October 23, 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — LSU

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks blowout loss in Baton Rouge to LSU.

The Good

  • Well…a lot of things can be said about Friday’s performance, but one thing is for sure — the Hogs were ready out of the gate.  Their 14-0 start, given the emotional week after losing teammate Garrett Uekman last Sunday, was a testament to the coaches and their preparation.
  • Senior free safety Tramain Thomas did everything he could to aid the Razorbacks cause.  Thomas was directly responsible for both turnovers (forced fumble, interception).  And his 14 total tackles, many after LSU backs were found running wild into the secondary, led the team.
  • Honorable Mention:  Dylan Breeding started the game with two monster punts that put LSU inside their 10-yard line.  Breeding’s first punt, a 70-yard effort, was the longest of his career.

The Bad

  • The two things we were most worried about — protecting the quarterback and stopping the LSU running game — turned out to be the difference in the game.  The Tigers had Tyler Wilson running for his life, sacking him five times.  Meanwhile, Willy Robinson’s defense allowed LSU to roll up 286 rushing yards on 46 carries (6.2 yards per carry).  Tough to watch.
  • Cobi Hamilton’s third quarter 60-yard run after catch had the Hogs on the verge of tying the game at 21.  But the drive stalled on second and goal when quarterback Brandon Mitchell was inserted to run his goal-line package.  A low shotgun snap resulted in a loss of 6 yards, and after a Wilson incompletion, the Hogs were forced to settle for a Zach Hocker 29-yard field goal.
  • Honorable Mention:  If we hear the words “Honey Badger” one more time….ugh.  Don’t get us started.

The Ugly

  • Coach Petrino was visibly upset by LSU’s continued passing (up three scores) and final field goal that made it 41-17 with 5:08 remaining in the game.  CBS cameras caught Petrino pointing across to the LSU sideline while yelling obscenities.  While we know it was a long week, there is nobody to blame for the inability to stop LSU but the coaches and players who reside on the Arkansas sideline.

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

  • OwassoHog

    Your ugly was my good… love the fire, hate the Mad Hater! ;-)

    • spqr

      Arkansas put over 40 points on 4 opponents and over 50 on two others. Alabama scored very late on Arkansas with the game in hand. Why didn’t Petrino yell at Nick Saban? Petrino was embarrassed and took the immature way out of a bad situation he could not control. He made a fool of himself nationally (again) and yells at his players far too much. Give it to LSU. They played the toughest schedule in the nation and won big while we beat 7 teams with losing records. We have a long way to go to catch LSU and Alabama. Sorry. Just the facts. Michigan State next?

  • http://therazorbackblogger.com GonzoHog

    I have no problem with CBP’s reaction, but it didn’t look like yelling to me. I’ve seen him yell.

    If I were to pick something ugly, I’d say it definately has to be the booing Jordan Jefferson and Les Miles recieved by the LSU “fans”, down 14-0.

    If that had been Tyler Wilson in the same situation, I would be ashamed to call myself a Razorback fan,…ugly.

  • http://www.sethgunderson.com sg

    Good

    * The poise and fire that Arkansas came out with in the 1st and (start of) 2nd quarters was amazing. A tough week with the loss of a teammate.

    * The offensive drive that spanned the end of the 1st Qtr to the 2nd was great.

    * Defense turning a TO into a TD was wild and had our living room hopping like crazy.

    * I liked BMFP’s reaction to Miles. There’s no love-loss between those two.

    Bad

    * Tyler Wilson’s protection, or, lack thereof (and once again, he’s a really tough kid)

    * Not the call to put Mitchell in, but the snap was horrible. Not that it may have mattered, though, as the play looked to be sniffed out.

    Ugly

    * Arkansas’ defensive game plan that apparently can’t adjust mid-stream. LSU prodded the D for a while and then found something the Hogs couldn’t stop in the first half (the option and, apparently, a passing Jordan Jefferson). Then, once adjustments were made, LSU crammed the ball down our throat the entire second half. Extremely hard to stop a team when the defense is on the field for so long.

    * Special Teams coverage broke down during that punt return, which wasn’t really anything special (see Joe Adams’ returns). @NWAMatt said that the TD might be on Breeding for punting the wrong way, but there were four Hogs defenders that just missed a chance to grab Mathieu.

    * Arkansas’ running game was decent against lesser teams but was nowhere to be found against LSU or Alabama. I don’t know if Knile would have done any better this year — you can’t run when there aren’t holes to run through.

    * Turnovers: DJ’s fumble was deflating. Gragg’s was unfortunate. Wilson’s pick was head-scratching.

    * BCS Style Points — if Miles was concerned about securing his #1 ranking by running up the score, then shame on the BCS for making coaches be concerned with having more blow-out wins on their resume.

  • marion L pickens

    well someone needs to get that review ref some coke bottle glasses!! our player was down before the ball came out!! if we could have scored at that point we might have been able to pull it out!!like maybe we score and on the kick off they fumble and we go up a touchdown on them!!! anyway the hogs played a very good team that will win the national championship off of their feet for awhile!!the hogs can hold their head up!with the loss of a team mate and playing in death valley where they couldn’t hear the snap count they did great!!—-oh and by the way they say LSU is going to be better next year!!!——blueser!!!!

    • uvahog

      Amen to that. The fumble review was one of the worst calls I’ve seen across the country all year and I’ve seen too many.

      • NielsBoar

        The two last year against Auburn were way worse than this one. I actually thought it was a pretty clear fumble. That was the play of the game to me. I thought LSU took control after that point.

    • Anonymous

      It was definitely a fumble! Nobody cares about excuses, just have to be good enough to win tough games. Looked like the defense kind of layed down in the fourth quarter.

    • Jim Dogg

      I was at the game and only saw the fumble on the stadium screen, and not very clearly. What I want to know is what the announcers said about it, fumble or no? Ball loose before he was down or not? I have come to rely more on announcers (and they have their favorites) than SEC officials. If the announcers thought that the ball was coming out, well then OK. But I interpreted the very long, long delay, not to where the ball should be spotted but trying to get evidence that the ball was coming out. Some of you remember the Texas NCAA basketball game years ago that Richardson walked out on where the chickee who was doing the color showed Mayberry, over and over and over until she finally detected something that might possibly be an intentional foul. That was the old SWC, which was even more corrupt than the SEC. Will someone tell me what the announcers said?

  • Pete

    To say LSU is a good football team is a given. I only say one Arkansas good and that was the TD drive, everything else sucked. Now for the rest of the story:

    I don’t know how many of you have seen the interview by Les Miles on Satuday night, but that is one arrogant bastard. Not once in the interview did he mention Arkansas. The look on his face during the entire interview was one of “I am the top god”. Miles seems to forget it isn’t him or the other coaches who are #1, but the LSU football players. With the talent LSU has, any decent coach could do the same thing. During the interview he actually looked like he was either drunk or stoned, or maybe both.

    • http://therazorbackblogger.com GonzoHog

      Les is pretty arrogant most of the time. He’s a genuine smirking jackass. Really hard to like that guy.

  • Roadhog

    The beautiful: Hogs coaches and players went down to Red Stick to paint and maybe play a little football. Although they failed to achieve a high aesthetic in the football contest, they nevertheless had an enriching cultural experience and filled several mental canvases with uplifting images of lower Mississippi River culture. One enthusiastic Hogs special teamer, while touring the city, was heard to ask, “Where’s the stick?” Following the game Coach Petrino was so gracious as to comment about Coach Miles’s family. A good time was had and many fond memories recorded, especially by Razorbacks juniors and seniors who will not have the opportunity to compete in that venue again.

  • http://www.razorbloggers.net/index.php/2010/10/arkansas-24-texas-am-17/ LRHog326

    Totally agree that if we don’t want the score to keep rising against us, we should stop it. This weekend was all about style points — everyone trying to look super powerful. Did Auburn cry and cuss when Bama laid big points on them? Hate to say it, but BP looks like a foul-tempered cry baby. The last thing we need is a bunch of already thin-skinned fans being led by a thin-skinned head coach. I’m sure I’m in the minority on this point, but BP’s rudeness to TV interviewers and to opposing coaches only hurts the team, the school, and the fans. Let the blasting begin…

    • lj

      yep you are.l

    • Roadhog

      LRH326: I’ll join you in that minority opinion that Petrino’s sometimes-rude personality reflects badly on the school, the team, the state of Arkansas. . .and upon himself. He seems emotionally immature to me when he’s under stress, perhaps from being so single-minded, but I’ve come to like him better as a person as time has gone on. When he first arrived his personality was very flat. That may have been partly because of the situation he fled in Atlanta. He has taken a lot of flak from the sporting press, and there’s a reason for that. I’m not willing to turn a blind eye to his bad behavior just because he wins a lot of football games. I’ve spent a lot more time at the UofA, in Arkansas, and in the world than he has, and I don’t want to see him lower the image of Arkansas any more than it already is.

      • mohogg

        I think you are right Roadhog. I’ve been around long enough to recognize bad behavior when I see it. He better fix that or things will never get better.

  • Anonymous

    There are about 4 things that come to mind as to why we lost this game…Actually, a lot more, but I will keep it at 4..

    1. Facemask penalty on Highsmith absolutely killed us.

    2. Punt return for the TD killed us

    3. Brandon Mitchell’s first play of the game was a goal line play? We were driving the ball, Tyler Wilson was in a groove…why insert Mitchell at that point in time..We all saw how it turned out…

    4. WILLY ROBINSON’S DEFENSE….Enough said about that…He absolutely needs to go…We cannot and will not get over the hump with him as the defensive coordinator.

    Honorable mention…..I actually don’t really think that our offensive game plan was that great either…If Tyler Wilson was in so much trouble…why didn’t I see more timing routs, or short crossing routes…It just didn’t seem like we had a game plan to deal with a better defense…It’s like we thought that the same gameplan that worked against everyone else except for Alabama, would work against LSU….I’m all for a 10 win season, but we need to look at what we need to change to push it up a notch for next year…LSU will be better next year….

  • http://razorbloggers.net arkfaninmi

    Totally agree w/ the points from last response. Looked like we were going for long to medium throws the whole game when we should have been trying more shorter (crossing) route plays. Got to get better play from TE. Also, we possibly were trying to run it too much. Offense was just too vanilla as we were too predictable in doing the same things over & over and not trying different plays including some trick plays (why not utilize Wilson in running the ball a few times to keep their D off balance or go for a trick pass attempt & have a rb come around to run it, etc.?). I hope we can keep McGee but not sure if he’s the right OC but maybe he will learn from mistakes. Maybe Bobby’s bro will be back now that Illinois HC fired? DC needs to go as I think we have some fairly good talent but not getting enough out of them. I’m not as disappointed in losing as I am in getting routed like we were. Hope we can get in a good bowl game and do some routing of our own.

  • jamar abdul berstein

    Bobby P must have small genitalia because he is such a big prick.

    • Jim Dogg

      I think that Gonzalez’ real initials are HDN. Petrino’s actions were inappropriate for sure, but this is being way overdone. Anyone that has played any competitve sport intensely should know how strong feelings can rise up. It’s human nature if your serious about the game. Three things can happen that can produce a “Petrino”. (1) You lose a game you know you should have won to an inferior opponent (2) You get trounced and you are actually mad at yourself and the embarrassment its causes. (3) there is intense dislike for your opponent personally. Petrino’s happen all the time in contact sports, especially among players. There is a good side to this which has been alluded to, by among others, the “meathead”, John Brummet, a columnist for the Demo-Zette.* That is that this wiil add to the LSU-Hog rivalry. Good. Arkansas has not had a real rival since it left the SWC and Texas. The border between Arkanas and Louisiana should make it a natural. But LSU, in the past has had it’s Big Game with Ole Miss. Now it’s ‘Bama. In order to have a good rivalry game you have to have passion, enthusiasm, and, yes, hate. That emotional outburst may have given the Razorbacks and fans the enthusiasm needed against the Tigers who will not be just another SEC opponent.

      This Petrino business will fade afte a week. Penn State, Syracuse, and NCAA violations will smother the news not a coach giving the finger, or whatever. The Nuttophiles may have come out of the woodwork on this one. My advice, fuggedaboutit. Worry about the bowl game and staying in the top 10. Regarding LSU next year, they won’t have an experienced QB. Arkansas will, in depth. Lastly, Wilson probably lost his status as number 1 QB in the SEC to Murray because of last week’s games. But he’ll most likely get it back after Murray faces LSU.

      *Petrino must be a conservative otherwise the “meathead” wouldn’t have been so critical and lacking in understanding regarding the feelings in a violent competitive sport. Players, for example, are not supposed to taunt, but the undercurrent of smack is there. Hasn’t changed since the days of leather helmets, especially among linemen. His alluding to a limp handshake when losing to an opponent in tennis was laughable, in the sense I had trouble visualizing ol’ pudgy getting around on a tennis court. I played serious tennis in my youth, and I can tell you that John McEnroe was not unusual.

  • Corey

    I think our office is a game plan started out great. We were actually running the ball pretty well. But then their D line simply wouldn’t let our O line open up holes. We had a couple of good short routes to Gragg. The second half especially, we couldn’t protect Tyler Wilson. Our biggest loss was on defense. They ran the ball at will 5 yards at a time. We couldn’t cover Rueben Randle. And of course as usual, we got a couple of bad calls. No one has mentioned it, but I’m pretty sure I saw a pass interference in the endzone when our receivers back foot got kicked and he was a step short of the ball. We are losing way too many guys, especially receivers and lineman. We will have johnson and davis back to. run the ball, but I’m afraid our superior passing offense may take a big hit

  • mohogg

    Please don’t start with the bad calls whining. It was a well officiated game.

    • Jim Dogg

      In the end the officiating probably didn’t matter. From where I sat I couldn’t tell if the officiating was good or not. If it’s SEC officiating, one can assume the worst. As for the whining, whine way, it’s your constitutional right. And just because you whine doesn’t mean that your whining isn’t legitimate. I whine about collegiate officiating in general (Remember the phantom field goal this year against Toledo?).

  • Jim Dogg

    My wife, who watched the game on TV, asked me if Petrino’s play calling was bad or was it the players wren’t trying hard enough. I said it is impossible to analyze a game sitting in the lower end zone seats but I would consider several factors that I thought played into an embarrasing defeat.

    (1) The death of a teammate. How significant this was is hard to tell but it couldn’t have been good.

    (2) Tiger stadium. This and War Memorial tailgating are two of the most impressive things in college football. The noise made my ears ring.

    (3) Senior day for LSU. That alone made it special enough to energize the LSU players.

    (4) This was a revenge game for Miles. Miles’ main Great White Whale is Saban and Alabama (just as Nutt’s was the Hogs). Some here have noted Miles’ arrogance. I think that has played a role in LSU overlooking and under estimating Arkansas for the past several years. Last year it cost Miles a BCS bowl. So you’ve got the coach, the fans, and the players revved up for more than just another game.

    Some ESPN commentators have said how important emotion and passion are in the NFL and it works at the college level also.

    (5) I said this before that the defensive depth at both LSU and ‘Bama is the reason they are so good. They own the second half no matter who they play. Unlike LSU Arkansas was reaching and not making tackles in in the second half. Doesn’t make any difference if the defense is on the field too long when the next unit in is as good as the first. Until Arkansas can get that kind of depth the fans can only expect an occasional upset when catching an unwary favored opponent no matter what the game plans. Defense may win championships but explosive offenses win games they should not. (e.g., Oklahoma and OSU losses).

    Lastly, don’t be too hard on BP and Mitchell for that goal line call. It was designed to loosen up the the LSU defenders, ala Jordan Jefferson. Good call, bad snap, worse outcome.

  • soupdhog

    Regarding BP’s behavior – REALLY? The only thing I thought was in poor taste was that CBS showed it in isolated slow motion so everyone could see it. You mean to tell me every other coach in football doesn’t use that kind of language? I guarantee that this goes on on both sidelines the entire game, it’s just not isolated and exploited. The true ‘ugly’ is that CBS took the low road in an emotional game that was a blowout. It was a pile on tactic that is shameful. In protest, I didn’t watch Two and A Half Men last night.

    I’m willing to cut Bobby huge slack here as last week was an emotional roller coaster for the team and himself I’m sure. He had to prepare his team while managing his men’s loss of a team mate – a horrible situation under any circumstance, never mind that this was on a short week of the biggest game in the program’s modern history. This may have been a release of all that build up. This seems out of character for Bobby as he didn’t have the same reaction when Bama pounded on us.

    I do like the fire and I have no issue with what Bobby did. Besides the fact that Miles is a jackass (remember when he called us Ar-Kansas on nat’l TV a few years ago), it sparks the team and helps make the rivalry more exciting. I can’t wait until we get them in Little Rock next year – we should lead a 52,000 strong chant of “MF” towards Les Miles.

    They don’t call him Bobby “MF” Petrino for nothing :)