February 21, 2017

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — LSU

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks 38-10 beat down loss to #24 ranked LSU Saturday in Fayetteville.

Leonard Fournette (Photo by Jason Ivester)The Good

  • Let’s start Rawleigh Williams III, who topped the 1,000 yard plateau for the first time in his Razorback career. Williams finished the game with 49 yards on 13 carries, and now has 1,004 yards on the season. Bret Bielema has had at least one player rush for 1,000 yard in each of his 11 seasons as a head coach.
  • It was really cool during the pregame to see a sign on the trailer hauling in our mascot ‘Tusk’ pay respect to former LSU Tiger mascot Mike VI. The sign read: “In loving memory of Mike VI. 2005-2016.” Mike died in October from cancer. From Bob Holt in the ADG: “LSU’s first tiger mascot – Mike I – was purchased from the Little Rock Zoo in 1936 for $750. Mike I lived to be 20 years old.”

The Bad

  • It was painful to watch the LSU offensive line, play after play, move the line of scrimmage. We can talk about shitty linebacker play all we want, but when the front four (or five in some cases) are getting pushed back into that second level, you have no chance as a defense. Leonard Fournette (98 RuYds) and Derrius Guice (252 RuYds) seemingly would hit the hole and not get touched until they were 3-4 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. LSU rushed for 390 yards on their way to 547 total yards on the night.
  • For as good as the Razorback offensive line played last week, they could not move LSU’s front seven at all. Not counting Devwah Whaley’s 34-yard, second quarter scamper, and Williams 18-yard run in the third quarter, the Hogs managed just 29 yards on the other 22 carries. The unit also allowed another 3 sacks Saturday and now ranks 92nd nationally in sacks allowed with 25.

The Ugly

  • This is officially the worst rushing defense IN THE HISTORY OF ARKANSAS FOOTBALL. The Hogs are last nationally…repeat LAST NATIONALLY…128th out of 128 in rushing yards allowed per attempt (6.34). They have surrendered a school record 29 rushing touchdowns this season, breaking last year’s record of 25…another Robb Smith coached unit. Oh, and by the way, we still have TWO GAMES left to go. To paraphrase the late, great Denny Green…’We are who we thought we were’.

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

  • hognaustin

    Time for rant: I knew it, I knew it. The game against Florida was an anomaly – an aberration. I had a feeling this would happen but was afraid to admit it. And this is a call out to CBB: STOP the defending of your OL coach and defensive coordinator. Nine out of ten games, 9 of 10, this is how our OL played and our defensive played (both terrible) and it hasn’t changed one bit except for the anomaly game against UF. CBB, all year you have been defending the worst OL and defense that Arkansas has had in recent memory – the worst. CBB you are freaking out of your mind if you think Anderson is possibly the best OL coach you’ve ever had. And Smith, doesn’t have a clue on how to prepare for a running offense. Once again, our D makes an average QB look all-world. If you are going to blame “lack of talent” then it is on you – you are the senior recruiter. If its the fault of the coaches, get rid of them tonight — tell them to pack their bags and leave. I am, and I’m sure tons of Hogs fans like me are too, I’m tired of the excuses and embarrassing play by this team and it falls, not fully on the players, but on the coaches. Make some changes now!!! From top 10 defense just two years ago to the worst defense in the nation. This is on the coaches. Enough!!!!

  • GolfHog

    Good: No injuries. We beat all the bad teams on our schedule. We’re not a bad team, we just can’t stay on the field with a good team.
    Bad: AA started the year as the best QB in the SEC. After 8 games it was clear he had had too much. Playing behind this Oline has destroyed his fundamentals. Ironic, big brother was the weak link on a pretty good team and finally got better. AA was the strength of a weak team and may continue to get worse and worse.
    Bert continues to recruit to the Big 10 instead of the SEC. The talent level is going backward. Size and speed, you can’t develop them, you have to recruit them.
    Ugly: Bert’s the best 7-5 coach in America. It’s pretty obvious he’s accepted it himself. But hey, $4 mil a year is not so bad.

    • OwassoHog

      As for Austin, I have a little different perspective, I’m not sure that Austin has regressed as the season has gone on (outside of the possibility of his injury). I think the competition has gotten better and he hasn’t risen to the increased level of the competition.

      Net result is the same… 🙁

      • GolfHog

        You can only get beaten up so often. After a while, even sub consciously, you begin to duck.

        • OwassoHog

          I agree… also, it seemed to me that things he got away with before because of competition wasn’t going to last. In fact, I commented on a number of early season throws he made that I just knew would have been picked off by Alabama or LSU. My hope was that he’d improve and adjust but the last few games hasn’t shown it yet.

          Overall, I’m still pleased by his first year play but my pleasing keeps dropping! 😉

  • Roadhog

    The throw and catch to D. Reed for the one and only TD was a thing of beauty. So that’s good. And the RBs looked good when they could get some blocking. But, alas. . ..

    Our linesmen were outmanned all night long, both ways. Does anyone see the players who will beef up our lines and make us competitive in the future? I must say I’m drawing blanks when I try to see the future with good line play.

    The athletic department needs to designate some of those uniform acquisition funds for bulletproof kevlar shoes, considering how often our players shoot themselves in the foot.

    I’m afraid Bert has already peaked at Arkansas.

  • Chickasaw1

    I know no past , present or future QB who can operate on his back as flood gates of highly ranked football talent is pouring in on him. LSU played as the talented team they are. I am just sorry that Miles is gone because we knew how to beat him! Not sure whether they will keep their interim coach or not because he has been mediocre in several other head positions; how they play the rest of the season may tell the tale for him. I really do not know why a school like LSU would pick an unproven head coach but there are likely some extenuating circumstances for Oreigoron (or whatever the spelling is of his name!) not being given the head coach position at USC…probably they could not understand him. His losing like he did at Ole Miss may be problematic for him. Everyone knows he is a strong recruiter. Will be interesting to see where Miles pops up if he wants to coach again. Could be in BIG where he is from.

  • Chickasaw1

    Oh yes…I love our coach. I hope he is around until he decides to retire. Tough times do not last but tough people do! Go Hogs! Head MSU .

    • GolfHog

      Bert is a sweet, loveable, guy, who by all appearances is having the time of his life. I know he doesn’t like those Saturday night press conferences after a loss but, by Sunday morning he appears to be his old loveable, marketing major self, spinning straw into gold.
      He’ll 8-4, 7-5 his way along to Shreveport and Memphis and, one day he will probably win 10 games, if given enough time. He will likely never see an SEC Championship game without a ticket unless, like Mac Brown, some Vince Young type player hefts Bert on his back and carries him to a championship.

  • RM

    The alleged DC must be fired. Then we need to hire an “actual” DC.

  • Houston Hog

    I wish we were better, but we’re actually where we thought we would be at this point in the season (see Crystal Ball 2016 – Wins & Losses). Playing one of the toughest schedules in the country has definitely exposed our weaknesses. However, if not great, we are still a good team and we’re going to show it against MSU and Missouri and then against our bowl opponent.

  • Brian Murphy

    Ugly: tackling was terrible. It seemed like it took 6 or 7 people to finally complete a tackle. There’s no way to win if that’s the kind of defense UA is going to play.

  • NielsBoar

    The Good: A weekend in Fayetteville is always awesome, no matter the result. Arkansas fans showed up. Buying tickets outside the stadium was quite a bit more difficult than it usually is. Each upper deck was packed to capacity. Of course, the crowd was taken out of the game almost as soon as it started, and most of us were gone by the end of the 3rd.

    No doubt we have some glaring weaknesses, but we can still end this season at 9-4 with a bowl win. I’m still optimistic we can hit that, and I think we’d have to call it progress.

    The unsettled feeling is that Bielema’s team was supposed to be built on a strong foundation of interior line play on both sides. Here we are in yr 4, and both lines have regressed? What happened to the foundation we were building? I hope he can recover.

  • Hogwild28

    I think both our Offensive Coordinator and Defensive Coordinator are very clever at scheming. What I do think needs to change ASAP is our strength and conditioning progran. I was reading about the Pulaski Robinson recruit at WR and he is 6’3″ 210 and runs a 4.52. My problem is 4.52 isn’t going to change once he gets to AR. Our players look slow and I wouldn’t have nearly the problem I have if our guys were muscling everyone around. But they aren’t. They are neither getting faster nor able to compete with elite talent consistently. Alex Collins and Williams III are just as fast as when they arrived. Whaley is naturally fast luckily. But the strength and conditioning coach makes almost 500,000 a year.

    • Houston Hog

      I agree. When we lose, it usually looks we’re either losing to superior athletes (Alabama, LSU) or just getting worn down before the game is over (Texas A&M). Of course, at Auburn, we just looked tired from Play One.

  • drmgatsby

    Time for the mumbling fat boy to go. DISMAL conference record.

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