June 29, 2017

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — Mississippi State

Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks interesting and enjoyable destruction of Mississippi State on Saturday in Starkville.

The Good

  • Rawleigh Williams (Justin Ford/USA Today)First and foremost, how enjoyable was it to see this offense finally impose its will on another team?  The Razorbacks did pretty much anything they wanted on their way to rolling up 661 yards on offense and scoring 58 points — the most points ever scored by an Arkansas team in an SEC game.  Credit Dan Enos for a good game plan and play calling.
  • I like games when we don’t have to punt.  This was one of them.  And let’s not leave out the one penalty.  Yes, you read correctly…the Hogs were only penalized once.
  • It’s been a few games since the Hogs have had two backs rush for 100 yards in a game.  This game was a portrait of what Bret Bielema wants to do running the ball.  Whenever, wherever, for as much as you want.  It was fantastic to witness.
  • How about some of the freshmen on the field last night?  Leading all tacklers in the game was true freshman Dejon “Scoota” Harris with 10 tackles followed by McTelvin “Sosa” Agim with 7.  On the offensive side of the ball, we have to give a shout out to TJ Hammonds, who is beginning to show flashes every now and then.  Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t call out Cheyenne O’Grady for a couple of catches in the game.  Glad to see him finally coming along.

The Bad

  • Folks, this defense is the definition of bad.  Mississippi State put up 42 points and 533 yards.  How embarrassing!  How can this defensive staff not know that Fitzgerald is their primary weapon?  How can they allow him to run like he did?  Early in the game it was infuriating to watch.  In the post-game Bielema was quoted saying, “We will make some changes in the out of season.”  I am beginning to think that changes are in store for more than just the scheme — especially with a couple of big names floating around out there.
  • Was it just me or was Austin Allen off in the first half.  Many of his throws were high and lacking zip.  In fact, the Razorbacks missed two chances for a touchdown because of inaccurate throws.  Thank goodness for Mississippi and their defense, otherwise this game might have been different.
  • Dan Mullen’s call to punt on 4th and inches early in the game.  Call me crazy, but that seemed to sway the momentum in favor of the Hogs and they never looked back.  It was a bad call, especially considering how clueless the Hog defense was at the time regarding the QB run.

The Ugly

  • Arkansas special teams.  Normally, this unit is buoyed by Toby Baker.  But he didn’t step foot on the field (woohoo!).  After missing a field goal early, Adam McFain then missed an extra point.  This is simply inexcusable.  How have we not found a kicker in four years?
  • To pile on, how have we not discovered someone who can kick it to the end zone?  The kickoffs are consistently fielded at the 5 or 10 yard line.  Good teams salivate at this.  Last night it didn’t bite us, but it has before and will again eventually.

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

  • GolfHog

    Good: Great Kids, fun to watch. I know they enjoyed a big road win.

    Just one week to go, Rivalry Week. Of course for Arkansas that means Missouri. And, the a nice trip and reward to Houston or Nashville, fingers crossed for Orlando or Jacksonville.

    And then, it’s ‘wait until next year’ again. Arkansas will return the first team SEC QB, a great tandem of RBs, a vastly improved O-line, and our defense can’t be any worse, so, by definition, a better defense. With Bert’s steady and incremental progress that should be a 9-3 regular season and his first win over A&M.

    Bad: Everyone seems to already have put the for sale sign in front of Robb Smith’s house. I hate that. He finally had players take the field in the last few games, maybe provide a bit of hope for the future. After Spaight left, he just never had any secondary or SEC linebackers.
    Ugly: Too true. Good teams rely on production from good special teams. As much as recruiting and schemes the willingness to play with poor special teams reflects our acceptance of being an also ran.

    • Hogwild Joshua

      Excuse me? You need to email me GolfHog…or did you chicken out after I called the blow out?

      LOL

  • GolfHog

    Joshua, I acknowledge your greatness. I stand in awe. Well done.
    I thought they might stop the run. You know what that means to our offense. Obviously I was mistaken. Enjoy this day. It may never come again.

    • Hogwild Joshua

      Thank you for owning up. Go Hogs 🙂

  • Houston Hog

    When did the Razorbacks and Bulldogs join the Big 12? Defense optional? At least it was fun to watch.

  • TNarch

    Back to Petrino ball until we get a dependable defense…don’t worry about defense, just unleash the offense and outscore your opponents.