October 31, 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — Kentucky

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks’ rain-soaked win at home over Kentucky.

The Good

  • On a stormy night in Fayetteville, Hog fans finally got a glimpse of what this offense was supposed to look like.  Tyler Wilson was sharp (372 yards, 5 TDs) against a woefully inexperienced Kentucky secondary, and did a great job of distributing the ball to ten different receivers.
  • Welcome to the party Jonathan Williams.  The freshman running back became only the second Razorback player (Cobi Hamilton, 2010) to have two scoring catches of more than 74 yards in a game.
  • True freshman A.J. Turner got the first start of his career Saturday night in place of the injured Alonzo Highsmith.  Turner responded by posting a team high five tackles including three solo.  Good things ahead for the big-hitting freshman.  And speaking of freshmen…

The Bad

  • …Not sure why this (lame duck) coaching staff is still burning redshirts in game 7 of the season.  Wide receiver D’Arthur Cowan had one reception and safety Defonta Lowe recorded one tackle.
  • Sure the weather was bad.  But you know what was really bad?  Kentucky was bad.  That had to be the worst SEC team we’ve ever seen in person at Razorback Stadium.  Are they really as bad as they looked?  With injuries to several key players including at quarterback…probably not.  But on Saturday night they were bad.  Really bad.

The Ugly

  • Opinions varied on the anthracite-gray-smoke specialty uniforms.  Our opinion?  Let’s hope the players and recruits liked them because we thought they were basically ugly.  The good news…now that they’ve been used, and with our obligation to Lord Nike fulfilled, the equipment staff can quietly put them away for the offseason.  Or burn them.

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.

  • OwassoHog

    The Really… Really… Really… Ugly… even worse than I could ever believe Ugly – the uniforms! Let’s hope that is the LAST time they wear them!!!

    • hog in iowa

      No more white helmets, either, please.

  • Bug

    Loved the uniforms as did the players! Bring me out again!

  • GolfHog

    Seeing the players have fun was good.
    Beating Kentucky certainly beats losing to Kentucky. Otherwise, I’m not sure what we saw there. They are one of the worst teams in college football right now. It may provide some hope for Ole Miss and Tulsa and then they might provide a glimmer of hope for the stretch run. I don’t mind the Nike Unis in theory. Ours are not as bad a Maryland’s but they are not good. I am glad we got back to a more traditional cardinal color and away from last year’s cherry pink.
    Burning those redshirts is on Long. This staff should not have had that authority after about game four.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joel.scarbrough.9 Joel Scarbrough

    Yea, liked the uniforms. Much better than the other duds that we kept losing in. Do away with those weird white helmets too. I think the team looked good on both sides of the ball no matter who they were playing. WPS!

  • tnarch

    The only thing worse than those ugly uniforms…South Carolina’s uglier uniforms!!!

  • BL

    I actually liked these uniforms (on a once a year basis). Much better than anything with the white helmet.

  • soupdhog

    Folks are split on the unis. Old folks hate them. Young folks LOVE them. My kids and their friends thought they were the coolest thing ever. And apparently the players love them. So if these unis are to attract recruits, I think that mission was accomplished.
    In terms of redshirts – I think that decision was made to try to keep those guys here. If these guys sit the whole season, they are more likely to bolt than if they are engaged, getting playing time, doing well and want to build on that success next year. A redshirt doesn’t get us anything unless the kid stays. I think it was a smart move.

    • Hawgfan100

      Not sure where I fall on the ‘Old vs Young’ (let’s put it this way: I was born just before the Hogs started to tear it up in the ’60s) but I like the new unis; just have to have that hog filled in on the white helmet.

    • Porcine

      I don’t know. Since they played they can use the redshirt year as a transfer year. If they had redshirted now, they would lose a year if they transferred, which would leave them with only 3 years to play.

  • Hawgfan100

    Liked the unis (would like a gray a few shades lighter though) . Don’t mind the white helmet either except the Hog needs to be colored in.

    I enjoyed watching the game, delays and all. True, was certainly Kentucky out on the field but they were treated like Kentucky should be treated so no complaints.

    We face a much improved ole piss in two weeks (granted, when you’re ‘much improved from essentially negative values, it’s not saying much but still…). Hopefully the team can keep the momentum going and notch another ‘W’.

    And no more injuries, please!!!

  • Little R

    I also liked the “smoke” uniforms, with the exception of not being able to read any of the red lettering (yes, I’m a dork….I want to be able to read the player’s name on his back). The white helmets would be OK if the Hog was red….again, it’s a visibility issue for me. But I really don’t care what they wear (red, anthracite, white, pink, green, naked) as long as they win. ;)
    Even though KY is pitiful, I was glad to get the W. Now to take care of business in 2 weeks with Ole Miss. Not sure if Hogs win again after that……they have to get A LOT better!!!

  • Roadhog

    We needed the rain.

    • Jim Doggg

      NO we did not need the rain. If the game had not been canceled it would have given the reserves much needed playing time. As I said before I would like to have had B. Allen with more time. The KY websites have been saying that the Hogs would have scored 40 more if given 20 more minutes of tme. I say no to that because history tells us that the opposing team would get off the floor and score some points whereas the reserves would have trouble scoring. Given that I think the final would have been about 56-21 which, interestingly, was close to some predictions on this site. The 20 minutes would have also been good for stats, especially offensive ones, to help balance those for the Bama and TAMU games.

      • Roadhog

        Oh, Jim Doggg, the needle on your moral compass is spinning like an airplane propellor. You seem to advocate (gulp) padding the stats. Sure, without the weather-shortened game we could have set new offensive records that would have lasted forever, but the righteous KY media would have jumped on that, accusing us of running up the score to compensate for a sense of inadequacy we acquired during that awful stretch of losses we had in games 2-5, to say nothing of the inherent inferiority complex that goes with all things Arkansas. We’d look like opportunists. Without the rain to grow the crops, poor ol’ Tusk might have perished, or at the very least trimmed down to the size of your typical offensive lineman. Playing and winning in the rain and lighting cleansed the Razorback soul of the taint of scandal associated with this team. I hope you have seen the light and heard the thunder and realized that scoring as many points as you can is inimical to the spirit of amateur athletics.

        • Jim Doggg

          Roadie: Thanks for the laughs. The state needed the rain (so did KY) but not the Razobacks and fans. Padding the stats is not the same as padding the score. Adding one extra TD and giving up two, as I predicted, is not running up the score. I’m sure that JL, Petrino, and Haynes would have looked at this as an opportunity to give less utilized players some much needed game time, which is good for the program. I don’t know how much competitive sports you have played, but I have been on both sides of a beat down both as a player and as an amateur coach. I never, and I don’t think that any of my players or associates, whined about “running up the score”, by one side or another. The players might hate it but they never blamed the other team for doing it. Sorry to bloviate but two anecdotal experiences. I coached an AAU ninth grade team and played a team that wasn’t compeitive. I played everyone on the bench extensively and still couldn’t keep the score down. At the end the other coach came to me and gave his best Deliverence look and said, “I won’t forget this”. I felt like telling him next time you might want to slow the game down and get into some ball control. Another example, two years ago Cabot South freshman were playing the Searcy freshman and Searcy jumped to a big lead. Searcy pulled its starters and expected Cabot to make some substitutions but they didn’t, so after a time, Searcy coaches said OK if that’s the way you want it, back in go our regulars to continue a moderate beatdown. Point being that you can’t tell kids not to play hard and lay down so you go with it the best that you can with substitutes.
          Insofar as this being inimical to amateur athletics, if you consider “amateur” athletics being that of giving tens of thousands of dollars in tuition, room and board etc and their coaches having million dollar contracts, fine. Go ahead and think that.
          Insofar as Arkies having an inferiority complex, I’m one transplant (44 years) that doesn’t. I have traveled extensively and currently live part time in Ohio. I’m never been ashamed of Arkansas and my association with the University. I don’t get much, if any derisive comments about Arkansas (The Clintons yes, Arkansas no). Arkansas has much to be proud of and little to be ashamed of. I wish our educators would emphasize that to our kids.

          • Roadhog

            Yeah, I was just ragging ya cause I knew you’d be cool with it. In HS I played on a basketball team that won only one game, the last one of the season, when I was a freshman. We were coached by the science teacher. Next year we got a real coach. When I was a senior we were 10-0 before losing our first game, in overtime, to a much bigger school. So, yes, I know both sides of a beatdown. Like you say, just amateur sports.

            I’ve lived in other places, but I now live in north Arkansas, where I was born. As far as the inferiority complex I can only say, “Thank God for Mississippi.” (Some of my ancestors came to AR from MS during the civil war.)

  • Jonesboro Hog

    We defiantly need to watch out on the white helmet. I don’t know if we ever even won a game with a white helmet on…even in the 40s.

  • Jim Doggg

    I am in Northeast Ohio and went to my Granddaughter’s soccer game which was at the same time as the Razorback game ( I do have my familial priorities straight). By the time I got home and saw the score I decided not to waste $25 which was smart since the game was cancelled soon after. I will say this, and have been for sometime, J. Williams is the real deal. He runs like D. Johnson in getting extra yards after contact. It’s too bad the game was shortened as it would have been nice to see more of B. Allen. I’m still not convinced he can replace Wilson if he gets hurt. I see from the Net that the coaches have finally decided to get the skill players in space as opposed to constanty running between the tackles. That strategy works if you can get to 3rd and short. The propensity to get penalties and sacks etc makes for a Nutter strategy of “Go get us a 1st down Tyler” which makes it easier to defend. I see that the defense also came to play. I don’t care if KY is the worst team in the SEC (NCAA?) this game (and the last) should have given the team confidence that the offense can getter done given the right plays and that the defense can do well as long as they don’t sit back and let the opposing team dictate the direction of the game. I’ll be back in LR for the Oie Miss game. Can’t wait. Hope the coaches keep earning their money.

  • T-towner

    In at least three previous Kentucky games we should have won and did not. And, in the two we won, we did not look so good. This time, we looked good, buttugly uniforms and all.

  • arkfaninmi

    Liked the unis, just wish the white helmets were trashed & either use a black or gray- like these unis- colored helmets w/ a red hog. Would really like more of a tusk-like design on the sides of the shirts, a little like what was done in the past. But, whatever helps recruiting, works for me. Believe the true freshmen they’ve played, who no longer can redshirt, would still have to sit out a year if they transfer to a D-1 school. Anyone know who all are the true frosh who’ve played?

  • texhogforever

    Anthracite (sp?) gray . . is that suppose to be the color of Tusk or a hog or something? With all that red and gray out there they looked sorta like the Arkansas Rifles Brigade that fought at Shiloh . . . but hey, so long as they play like Razorbacks–block, tackle, limit mistakes, fight and claw till the bitter end–I don’t care if they wear pussycat pink!! WPS!

  • Bleed razorbackred

    Good: It seems that there has been a definate change in the coaching over the past two games. While I understand that AU and KY are terrible, we destroyed them like we should as opposed to the “barely getting by” that we saw in the early games.
    I think the fact that we have a bye, to get Chris Gragg healthy, before we have Ole Miss at home, we have a real shot at winning the next two, leaving us one away from bowl eligability. That’s a long was from where I thought we’d be a month ago.