Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks’ season-opening loss on the road at Auburn.
- It was fun while it lasted. The Hogs, led by Alex Collins (68 rush yards) and a punishing offensive line, were rolling back the Tigers in the first half. Arkansas’ 151 first half rushing yards gave the play-action game some life, and showed Hog fans a glimpse of what Bret Bielema wants his offense to look like.
- Despite giving up a staggering 8.5 yards per play, the Hogs managed six tackles for loss Saturday. Led by Brooks Ellis (2.5 TFL) and Taiwan Johnson (first career sack), the Hogs were getting some penetration at times up front. When you gamble, you’re going to hit the jackpot some.
- With the run game clicking, Brandon Allen was very efficient in the first half. Completing 9-of-14 for 116 yards and 2 TDs, Allen was sharp and accurate. The 8.3 yards per attempt was very encouraging, but…
- When Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson finally decided to take away the run, the Hogs passing game proved inadequate to sustain drives. Facing an overpopulated line of scrimmage and constant barrage of run blitzes through the 2-gap, the Hogs only attempted 8 rushes for 2 yards after the half. Passing yards per attempt in the second half was an anemic 3.5. Look for more of the same from defensive coordinators for the foreseeable future.
- It’s usually not a good thing when you safeties are you leading tacklers. Safeties Alan Turner (10 tackles) and Rohan Gaines (8 tackles) had a busy day, as the Tigers gashed the Hogs for 302 rushing yards. Many times Turner and Gaines were the first players to make contact with the ball carrier almost 10 yards down the field. That just can’t happen.
- It’s bad enough that we’ve lost 10 straight games now, but when the #1 play-by-play man on the new SEC Network can’t even remember who Auburn is playing…well, that’s the bottom folks. Brent Musberger continually referred to the Hogs as ‘Wisconsin’ or ‘the Badgers’ throughout the telecast, finally apologizing to Razorback fans at the end of the game for the gaffes.
- We’re not going to beat up players anymore for dropping passes. Instead, we’re just going to stop talking about them and stop trying to make them into something they are not. We suggest the coaches do the same and move on…quickly. An embarrassing display that continues to cost the Hogs points.
Of course, we can’t possibly mention everything that was “Good, Bad and Ugly.” What did we leave out?