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