Thirty point favorites aren’t supposed to lose. Teams that are 30 point favorites and prepared to play don’t lose.
My first look at the offensive line at the Fan Day scrimmage of fall camp three weeks ago gave me great concern. They didn’t move smartly to the line of scrimmage. There was no coaching or correction going on.
Whatever was happening on the field seemed to be okay with everyone. They were coasting in the scrimmage and easily getting away with it. I called Tipster, “Has the offensive line been this way all fall?” He said what I saw was the norm.
Sixteen starters returned, yet we have a team that looks like everyone but the quarterback and a couple of running backs and maybe one receiver is new.
So what’s going wrong out there?
On offense — not prepared to play. Tyler not making good checks at the line of scrimmage. O-line getting blown up on a regular basis. Brandon Allen had no prayer of doing anything sustained with the O-line playing the way it did. Play calling at a loss for what to do. In two games, the offense has played maybe two good quarters. Fans should take note — Paul is not Bobby. That’s why he had to come back to Bobby for a job.
On defense — not prepared to play. The starting linebackers missed too many reps in the fall. The defense was allowed to play the offense in practice — meaning that they were allowed to “play the play,” which made them look and feel really good but really just kept them from getting better and gave them a false sense of confidence. Against Jacksonville State, the secondary looked as if they thought all that was necessary was to show up for the game.
All the talk of staff staying together and about getting results without having to yell and get in people’s faces was just that — talk. Reality has been encountered now for two games: You don’t just remove a coach like Bobby Petrino from his system and have the system function at anywhere near the previous level of efficiency. His blood pressure at the Fan Day scrimmage would have been off the charts.
Teams play the way they are coached and practiced. This team was coached under the assumption that it was going to be real good.
As a result they were overconfident and underprepared. Just a shell of what we all thought they were going to be. When adversity hit, they folded. The mental toughness of the program is, at this point in time, gone.
I was afraid this would happen.
Can they pick themselves up and get it together? Or have we seen the start to the most disappointing Razorback football season ever?
I’m sure you will tell me.