo or the offensive line, it’s both.

  9. We will never see the true talent of Ronnie Wingo until we see the O-line come together.

    The most glaring weakness this team has is the inept STs coverages. We seen it against lesser competition in the first 3 games, but blew it off because it didn’t seem to matter. Does it matter now?

    What bothers me the most is the fact they were terrible last season and they’re still terrible.

    Also, we have a real issue now with the mounting injuries. Can’t have too many more of those and still be able to compete in this league.

    A&M is next. Their pass D was exposed by OSU’s QB. (Weeden) Could be good news for the Hogs explosive WRs and Tyler Wilson.

    OSU’s D really isn’t all that good, but Tannyhill still threw 3 INTs in the 2nd half.

    • I’d expect TAMU to have cleaned some of that up (INTs and vulnerability to short passing game) by the time our game rolls around.

  10. Expectations had a head on collision with reality and reality won. We are picking up the pieces and hope to be ready for Texas A&M. Bottom line, we have a lot a work to do to meet our expectations but let us keep fighting. I believe we will get there perhaps not a soon as we would like but we will get there.

  11. You know what? We looked like crap Saturday, but that’s okay. We can rebound this week (and I think we will) and go on to have a good season. I want so badly to get over the hump and get that breakthrough win, but we are in a good place as a program. When our frustration comes from not being able to beat the best team in the country on the road (instead of laying eggs in games we SHOULD win), things are getting better. Petrino isn’t perfect and there were a few lapses on Saturday (no TO on the fake FG, the 4th-and-1 call in the 3Q) but I wouldn’t trade him for another coach in the country.

    Saturday was a temporary setback…nothing more.

  12. In looking back, I thought the Defense played better than I expected against the best team in the SEC and maybe the USA. The defense didn’t let Bama into the end zone in the first half. Plus that goal line stand was amazing. Sure the defense was beat up badly in the second half but still held their own most of the time. If you take away the three TDs given up by special teams the D only gave up 17 points to a great team. Of course, Bama’s D took us apart piece by piece. Kudos to Tyler Wilson, one very tough guy! And his receivers did a good job of hanging on to the ball. This team still can win some games but Bama is in a league of their own. Our special teams haven’t been “special” or even acceptable in a LONG TIME.

  13. My (un)credibilty (according to Gonzo) says an overlooked good was Zac Hocker booming them into the end zone. But you’ve got to score to make him more effective. Insofar as the kicking game is concerned, Breeding is adequate but Arkansas’ history of poor punt coverage requires more. Either hang time or distance. LSU found a punter from Australia who had the TV commentators stunned. He kept putting the ball inside the ten consistently with distance and reverse English. The announcers said (and I agree) that the punter was a very important part of LSU’s victory forcing WVU to go 90+ yards on every possession. One of life’s mysteries to me is why with all the soccer and rugby players around that teams would not have good kicking games. That coaches would treat the kicking game like they would the selection of the waterboy or team manager. (I was at my grandson’s freshman game at Morrilton recently and his team had a kicker that could put the ball into the end zone – a 9th grader!). Another good was Johnson’s kickoff returns. Dennis was carrying tacklers 10 yards or so; what a warrior! If only Arkansas tacklers could get to the ball carriers like Bama’s did.

    The bad: Already discussed. the OL is terrible, at least against Bama, both in the run and passing games. Hopefully Bama’s defense was really that good. I would suggest that HOG coaches get films of the LSU-WVU game. The WVU OL kept Geno Smith vertical for the whole game. LSU was supposed to have a good pass rush but it wasn’t evident in that game. The Tigers simply couldn’t get to Smith, who even had excellent blocking by RBs. I couldn’t figure out how the Mountaineers were doing this and still getting a reduced number of receivers open. If Arkansas is going to win any more games they’ve got to give Wilson time or perfect the routes to get the ball out quickly. Smith had Heisman numbers even in a losing cause.

    Bone head call. Sending a freshman running back ino the teeth of the Alabama defense on 4th and one outside of field goal range. That situation called for some creativity on the edge. Give it to Adams and tell him get that 1 yard. Coaches choked on that one. That call reminded of one of Nutt’s nuttier calls. Freshman Nathan Dick on a 4th and one on Arkansas’ 17 and Houston calls for a quarterback sneak (?). Won the game for USC who only had 16 yards to go for the eventual winning margin. A&M is looking at tapes and are going to come at Wilson. OL better get to work.

    • Jim,

      Read these words…..L-E-T I-T G-O. You’re only making yourself look dumber and dumber by calling me out.

      Ok, tell you what, how ’bout I just conseed to your mind boggling, college football expertice and just agree that you know it all? Would that shut you up?

      • Hey, I agree with you. I definately agree with you. I am not an expert. Just expressing my opinion. You can disagree with me but don’t tell me to shut up. You sound like a progressive, wanting to shut people up. As far as the ad hominems are concerned, “dumb and dumber” and “mind boggling” that’s as Alvin Barkely would say, “so uncivilized” and undignified a comment. I reserve my Constitutional right to sound dumb.

        I just posted another comment before reading this referring to my credibilty but I will swear never to bring it up again. Nor to question your credibilty, as such, which I never have. You win. Satisfied.

  14. The O-line has been terrible all year. Wingo’s only decent runs in all 4 games have been through 4 gaping holes. I have never seen Davis nor Johnson shy away from a hit like Wingo and he goes down on the first touch. Johnson at least shows some toughness on his few touches. If he gets a chance to get his rythm, he will do much better than Wingo.

    Petrino is still the man for the job but it is obvious that the Hogs are still a year or two from being an elite team.

  15. That big run to end the year last year, fueled by Davis, had everyone a bit ahead of themselves, reading their press clippings, even the coaching staff. We did not come to play. Our game plan was poor on both sides of the ball. The loss of Davis and Childs makes this a very different team. Childs running set up Bobby’s passing game and Childs effort and great catches drove all the other recievers to excel.

    Cobi and Joe are the real deal. That is where this team must go for production. Tyler has shown the will. Now Bobby has to remake a game plan.

  16. At this point….I am about ready for the Razorbacks just to start paying to get good players so that we can win a national championship…I am tired of watching these games where we can’t get over the hump…Who cares if we win the championship and vacate it later…We still get to go through the season with the happiness of seeing our team win the national title…Auburn fans got to experience this last year, and they won’t care when it is vacated 4 years from now because of all the Cam Newton stuff that everybody will find out….I would like to see the Razorbacks win a national championship before I did…and I’m only 36..Unfortunately….it’s not looking like that is going to happen…