Aggie angst on a Sunday morning

Two things particularly sting about yesterday’s loss to A&M. One is that it was obvious that the better team (Arkansas) did not win. Not that that team played better in the game – but it was clear that if we just played straight-forward football (without some of the odd choices that were made) we not only win – we dominate.

Second thing is that this exact type of loss is what has characterized the recent period of futility against the Aggies. With only a couple of exceptions, all of the games in the series have been very competitive, despite the 1-10 record in the last 11 games. And not only “might” Arkansas have won several of those games, they SHOULD – in fact – have won several. Four or five, for sure. And in those games, it was the same script…Arkansas finding a way to lose rather than A&M “winning”. The only variation has been the creative ways Arkansas has given the game away.

I’ve got a few shake-my-head thoughts about the way the game went down yesterday…and I’m sure these have been discussed in other threads already.

• First is, when you’re cruising with an early 2 TD lead and the Aggies are showing no signs of stopping you, WHY do you start drive #3 in the same fashion and quickly pick up a couple of first downs, AND THEN get cute by forcing in a package for Hornsby that goes nowhere? WHY switch it up when things are going so well? That switch led to the Hogs’ first punt, from which the Aggies popped a long run and scored their first TD, getting them back in the game.

• The big play of the game was just a bonehead mistake – no other way to describe it – by KJ. I luvs me some KJ, but there’s no way…on FIRST down in the SECOND quarter of a game you are in the process of regaining control of…that you try to FLY from the FOUR yard line and extend the ball, exposing it to exactly what happened…a defender swatting it out of your hands. There is a time and place in a game to do that…for example, if it’s FOURTH down LATE in a game that you are more than 3 points down (i.e., HAVE to have a TD to avoid a loss), that’s different…take every chance if you have to. But in the situation we had yesterday, just take as many yards as you can get, and if you don’t score, it’s 2nd and goal from the 1 or 2. A devastating lapse of judgement.

• So then we come out in our first possession of the 2nd half, after kicking off to A&M and surrendering the lead. This is a time that we need to answer, but our play-calling was the least creative of the game. Result? A quick 3-and-out.

• The final significant sequence of the game was not affected by a questionable call; it was our other Aggie bugaboo…the random mistake at the worst time possible. Remember Dan Skipper getting called for tripping on a long run to the Aggie 2 yard line several years ago? Well, the 2022 version of that was one of our best, most reliable players (Center Rick Stromberg) making a poor- off-target snap that we were fortunate to recover. However, it caused a loss of about 10 yards, which (a) bogged us down at a point we had the Aggie defense on their heels and it seemed we were poised to score a TD to win the game. Instead, we had to settle for a FG attempt.

• Secondarily, it made the subsequent FG attempt that much longer. Normally, you’d like your chances with Little from 42 yards. But you’d like them from 32 even more. And, as we saw, the kick he made that hit the top of the upright from 42 would have been inside the pipes from even a yard or two closer. Just another, inexplicable mistake to bail out the Aggies.

After last year, I thought we were done gifting the Aggies these wins. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

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summarily correct except for the we were the better team because the internet is full of pablum about the best loser’s lament and we were not good enough to win pops up over and over again. JFB would drawl out we gotta get bettah. If you can read Clay on Hogs+, he hit all the we got to do this to win and tackling is still not top of the SEC quality.

Eric Gregory played better inside, Isaiah Nichols remains ineffective almost inabsentia. Stromberg has less of a game than usual not even counting bad snap at crucial point, Dalton Wagner finally played more like a footballer than future WWE star. Definitely some encouragement against a stout Dline. Clay pointed out the importance of keeping your qB clean, amazingly Max did a better job of escaping pressure than KJ, but each did survive well.

We gonna find out how big a cheerleader that Sam can be, because Kendall did nothing on the sideline to snap KJ out of his despair and lost confidence. All our coaches have been described as player’s coach so I hope that they show their best this tough week.

Cat Stevens song ooh baby it’s a wild world sticks with me this morning.

https://www.google.com/search?q=ooh+baby+it's+a+wild+world+lyrics&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS1016US1018&oq=ooh+baby+it's+a+wild+world&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0i512l3j0i22i30l4j0i10i15i22i30j0i10i22i30.16968j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

My wife rarely watches but she did last night and she thinks Cam Little looked so young and devastated, she hopes the best for him. His social media snarkiness will probably be forever tempered. Gags, I hate Aggie culture.

Unfortunately the Aggies seem to have replaced the Horns as the team that just seems to have our number, no matter what.

Agree with about everything you said Wiz!

I live in Austin with many Aggie friends. Just got back from church where I congratulated many. Almost all say they were lucky and do not want to play us again. Said we are really good.

I still sting from loss and agree we hurt ourselves.

So proud where program has come back though.

A little over two years ago were coming off back to back 2-10. And now we were a couple in inches from a field goal and 4-0 and maybe close to top 5.

Not too bad

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I agree with this. Of course, it hurts to “give” a game away. But there is no doubt whatsoever that we’re much, much better off than we were before Sam came here.

So glad to have him.

Aloha Wiz,
Once again, totally on target.
It’s sad we’re out-agging the Aggies to always find a way to lose.
Relatively speaking, KJ had a bad game. He went into a funk after the first two TDs and just couldn’t pull out of it. Missed many open receivers. Made a horrendous decision on the goal line on first and goal from the three. If he wants to be the best QB in the SEC he really needs to improve his passing and decision making.
As for the Hogs in general. New year, different team personality from last year’s team. From my perspective this year’s squad lacks the passion, energy and hunger from last year. Just my opinion. Too many players out of position on defense, lack of gang tackling, poor tackling in general. Too many dropped passes.
By the way, back to KJ’s fumble. Did anyone else notice Rocket Sanders was the only one trying to make a tackle where as there were about five Aggies there at the 18 yard line fighting for extra yardage resulting in a TD? Very telling.
UA…Campus of Champions

Well no I did not notice this. But I hope Sam does. Needs to use that as a teaching point. Very good observation. Surely that can be used as finishing the play!

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