July 18, 2018

The Bad, The Ugly and The Unthinkable — Auburn

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks record setting 56-3 loss to #21 ranked Auburn Saturday Down on the Plains.

Jared Collins-Eli StoveThe Bad

  • We want to personally thank Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee for doing all they could do to hold the score down Saturday night. Honestly, they could have scored a 100 if they had wanted to.  The Tigers played everyone with most all of the starters exiting late in the third quarter. They called 12 pass plays. Malzahn and Lashlee let the play clock run down the whole fourth quarter. The Hogs gave up an additional 14 points when the third and fourth string tailbacks made the final tally a 56-3 ass kicking that we will not soon forget.
  • LSU tailback Leonard Fournette returned from injury Saturday night and ran for 284 yards and 3TDs in the Tigers 38-21 win over Ole Miss. LSU visits Fayetteville on November 12, when Darren McFadden’s SEC single game rushing record of 321 yards will certainly fall.
  • We expect the Razorback Equipment staff to be very busy during the bye week.  It will take quite a bit of time to remove some of those helmet stickers after this performance.  That’s how that works…right?

The Ugly

  • We are extremely lucky that Austin Allen was not seriously hurt by Carl Lawson’s lunge. The second quarter knee injury – described as a sprain – looked ugly and then continued to swell as the night wore on. While we applaud Bielema’s decision to take him out with the game decided, it was honestly a couple of possessions too late for our liking.
  • Robb Smith (Photo by Andy Shupe)There was a huge disparity in team speed, especially on defense, on display Saturday night. We know Auburn was fresh off a bye and the Hogs looked like they were running in sand after eight straight games.  That said, we look like ‘Big Ten’ and they look like ‘SEC’.  That’s not a long term recipe for success.
  • We’re quite sure that Bret Bielema is drawing tired of trying to explain DC Robb Smith’s inability to teach players how to set the edge. It was a problem against Alabama when the Tide rolled for 264 rushing yards two weeks ago. Smith’s refusal to stack more players in the box to stop the Auburn attack was egregious. ZERO sacks, and ZERO tackles for loss on the evening. Auburn averaged 9.5 YARDS PER RUSH.

The Unthinkable

  • It was a record setting performance for the Arkansas defense Saturday night. The 543 RUSHING YARDS allowed is the single most in school history, breaking the previous mark of 505 set by Rice in 1953. The 543 RUSHING YARDS is the most ever by an SEC team in a regular season conference game. The previous record was set by Arkansas (542) vs. South Carolina in 2007. The 543 RUSHING YARDS led to the Razorbacks worst loss since a 70-17 defeat by Pete Carroll’s USC squad back in 2005. It is the worst defeat in the Bret Bielema era, topping the 52-0 loss to Alabama back in 2013.
  • Per Jimmy Carter of WholeHogSports.com… “In 8 games, Arkansas’ defense has allowed 45 PLAYS of 20+ yards. 26 PLAYS of 30+ yards. 17 PLAYS of 40+ yards. And 10 PLAYS of 50+ yards.” Staggering numbers for an experienced defensive unit that was to be one of the strong suits for this team.

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

  • OwassoHog

    Well, you sorta touched on 1 of the very few goods… Austin’s injury wasn’t more significant. Outside of that, the ONLY other thing that I could think of good was our long FG to score ANY points… but getting beat so badly.. who cares!

    Hopefully, they went home EMBARRASSED! Bad Hogs! Go to your room!

  • Kevman

    Guess we need a new defense coordinator!? Last nite was horrible, was we just that out played?
    signed, Deflated.

    • Roadhog

      We was.

    • Ken Black

      I’m thinking from this performance, we need a new defense CONTRACTOR. Not sure one guy can fix it. I’m hoping for the best but will remain skeptical all season now. The O-line needs work. I know we only had two returners, and I think we have some good people, but one is brand new, and the all need some work. I’m wondering if we need to play with a FB and TB in the backfield now until the O-Line gets it together. Especially on pass plays. Teams know they can rush us now and have success. I like our players, the plan or training isn’t working at this moment in time. We fell greatly in capability on both sides of the ball this year. I like our freshmen, Austin, and the team, but our ability to play smart and together right now isn’t working well.

  • NielsBoar

    There is some good from this that you failed to mention. With my superstitious prediction of 52-10 Auburn, I think I might have won a Razorbloggers tumbler! Oddly, it does offer me some consolation.

  • steve_uno

    Hey the field goal was good!! You didn’t mention the field goal!!

    • There was no ‘Good’ section this week. 😉 But you are right…good to see McFain have the success we thought he could have.

    • Roadhog

      Austin made some good throws, perhaps great throws under the circumstances, and his receivers made some good catches. However they were so few and far between they didn’t amount to anything.

    • Ken Black

      Did any of you notice early on especially there were some badly off thrown balls from Austin. I like him a lot, but when I see that, I suspect something else is wrong. I know pressure is there, and we’re not in their shoes on the field, but when you see something all season and all of a sudden it’s different than normal, usually there is a cause. What it was I’m not sure, but I saw the team speed difference on defense, tackling, and some of his throws which are usually accurate or close. There were to many (for him) to be just something that happened. I’ll always be a fan, but our team is a train-wreck right now.

      • TNarch

        I agree. If a few things had gone different in the first few possessions the outcome might have been at least a little different. It did seem that AA was not accurate on his first few throws and we missed an interception. The result was a quick 21 point lead that allowed Auburn to play with abandon. Why the defense played like a bunch of whipped puppies is an entirely different question.

  • Houston Hog

    OMG! What just happened? I taped the game. I’m going to watch the 54-yd field goal and then erase the game from the DVR (and hopefully from my memory as well).

    • RM

      The only thing that will erase this from your memory is a pre-frontal lobotomy. After watching this disaster, I’m thinking Robb Smith has had one.

  • hognaustin

    Thus far no one has been willing to say it (outside a GoFund me account): Bielema has been pulling the wool over Hog nation all year – “This might be the best defense I’ve ever had as a coach” – “Our offensive line is going to develop into one of the best in the nation”. HOG WASH HOG WASH!!! OH, how I want to curse!!!! CBB is either blind, stupid or laughing all the way to the bank with his $5 mill. a year. That UofA prof was right – CBB is getting paid too much for the crap that is on the field right now. And Robb Smith has got to go ASAP. And Anderson should have been given a separate plane ticket last night with a note saying “Pack your bags”!!! The O-line experiment is over and done with and if Froholdt and Wallace ever start again this year then we either have no depth/alternative or CCB/Anderson are idiots. Even Skipper had a sub-par game – Auburn made our O-line look like paper mache…… and our defense look invisible. I’m sure I’m like most Hog fans – ticked off, frustrated that the obvious (bad O-line and D play over the last couple of weeks) has not been addressed yet.

    The only GOOD for this game: we have a bi-week and hopefully this will provide an opportunity for every position on defense to be up for grabs and competition is open AND hopefully this will give CBB/Anderson to over haul the O-line. Otherwise, it will be difficult to reach that 6th win. With this O-line and defense, nothing is certain.

    Its time to call out the team and in particular, the coaches. Players we can bench and coaches we can fire! I, for one, am tired of CBB’s “good ole boy”, jolly man antics.

  • RM

    Not soon forget? This game will never be forgotten. Worse, it will be indeliby etched in the minds of every potential recruit.

    Bert, yep back to calling him that, needs to clean house… now. Or, his house will be cleaned out for him, by the movers. A man getting paid $millions a year had better perform better than this. Robb Smith should be clearing out his office Monday.

    At this pint limping to a 6 win season is not out of the question. I’m still figuring we’ll get to 7-5, pretty much my preseason prediction, but… 5-7 is NOT out of the question. If the players give up after that ass whuppin’… let’s hope they don’t.

  • Roadhog

    Robb Smith: Coach, I don’t like the sound of those drums!
    Coach Bellyman: It’s not our regular drummer.

  • GolfHog

    Besides the giant ego, Bert’s a player’s coach, a major sunshine pumper. Knowing we are stuck with him until Christmas 2018 the media have been resigned to repeat his nonsense, stuff like Arkansas is 9-2 in its last 11 games, combining parts of two 7-5 seasons to make it sound like an up swing. A two overtime win over what’s turning out to be a bad TCU team and scoring last against a pretty average Ole Miss team were just more false hope sheltering fans against the truth.
    Bert’s a loveable oaf and no one likes where we are. Pelphry was a nice guy. Without a clue.
    Whether this is the purposeful effort to make Arkansas the Vandy of the West or simply incompetence really doesn’t matter. Rather than building it the right way, Bert’s current recruiting is dismantling the program. These are fine high character Christian kids from great families with good grade points. But each year the quality of our players and the quality of our depth goes down and not up. When our defense was so bad last year no effort was made to bring in some players, like Speight. We were just told last year’s depth had returned ready to play. They did not see the field. With our O-line in shambles there is no effort to shore up with juco players.
    Jeff Long did this on purpose with the giant buyout, 32 million dollars and six years wasted going backwards. He cannot be trusted to hire again.

  • Chickasaw

    I like our head coach. He recruited them to graduate and that has been vastly improved. Takes time to put it all together. Recruiting is improving each year with our now being able to recruit many new places. Only time will tell whether going smash mouth will work for Arkansas rather than another scheme. Also I am super pleased that our HC is not bringing in bad characters as many others programs are doing. We should never ever bring in problems regardless of their abilities and that is difficult when you are responsible for over 100 athletes. I am amazed this year at the number of good teams that all of a sudden are blown out in games. That has occurred repeatedly.

  • Jeff E

    While yes, clearly Robb Smith is lacking the ingredients he would need to be a successful coordinator at a school like Arkansas, where coaching is essential, because recruiting is no where near that of 80% of the SEC.

    But I wouldn’t over dramatize this either. You got a coach over there, that this was his Super Bowl game, he thinks and believes he should be the head coach at Arkansas. He was angry about what happened last yr in OT. And lets be honest, there’s no where near the talent on Arkansas’ roster as there is on Auburn’s. With our talent, we need great coaching, average coaching will not do, and Robb Smith is very average to poor. if Gus Malzahn had the job at Arkansas, he would have about the same record as Bret Bielema has right now, short of some likely cheating, buying some players to come here, which may win a few more.

    I would hire Charlie Strong, he can recruit Texas, he has ties in Florida and South Carolina. And he’s consistent as a DC.

  • Hogwild28

    The secondary is certainly improving but are having issues tackling big backs in space. LB play is ugly even when Greenlaw was healthy. But all that pales in compariaon to my disappointment with our O line. I’m so confused how out strength has underachieved two years in a row. Our strength coach is grossly overpaid for what I’m seeing out there…we evidently need to hire a speed coach because our players never seem to get faster as their time at Arkansas progresses…

  • GolfHog

    If Austin Allen hadn’t turned out to be the best QB in the SEC this team would be 2-6 right now. He will finish the season on one knee and return next year to a weaker team on defense and the o-line.

  • Radman

    Tried to tell you guys 3 years ago Bielema was a dud. Got to improve from the top down. No excuses. It will never change against top opponents until then. I am not a big Petrine fan but he can win with less talent. Brett is a mouthpiece with excuses.

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