February 16, 2019

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — Jacksonville State

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks’ win in the season opener over Jacksonville State.

The Good

  • [singlepic id=1481 w=240 h=180 float=right]Wilson to Gragg is going to be lethal all season.  Maybe not the 110 yards receiving that it was on Saturday, but this year we certainly won’t be hearing the “Why aren’t we getting the tight end more involved?!” refrain of past years.
  • Brandon Mitchell finally showed Hog fans what he can do at receiver.  After seeing Mitchell look very good in practices, we were a little disappointed that he only had one catch for five yards during the Fan Day Scrimmage two weeks ago.  Four catches for 122 yards on Saturday is more like it.
  • We have to give Jacksonville State some credit.  Their offense had some weapons and they look like the team to beat this season in the Ohio Valley Conference.  (And their band was pretty good, too.)  Having said that…
  • It’s a VERY good thing that the Hogs aren’t playing Alabama this week.  While there’s always going to be problems to fix after game one, this team is not anywhere near ready to play the Crimson Tide.  What was good on Saturday was pretty good but…

The Bad

  • …What was bad was pretty (obviously) bad.  Three fumbles lost (all by senior players, no less) can’t happen on September 15th.  Missed tackles, bobbled punt returns and getting torched in the secondary on slant routes and deep passes can’t happen, either.
  • [singlepic id=1484 w=180 h=240 float=right]Hog fans wanting to see a noticeable improvement on defense were disappointed.  Like the coaches and players, we’re convinced that this defense is better than what they showed on Saturday.  But you could almost hear the air let out of the stadium as Jacksonville State went 83 yards in 13 plays for a touchdown in the first quarter.

The Ugly

  • While there’s nothing ugly about the picture on the new giant video board, the block sections around it need some work.  The unnecessary gray background behind the down and distance numbers and illegibly small font size on the “NCAA Scores” section make them basically unreadable.
  • And finally, perhaps Jeff Long needs to hire a Vice Chancellor and Supreme Commander of Game Clock and Field Microphone Operations.  Maybe that guy could make sure that after waiting months for the first game to begin, everyone wouldn’t have to wait even longer after the opening kickoff while “wireless frequency issues” were worked out.  It’s happened enough times now in Fayetteville over the past few years that even the folks who run War Memorial Stadium are starting to snicker.

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


  1. Good – While Brandon Allen didn’t get to play as much as we thought he would (thanks to our allowing Jax St. to hang around into the 2nd half), he had a decent first outing and turned on the jets for a couple of scrambles. The Hogs’ future is uncertain, but it’s nice to know we’ll have an Allen lining up at QB for probably the next five years.

    Bad – Not only are we completely unready to play Bama as you pointed out, they look ultra-ready to play us. I think they were bored with Michigan before the end of the 1st quarter. Right now I don’t see how we can beat them. Of course, things can change in a week’s time.

    Ugly – Those band uniforms. My god, those band uniforms. Forget the controversy over anthracite, folks; somebody raise just a little bit of a ruckus and get them to replace those ghastly smocks.

    • Chickasaw kid says:

      I agree about the band uniforms. They looked like giant oomp-loompas from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The missed tackles was ridiculous. They couldn’t sack the quarterback if he was an item in a grocery store.

  2. Texhogforever says:

    pretty good summary . . . . especially last comment about the War Memorial Stadium crew!!

  3. Did any of you guys have trouble with pay – per – view?

    • I saw some complaints on Twitter about bad quality audio and no down and distance shown on screen for a while. Since they only do PPV once a year, there always seems to be problems.

    • Bleed razorbackred says:

      I live in TN so I was unable to go the PPV route, however ESPN3 carried the game. Videa quality was on and off, but it was free. I never anything good about the PPV so I wouldnt invest the money.

  4. Bama certainly looked good, but Michigan looked pretty bad. Robinson didnt have a whole lot of pressure on him, yet overthrough wide open receivers all night. I think michigan’s dline is undersized compared to sec standards, hence they got pushed around.

    No doubt we have room to improve, but I think Michigan is was very overrated going into that game. The best thing i saw is we were largely able to control the run and only allowed 3 points in the second half. No need to panic IMHO.

  5. please let bobby come back houston we have a problem

  6. Intensity level just didn’t seem like it was there. Offense was careless and defense couldn’t get off the field at times.
    For the Ugly, I would add Dylan Breeding’s shanked punt…an unusual occurance for the senior.

  7. Good: Penalties, not many. (6 for 38 yds.) That tells me the players were in sync and knew what they were trying to do. I know one of those penalties was a big personal foul, and that’s more of an individual thing than a team mistake. Opening game last year saw about a dozen penalties. Improvement there. This offense will make some spectacular plays this season.

    Also good: They never stopped our offense. OK, they stopped our 2nd string, once, leading to Breeding’s beauty.

    Bad: But we did. Three (3) times.

    Not so good: Defense. It seems unrealistic to me to think a defense can go from bottom of conference to upper echelon in one off-season. Without a good defense you’re not likely to beat Bama or LSU.
    Ugly: Communications breakdown. Somebody’s job performance should be under review. Did nobody tell the stadium people there was a game scheduled on 9/1?

  8. Cardfogfan says:

    I could not get a wireless connection on my smartphone until the 4th quarter and then it was intermittent.. Outside the stadium before and after the game – no problem! Can anyone explain? Also, since AT & T is one of the corporate game sponsors, why don,t they provide free wireless to all in attendance?

    Greatly enjoyed the game. Gragg and Mitchell were beasts!

    • Actually, it was just the opposite for me… troubles before the game but none during the game.

      • Cardfogfan says:

        I’m with Verizon. Do you use a different carrier?

        • Yep… AT&T

          • AT&T and Verizon are terrible in stadiums. I can barely get a text out, and no other service, at Fayetteville, Vanderbilt and TN Titans stadiums either. Yet people with Sprint seem to have no problems. Stadiums should all have towers on the press boxes.

          • Normally I would agree but I believe that AT&T has beefed up service at Razorback stadium… the last 2 years it has been great for me… prior to that – no so much!

  9. “While there’s nothing ugly about the picture on the new giant video board, the block sections around it need some work. The unnecessary gray background behind the down and distance numbers and illegibly small font size on the “NCAA Scores” section make them basically unreadable.”
    Wait… I thought you were talking about the jerseys… yep… definitely disappointed with them. Sucks that you can’t fully read the #s on the jerseys!
    Other Uglys… on screen ads on the video replay sucked… the ribbonboards are almost totally useless and distracting… weather was hot and muggy… sure hope that we get a cool day for Alabama… not sure the fans were really into the game… this has to change by Alabama (which shouldn’t be hard).
    On the good, attendance was fairly good for a no-name team.

  10. Good – The offense. Except for the fumbles, the offense looked in synch, and Tyler Wilson looks like he has full understanding of everything that is going on. Also…the understanding between Tyler Wilson and Paul Petrino was evident while watching the game. The play calls came in seamlessly..

    Bad and Ugly – Alabama is coming to play in two weeks, and our defense was absolutely ugly. If our defense does not improve by two-fold by the time Alabama comes to town, it doesn’t matter how much points our offense puts up, we will still get absolutely murdered by Bama….Go Hogs…