Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks’ opening win at home over Louisiana.
- Quarterback Brandon Allen played great, completing 15-23 for 230 yards and 3 TDs. The combination of a solid running game gave the play-action passing game a real bite. No turnovers, plus a yards per attempt of 10.0 shows his efficiency on Saturday.
- Javontee Herndon (73 yards, 2 TDs) and Hunter Henry (75 yards) both had nice days catching the ball. Herndon scored on two of his three receptions, including a 49-yard strike from Allen after ULL had tied the game at 7-7. Henry showed why he was a five-star recruit, hauling in five passes, several in traffic down the seam.
- Jonathan Williams (151 yards, TD) and Alex Collins (141 yards) were dynamic as a duo. Bielema and OC Jim Cheney seemed content to ‘feed the monster,’ running it 51 times. Both backs showed great patience, letting the run blocking set up in front of them before making that burst. And speaking of blocking…
- Watching the play of the offensive line, you’d think this group had been together for four or five years. All showed power and agility run blocking. Not many centers can pull and lead an off-tackle play like Travis Swanson can. Impressive showing.
- Cornerback Will Hines was kicking himself Saturday after dropping two sure interceptions. Hines put himself in good position both times, but came away with two pass breakups instead of INTs. Yes…yes…that’s why he plays on defense and not offense.
- Credit Nate Holmes for hustling downfield, but he is very lucky his block in the back was not called to negate Jonathan Williams’ 75-yard TD run. Williams had already turned the corner and passed the defender Holmes was blocking. ”I think we got away with one there,” Bielema said afterwards.
- The idea of trying to “weaponize” the Hog Call on third downs wasn’t a horrible one. But Bret Bielema said, “On third down, I’d like to get the crowd as loud as we can.” And what we found out during the game on Saturday is that ”Wooooooing” on third downs is cute, but isn’t as loud as 70,000 fans screaming. So let’s just simplify and ask everybody to yell really loud on third down, okay?
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.