October 30, 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — Ole Miss

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks’ loss in the final seconds in Little Rock to Ole Miss.

The Good

  • Dennis Johnson is a man’s man.  Much was written last week about how Johnson’s mother had helped get coaches and her son on the same page earlier in the season.  But Johnson was no momma’s boy on the field on Saturday.  His career-high 161 rushing yards and his fighting, clawing, fearless 21-yard run to setup the Hogs’ final touchdown showed the heart of a champion.

The Bad

  • Apparently practicing special teams wasn’t an emphasis during the bye week.  Getting a punt blocked is always bad but it’s worse when the coaching staff makes no adjustments after almost getting the previous punt blocked.  And don’t get us started on the numerous punts that either were allowed to hit the ground or were bobbled.  Seven games into the season and the Hogs still haven’t found a reliable punt returner.  Miss you, Joe Adams.
  • The complete sideline disarray after a penalty nullified a fourth quarter Razorback touchdown was bad.  But while the penalty was costly, the loss of composure by John L. Smith and other coaches and players was more harmful.  Even with the penalty, the Hogs only faced a third down and 10 to keep the drive going.  Instead, a timeout was wasted and two additional penalties made the eventual field goal attempt much more difficult.

The Ugly

  • Nothing says you’re playing a home game like playing in a different city with different uniforms and pink accessories.  With four games remaining before this season to forget ends, can we at least try to field a team that actually looks like a Razorback team?  You know…Cardinal and White, Jeff Long?

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

  • OwassoHog

    Totally agree on “The Ugly”!!! I can’t wait for this year to be over… what a NIGHTMARE!

  • BL

    I’ll never understand why people throw their arms up at uniform changes (even for a single game) but say nothing when it comes to wearing head-to-toe pink accessories (sometimes for a month). Let the coaches wear a ribbon or something but this pink nonsense has to stop. It’s getting ridiculous.

  • tnarch

    I agree with getting back to Cardinal and White…where oh where have my Razorbacks gone?

  • CoachingWinsChampionships

    Good: Hats off to Dave Wommack. Outcoaching Paul Petrino is a little like throwing on Paul Haynes defense but still, holding that team to 20 points thru 3 1/2 quarters was well done. Even though Tyler had a pretty bad day, there was still a lot of wasted talent on that field. This bunch is still trying to put this coaching staff on their back but it proves to be too big a task.
    Bad: the bad has to begin with going for that first field goal. Everyone in the stadium but John L. knew it would come back to haunt us. This was a game of touchdowns not field goals. Paul Petrino’s game plans still amaze. They begin to remind me a little of a Houston Nutt game plan only with 5 pass plays instead of 5 running plays. Blowing the trick play and all that momentum, not to mention the score really showed where this team and coaching staff are. They have their head in a dark place.
    Ugly: I am sick of the pink. I don’t mind the new unis but, if you want black then just design good black uniforms. These are too stupid. They had to be hot on a warm day. John L. Smith. Paul Petrino, Paul Haynes. Jeff Long really put together a witches brew. Not much thought went into this. This was all sales and hope. A good AD has to do way more. I hope he is doing better in the search.

    • JimDoggg

      Wow. Agree with every thing you said except one thing (naturally). That there was not much thought given to this. I think they took a chance that coaching by committee would work. Didn’t work. The alternative was to try to get a new coach. Some may argue with me but I think that it would have been very difficult to have gotten the coach they wanted including his own assistants at the time. I think that the chances are now much better for coach recruitment. Consider the SEC openings (or presumed openings). Auburn: Compete with Alabama? Kentucky: You’re kidding? Tennessee: Maybe the most competitive for the Hogs new coach. The Arkansas situation is a “natural” disaster where fans, alumni and media had not called for the ouster of the coach. The new Hog coach will have much more leeway because of this season’s disaster which I don’t think will be true for the Vols or Tigers. where circumstances will demand instant success. This recruiting war will depend on how much money the Vols and Tigers are willing to spend.

      • CoachingWinsChampionships

        From the outside looking in, it was an easy sell. We all pretty much fell for it although there were a few wise souls who could see it and spoke up. From the inside, knowing all of the players invovled, doing your homework, it should have looked like just what it is. Jeff Long spit the bit and phoned it in just to move on. Bad Move. Not ready for prime time.

    • pate

      the pink is more than likely the player’s choice. they pretty much have to allow them to wear it for breast cancer month

  • JimDoggg

    The good. Dennis Johnson’s last two runs were ones for the books. I agree. Wholeheartedly. Not mentioned herein is the outstanding performance of the interior defensive line. The goal line stands were really impressive. It was only on the soft corner that the Rebs got in, which was true all day. Those guys are real men and they did slow down and stop the Ole Miss interior running game. Ross Rasner also had a good game. Tyler was mediocre but wasn’t bad. The second grounding I thought was unusual since there usually is an eligible receiver near the middle somewhere. Can’t see anything on the Minitron at WM in the daylight so I’m curious as to what the folks at home saw. Thought that the grounding call on the the Reb pass in the end zone was a strange call and maybe a makeup for that earlier Hog grounding. Also there was some heavy outrage by fans as to what they thought was pass interference at times.

    The bad. Obviously the coaching which allowed three straight gains on outside swing passes that weren’t adusted for. That the Rebs could make two long drives for a TD and a field goal with 2 minutes left in the half and the game. Not pressuring the QB, which when it was done it was effective. I was in the stands screaming get to the QB, get to the QB, etc. The inability to account for the QB ended up with a 14 yard gain at the end turning a longish FG goal into a chip shot. What is it with these coaches? They make opposing coaches look like geniuses and QBs Heisman candidates. Every game they’ve lost (except A&M and Bama) The story has been the same. Is it some kind of prevent defense where the opposing QB is allowed to inflict the Chinese torture of a thousand cuts? Short passes and soft corners. Hoping the QB will shortarm his throws and the receivers will drop it are not plausible defensive strategies.

    My own little complaints were several. First with 4th and 1 at the 5 they opted to go for a FG? Take the points? Argh. It was the first drive of the game and if unsuccessful they would have backed the Rebs into the end zone and would presumably, eventually, gained back field position. Later they went for it on 4th and 12. ??? I presume the coaches knew that Ole Miss had an offense that could score so why not try to get as much points on the board when possible? Consider the way Johnson was running, a sweep would have had a chance. To be fair, that’s hindsight but to be unfair again they probably would have gone inside where the offensive line hasn’t been very effective. Lastly, there are two ways of dealing with kickoffs. One, put it in the end zone and let it start on the 25. Or a high kickoff where your kickoff team can get down fast enough to stop the ball carrier before the 25. On the first kickoff number 2 above let the ball carrier get to the 25. Looking at the coverage, I said I hope that they don’t try that again. There was no gunner near the receiver. They did it again. The runner got to the 40. My son said it may have been the wind that influenced the kicking strategy, so I said with Hocker’s leg line drive it through the endzone. Which is what he did on the next kickoff. Then there was Ole Miss with 3rd and 25 and they get two yards short of the first down and kick a field goal because of no pressure on the QB. These are little things but they add up and exemplifies the coaching failures. What were these guys doing for two weeks, practicing blocked punts by the opposition? Sorry for carrying on but I was so frustrated (and still am) as were the other fans at the game and I presume at home

    The Ugly: The whole thing. This was a game the Hogs should have won, in spite of errors. Another ugly thing was that I got a bad sunburn on the nose and face, as did other males in my family. Not used to day games.

    • Roadhog

      Sorry to hear about that sunburn. How would you rate your appearance relative to that of Bobby Petrino with road rash and a neck brace? Ya done good Jim Doggg. That’s taking one for the team.

  • RobHog47

    The Good – Nothing

    The Bad – Everything

    The Ugly- Those Ugly Uniforms

  • http://www.facebook.com/lewis.randall.lowe Lewis Randall Lowe

    I liked the new uniforms, I thought we fought as a team better than ive seen this year. I think the players have figured out to just take it upon themselves to manage the team. I could have coached this team to a .500 or better record right now, but you have to just go out there with what ya got and give it everything you got. Less mistakes and turnovers, we could still beat anybody, including LSU…..

  • Roadhog

    Our defensive backs really cost us this game. They are still committing the same mistakes of not looking for the ball when it is in the air. This cost us big-time on Saturday, as we had a pass interference call in the end zone that kept their drive alive and led to a MS TD. Old Willy R. habits die hard, I guess. This is the weakest part of the team, and I think it is mostly due to poor coaching, of not preparing players. Our DBs have had the opportunity to practice against the best-throwing QBs and the best WRs in the league, and they still can’t defend against the pass. No wonder our offense always looks good in practice. The next coach must address this situation directly or the team will go nowhere in the future.

    Why, oh why is Keante Minor our punt (would-be) returner? When was the last time he actually fielded a punt cleanly? You can’t return it if you can’t catch it. Anyhow, the Hogs just keep beating themselves, week after week, by making mistakes at critical points in the game.

    I don’y know why I even continue to comment. I feel as tho the players and coaches are just going thru the motions now, trying to run out the clock to end the season. But I’ll dutifully catch the broadcasts, probably, because the Hog usually have a good first quarter.

  • pate

    I’m so tired of hearing this crap about how we aren’t hogs anymore. People will be able to recognize us on TV. These uniforms aren’t the end of the world. you “traditionalists” make it seem like we will never be good again if we continue to use these uniforms. Also you “traditionalists” are the only people that don’t like them. Their main supporters are HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AND FOOTBALL PLAYERS (i know because i am currently in high school). hmmmm i wonder whose opinion matters more.

    • HungryHog

      Pate,

      Good to see we have a student here. Maybe you can help us understand the attraction to these uniform changes. My questions may sound old fogie, but I don’t know how else to put it. Do the uniforms make you run faster, or hit harder? Is it the “if you look good, you will play better” argument? Oregon changes uniforms every game, and they are very fast.

      Why do you think it helps us? Why don’t other teams play in modern uniforms? Alabama seems to play fine in their traditionalist uniforms.

      I think we alumni just like to see things stay more conservative. I know things change with time, but defining your brand and owning who you are can give you a lot of pride over the years. Changing with the blowing wind will wear you out.

      I would like to hear what you like about the anthracite uniforms and white helmets.

      Thanks

      • Pate

        First i would like to say sorry about the attitude I had in my first message. I had been having a stressful day and had just gotten finished listening to thousands of people ramble on and on about the uniforms on Drivetime Sports. but the reason they help us Because the new uniforms make us stand out. LSU and Alabama dont need to stand out because of all of the tradition that is present in that program. EVERYONE knows about alabama and lsu. However, we do not have the tradition, nor do we have the publicity that they do; we need a way to get ourselves out there and make The University of Arkansas a popular topic. And the uniforms have and are making us a more popular topic. All players are attracted to good uniforms; I know because i have played on two different high school football teams, and this is one of the main reason why i support the new uniforms. Honestly i couldn’t care less about what uniforms we wear if we are winning every game we play, but in MY honest opinion the anthracite and white helmets would look terrible, not because of the lack of tradition or anything but just because the combination wouldnt look good. In contrast, however, players might like that combination; ive heard lots of people talk about it. (just to answer one of your other questions, the newest nike uniforms are said to use both dry-fit and lightweight material. The dry fit material keeps the clothes from soaking up water and stays tight to your skin to prevent holding. The technology of uniforms has boomed ever since nike took over most of the school in NCAA.)

        i think that about wraps it all up. haha
        WPS