February 21, 2017

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — Florida

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks 31-10 thrilling win over #10 ranked Florida Saturday in Fayetteville.

The Good

  • Drew Morgan (Photo by SI.com)Let’s start with the Razorback Defense, which turned in their best performance of the year. After surrendering an SEC and school record 543 rushing yards to Auburn two weeks ago, the unit held the Gators to just 12 yards rushing Saturday. The changes Bret Bielema and Robb Smith employed…moving Jeremiah Ledbetter outside to end, inserting McTelvin Agim at D-Tackle and using Randy Ramsey as a fifth lineman, helped the Hogs set the edge better. Ledbetter and Ramsey both recorded sacks. A great sign for what had been a disappointing unit.
  • Both starting safeties on that defense secured big interceptions Saturday. None bigger than Santos Ramirez and his 24-yard pick-six on the Gators first play from scrimmage. The play set the tone for the day, and the Hogs never looked back.
  • Given the elite Florida cornerbacks, the Hogs chose to work the slot and middle of the field all day…a great call by OC Dan Enos. That included throwing to the backs as Devwah Whaley and Rawleigh Williams combined for 91 yards receiving. Drew Morgan, who caught 7-for-95, expertly worked the middle of the field and caught a big 7-yard TD right before the half. Nice job.
  • If there was any doubt that the Hogs would sustain the momentum, Duwop Mitchell answered that on the second half kickoff. Mitchell, the former quarterback/running back, absolutely blew up Gator return man Chris Thompson. The hit drew ‘wows’ from the crowd, and sent a clear message to the Gators that ‘we’re not going anywhere’.

The Bad

  • Seven of the nine penalties on the Hogs Saturday were on the offensive line for 75 yards in lost yardage. Johnny Gibson (20), Jake Raulerson (20), Dan Skipper (25), and Frank Ragnow (10) all got into the act. It wasn’t all bad as the unit led the way for 223 rushing yards and surrendered only one sack, but the lost yardage was notable and something to keep an eye on.

The Ugly

  • Unfortunately for both teams, the busiest guys on the field were the trainers Saturday. The Hogs lost left guard Hjalte Froholdt (ankle) and right tackle Brian Wallace (ankle). Raulerson replaced Froholdt, and Colton Jackson replaced Wallace in the already thin offensive line. The Gators seemingly had guys down on the field every other play, losing starting center Cam Dillard, linebackers Alex Anzalone and Jarrad Davis, and wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland. Bielema said Froholdt could have returned if needed.

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

  • hog_in_iowa

    The Great: The crowd was into the game for 60 minutes and were not going to let the Gators have anything easy.
    The Good: Effort was given by the offense, defense, and special teams the whole day long. I always get nervous when we kick off thinking a big return is getting ready to take place, but the coverage units did an outstanding job. Toby Baker was his usual excellent self and our field goal unit is getting to be very dependable. Johnny Gibson has also found a spot in the starting lineup. Way to step up, Johnny! I could tell AA was not his normal self early, but he fought through it and played an outstanding game.
    The Bad: As mentioned by Sunshine, PENALTIES! I’m glad the game was somewhat in hand in the 4th qtr, because it seemed we were intent on shooting ourselves in the foot. Those must be cleaned up. Half of them seemed to be way away from the ball and were just unnecessary. It seemed like they always negated a big play, but that may be my mind playing tricks on me.
    The Ugly: does not apply this week.

  • GolfHog

    Good: great patience and vision by Wills III and Whaley. Love those screen passes. The first real defensive effort in years. You have to play defense like your hair is on fire (see Bama LSU.)
    Bad: It was obvious early that playing behind this Oline has caused AA to regress. Who can blame him? Once the run game and protection settled in he looked much better. This Oline has got to get fixed.
    Ugly: Florida was exposed as an average team with an easy schedule. They could have plenty of trouble the rest of the way. TCU, Ole Miss, and Fla were not quality wins. They were good wins. This Oline and defense have a long way to go for Arkansas to ever contend in the West.

    • Joshua Rugger

      Sorry buddy you are wrong…Florida had the #1 Defense in the country. You can’t hang up the “they weren’t that good crap” and accept that we just beat the #1 defense in the country based on stats…GTFO…

      • GolfHog

        This team has a great QB, receivers, and running backs. And three losses to the best teams in the league. That’s mostly on the defense but also on the Oline and the Baby Bama style of play. You can’t play Baby Bama without an OLine and a defense if you want to beat the best.

    • Joshua Rugger

      Oh and 1 sack all game with less than 5 hurries for Allen against a D-Line that is…better than Bama’s? And Auburn’s? STUPID…

      • Roadhog

        This an Arkansas blog, pal; you must’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere southeast of here.

  • OwassoHog

    Good: the victory
    Bad: my prediction
    Ugly: the uniforms! (still)

  • Roadhog

    Good: Froholdt was playing well and getting his name called for it, good to see after all the notices he made while learning a new position. Hope he achieves the ability that Bielema has claimed for him.

    Bad: He injured his ankle early on.

    Good: It wasn’t a serious injury, and he could have returned if necessary, said Bielema. He will be sorely needed this Saturday agin the Buy you bungles.

    Ugly: Why trot out them there anthrax younaforms? for a home game? Was desert camo not available? Gingham? Houndstooth? Herringbone? Is cardinal just not like, you know, somehow adequate as a fashion choice for style-conscious sportsmen to wear while beating each other senseless? You have the option of wearing red, the ne plus ultra best color in the feng shui tradition, and you opt instead for the dullest “color” on the menu. Who makes these decisions? Man, these players must have closets bigger’n Paris Hilton’s.

  • GolfHog

    There are no big games in November unless you are in contention. Playing to improve your bowl status from Shreveport to Memphis to Nashville is a conference game. It is preparing for next year. That’s all, no more. This team is not waiting til next year, that’ obvious. It’s building for 2019.