October 31, 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — Auburn

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks’ season-opening loss on the road at Auburn.

The Good

  • TQ Coleman (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)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…

The Bad

  • 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.

The Ugly

  • 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?

  • hog_in_iowa

    Ugly… 2 or 3 Hog defenders getting dragged down field by ball carriers once contact was made. I don’t know the actual stats but it seemed like 5 YAC on just about every play.

  • Roadhog

    Good: AJ Derby was awarded a scholarship last week and he rewarded his coach with a TD! In fact our TEs were a highlight for us, as predicted.

    Yes it’s bad when your safeties are your leading tacklers. But that’s improvement over previous years when our punter was out leading tackler.

    Ugly: I predicted that weather delay myself. You know you’re going to get a thunderstorm at that time of day under those conditions. It was the first rainy day at my house in a month, so I was happy about that. Too bad so many people had to hang around for the game to end even tho the outcome was no longer in doubt.

  • GB&C

    Good: Played well for 1 half … Bad: Passing game STILL a joke… Don’t believe the ALLA TE got his number called all night nor the WR that blew up in the Fall scrimmage… The bone headed refusal or inability by coaches to adjust … quick passing game, screens, slants, wheel routes, will punish a team for loading the LOS. They put 8 in the box and you still try to run. Even in the NFL 5 can’t block 8… DB’s out of position allowing catches and come up but do not have the strike power to separate WR from the football…. too little too late time and again … Where’s the physical(ness)? The backup QB and a “raw” WR have careers days. Moving the LBs up on the LOS and leaving the area where they came from bare… no real pass rush … caught flat footed watching (eye discipline) instead of moving while trusting your eyes. And there is more. Ugly: Another loss… 10 consecutive… Every team on the schedule now knows to load the box. The question is will YOU adjust??? Good teams and great coaches can and will. You move, You adapt or You die! Lets get ready for next week. WPS …GHG!!!

  • atxhog

    Good: The offense’s play in the first half. Defense looked more aggressive and fundamentally sound in terms of their assignments and came up with big stops at times. But…

    Bad: The defense was also continually torched. You can be sound in your fundamentals all you want, but if you don’t have the speed to execute the game plan, you’ll get beat pretty much every time by teams that do. The 2nd half gameplan for the offense and drops by the receivers have already been harped on, so I won’t bother going into that.

    Ugly: I can’t believe no one has mentioned the technical issues at Jerden, err Jordan-Hare Stadium. You have an entire offseason to work out glitches for the stadium your SEC champion football team plays in, and, let’s see, you don’t have a functioning game clock for an entire half, there were issues with the play clock also, AND the Hog coaches get stuck in the elevator at halftime?? What the heck is going on over there?!

  • GolfHog

    Time to get off Brandon Allen’s back. Why do we put wide receivers in the game? Use 3 tight ends the whole time and split them out as needed.
    Why are we recruiting offensive players? OR, why aren’t we trying to score on every possession. We should never punt from the opponents side of the field. I don’t know what you call that, not defense.
    If you are a run first, run second, throw third team, you MUST be able to run with nine in the box. You asked for it, you got it.