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