December 19, 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly — Alabama

Some random thoughts after watching a very, very ugly game.

The Good

  • Isaac Madison / Julio Jones (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)The weather was beautiful.  Some fog in the morning but sunny and nice at game time.  The pre-game flyover was awesome, as usual.
  • Former track coach John McDonnell received a long, well-deserved ovation after a ceremony recognizing his legendary career at halftime.  I even saw several Alabama fans standing up and applauding.  Very classy.
  • The Razorback band’s playful tribute to the Michael Jackson video “Thriller” at halftime was fun and drew one of the bigger cheers for the band in years.

The Bad

  • In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve basically said that the weather and the halftime festivities were the highlights of the day for Razorback fans.  Everything else was either in the bad or ugly category.  (Okay…Michael Smith had a pretty good game.)
  • Of all the bad things from Saturday, the tackling was the worst.  Incredibly, Alabama scored 21 points on offense in just 20 plays (12 rush, 8 pass) in the first half.  Give the Tide offense credit for good execution.  But also give the Hogs’ defense a little ‘credit’ for not showing up.

The Ugly

  • The two interceptions by Casey Dick were the ugliest throws we have ever seen him make.  Throwing off his back foot after being hit in the mouth a few times led up to the ill-advised throws.  They did make for good SportsCenter highlights, though, for Alabama.
  • The student section — always the first to show up in wild support — were the first to pack it in and leave when things went bad on Saturday.  I guess some would say they were smarter than those of us who stayed until the bitter end.

Walking on Sunshine also contributed to this post.

  • 10KHog

    I said at halftime that “it’s sad when the highlight of the day is the band”. But, that dance at halftime was great. I was up in my seat dancing with them. They need to do that again.

  • GonzoHog

    It may not have had anything to do with our game, but Ole Miss losing to Vandi, at home, was pretty sweet to me. The Vandi win doesn’t hurt the Hogs in the western division standings, and Ole Miss losing helps the Hogs stay even with them. That, along with Nutt having to endure a home loss, to a team he’s supposed to beat, is just too good! What happened to that big-time QB thier supposed to have? You know how that goes. Once an opponent’s defense figures out how to play a Nutt coached team, he won’t have the capacity to change what he’s doing. I wonder if that had anything to do with the Rebels losing?

  • BlindHog

    I am forced to agree with Gonzo to this extent; What Nutt left for this program to rebuild is truly amazing. It calls into question his intent to “stay.” Did he sandbag us on the way out the door with the $3mil? It is hard to imagine that he really wanted to stay and coach this team.

    On the up side though you do have to recognize that Petrino plays to win. Nutty played not to lose. Bobby needs to coach a little ‘not to lose’ in this bunch until they are ready to win.

    We have not come together as a team. With seven seniors I guess you can’t expect much leadership.

    We have known for a few years that Casey runs hot and cold. It was one of the big question marks in preseason. Well, now we know, better coaching did not change that. Hopefully when Petrino sees the signs of a bad game coming he will pull Casey and develop Wilson.

  • Boyer in the Distric

    As I pointed out to my Vandy friends – Houston Nutt has had teams that are notorious for having a lack of discipline. Six turnovers against Vandy at home? I hate to break it to Ole Miss fan, but Hogs fans saw this coming when they hired that used car salesman/text messaging addict to coach their football team.

    We all knew that this was going to be a tough year for Arkansas. First year coaches generally always suffer – Saban last year, Petrino, Sherman, Rodriguez this year…I could go on.

    I dont think we should take all this stuff too roughly. It’s impossible to be a phenomenal college football team year in, year out (unless you’re USC and are paying your players) – we just need to be patient. The horizon is bright, my friends.

  • sladehog

    Casey Dick is a good kid. I live in Plano and it hurts me to

    to see him have a game like that. He’s got a good family and all, but it’s time to move on and put the Freshman in from…

    Greenwood (sp? Name of

    town?)

  • HOGFAN23

    Losing games certainly sucks, but sometimes you learn more from a loss. I watched the game Sat. and saw a bunch of young guys who even though they were down and out, they never gave up. Even in losses, this team will build character and determination, and sometimes that goes further than talent. I think we all see the light at the end of the tunnel. Recruits certainly do. The “big boys” in the SEC will kick us around. The media will continue to dog the coach. The way I see it, that should plant a huge chip on our shoulder come next year. I’m just having fun thinking about the future. GO HOGS, BEAT TEXAS!!!!

  • Okie Hog

    Does bashing Nutt really make you feel better about this loss. Nutts gone get over it already. I notice when we lose you guys blame other people or talk about what color pants the guys wore. Face it we suck. And Vandy beat South Carolina this year too. They are not the walk in the park team they have been in the past. Leave Ole Miss out of it until we play them. Talk about how we get better!!! I see signs of positives in this team. I see a future with this offense. Had Mustain stayed he would have been starting and not warming the bench at USC. He made a bad decision and he has to live with that decision. If he were here we would have been much better in this offense. But he is gone doesnt do any good to gripe about it. Our defense sucks like no other!! We can’t tackle. I learned to tackle in high school how hard is it to address the players not wrapping up every tackle. Fundamentals are where we are lacking and any coach should be able to correct it. Without we win maybe 2 more games this year.

  • GonzoHog

    I seriously don’t believe that Mustain think’s he made a bad choice. At the time he made his decision to transfer to SC, it was a no-brainer. Petrino wasn’t even in picture, and Nutt wasn’t going anywhere. He wasn’t lucky enough to have the same timing that Mallett did when Petrino was hired. The defense will get better as the youth get’s older and more exsperienced. We also need a couple of good recruiting classes to go with them, since Nutt didn’t leave any.

  • Guinness Snout

    Who knows what goes on in 19-20 year olds minds. I just wish we were able to keep Petrino’s first choice at defensive coordinator. That guy appears to be doing good work at USCE. With that said, you’ve got to put the ball in the endzone from the 1. Maybe the big back will help that next year.

  • BlindHog

    You have to put the ball in the endzone period. It is the one thing we haven’t done this year that we HAVE to do. We move the ball up and down the field but don’t finish. This offense is our strength. IF we are going to win games it will be by outscoring someone.

    These coaches are making progress. (People can’t help but comment on Nutty when you see the personnel available on defense. How do you have a team with no linebackers?) These boys are technicians. They don’t rely on the amount of emotion that Hooty used. Once the light goes on with this offense for all eleven guys it will work every week. I’d like to say we are not that far off but that will only be true once we see some scoring. It will come.

  • BlindHog

    We all wish that Mitch and Damian had stayed. It would have taken brass balls to dump Frank and Houston as quickly as would have been needed to make that happen. Then who would have hired the new coach? White? Lindsey? This worked out as well as it could have considering the mess we were in. We are very, very lucky to be here. As bad as it seems for now it will get better sooner rather than later.

  • Carolina Hog

    You’ve got to give Robinson a break. Its about the players and we are lacking. As Larry Johnson told Nolan “You’ve got to get yourself a man my man.” Good advice.

    What happened to Tenarius Wright? I haven’t heard anything about him.

  • GonzoHog

    I think our LBs will improve game to game, but it may take a few more thumpings in SEC play before we start to see any real improvement, provided we don’t have any major injuries at that position. Burton was his old self, coming back from his suspension, but Forte, Davis, and Powers have all been injured, and it may take a little while to shake off the rust for those guys. We can talk about missed assignments, missed tackles, and not wrapping up all day, but as some of these guys get back into the swing of things, and others gain valuable exsperience, improvement will come. It’s way too early to start questioning Robinson, with the terrible condition were in. The offense doesn’t have enough leaders to finish what they start. Youth breeds inconsistant play, period. There is no way to go but up, and we have the right coaches to lead the way. Make no mistake about that. GO HOGS!!!!!

  • Hog Fan in TX

    I realize no one cares, but I’m done with this board. I’m sick of reading about how BlindHog, GonzoHog, and other regulars continue to have thier mouths tightly affixed to Mustain’s butt hole…..they continually focus and cry about Mustain leaving. As Dennis Green infamously said about the Bears ‘They are who we thought they were’ (substitute they are with Mustain is)….he is a third stringer in a good program. The SEC and Pac-10 isn’t the same as Springdale and NW Arkansas high schools, folks.

    Not saying Casey is a first stringer at USC, but he is just as good, maybe even better than Mustain will be. And as far as his performance last week; even D-Mac had a horrible game against Auburn last year; it happens. Be a fan and support your team and it’s players, not crybabys that pile on kids that have a bad game and talk about events that happened 2 years ago.

    And I agree with the references to Nutt – who cares about him? Ole’ Miss’ performance has nothing to do with our performance until we play them in a few weeks.

    There is so much more to focus on than Mustain and Nutt….good grief get over it.

  • BlindHog

    Now wait a minute. No one is picking on Casey. We have known for a while that Casey has a few off games a year. He has been a good enough QB to get his name up in the record books and, with this offense, he should be listed pretty high for a few years to come. He is certainly one of the few freshman to have started 5 games at Arkansas. He has played very well this year until last week.

    Based on last week though you do begin to wonder where his concentration goes. Does the game start to move too fast for him? Is it getting hit in the mouth? I certainly don’t know. But, I do know that the two interceptions I saw before heading back to the Garden were thrown way late to the only man in the area. The reciever was no where to be found.

    I expect him to do very well this week.

    As for Nutt. Bobby has signed a leftover class with a few nice additions and coached 3 games. If you want to talk about where we are some of that is where we came from.

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  • GonzoHog

    I have no earthly clue how Hog Fan in TX’s panties became so tightly affixed to his butthole, but evidently, I said something wrong, in his opinion, which we are all entitaled to. Further more, I stand by any comment, or fact, that is, I may have ever said about Mustain or Nutt, because basically, I will never forget, and have absolutely no intentions of forgiving Nutt. Those are the nessasary ingrediants to move on. If you have seen enough to do so Tex, then great. I applaud you for that, but don’t go pointing your finger at certain posters, on this site, because you choose to talk about something different. Oh, and if your really done with this board, as you claim, yea your right, I don’t care. GO HOGS!!!!!

  • T-Bone

    Won’t forgive Nutt for what???

    For beating SMU?

    For having a winning record against Texas?

    For making the UofA of regular stop for NFL Scouts?

    For making Arkansas fans’ unreasonable expectations even possible?

    Or for . . .

    Not winning a National Championship?

    Not winning a SEC Championship?

    Lot of good that’s doing Philip Fulmer right now.

    Or maybe it really is for running off the interception king who now sits third string and will never see the light of day as a Trojan QB. Don’t believe me? Read the article from the Orange County Register:

    “It has become a regularity during USC’s training camp: Mitch Mustain will throw at least one head-scratching interception.”
    http://usc.freedomblogging.com/2008/08/19/mitch-m

    Oh well, it’s your prerogative. Don’t forgive Nutt for the awful things he did to you. At least now we are seeing what a real coach can do!!!!

  • GonzoHog

    Can’t stand a liar! Never could, never will! Does that spell it out good enough for you, or do we have to recite this BS you claim you can’t stand to continue talking about, over and over again? I also couldn’t care less about what the fags in Orange County are bitchin about now. As far as a real coach goes, any fan with any since, can figure out it’s going to be a couple of years, before it’ll start panning out. At least now, we have a chance for a NC. GO HOGS!!!!!

  • Hog Fan 4 Life

    All, it’s evident that GonzoHog is Mitch Mustain’s mom. Given the hate in his response to T Bone and his perception of Orange County residents there is something much deeper and personal between him and Nutt. That’s the only explanation – or perhaps he is the husband/boyfriend of the woman Nutt used to text to 300 times a day.

  • Hoping for a miracle

    I read the article TBone referred to and it didn’t look like anyone was ‘bitchin’ about Mustain; they were making an observation. It’s consistent with what we saw here at Arkansas – he threw almost as many interceptions as touchdowns. It looks like more expereince with the scout teams haven’t corrected that. It’s a shame for a kid with any talent to wither away – it makes me question the judgement of his parents; they are who are really accountable for guiding their son in the right direction, not Nutt or other coaches – and face it Gonzo, all coaches ‘lie’ or stretch reality – don’t kid yourself. He would have been better off going to an ACC or Big East school where he was a big fish in a smaller pond, but evidentially his parents thought the limelight would be better.