I have watched games all weekend and wonder why we are seemingly the only team in college football that does not have a kick off man that can consistently kick the ball in the end zone. On top of not being able to kick off in the end zone, our cover team did not do a very good job of covering the kicks. I know that this is the first game, but kickers should be in mid season form.
Coverage was hampered by the poor kickoffs. No hang time, short and low. That was a significant difference in the game. When LaTech kicked off, Arkansas returned barely past the 20, if it wasn’t a touchback. Arkansas gave up kickoff returns past the 35. Meaningful difference.
It also didn’t help that our special teams missed quite a few tackles. On one of their KO returns, I counted out loud on the big screen replay as their kick returner ran past seven of our players before the eighth player finally tackled him down at about the 35-yard line. The guy sitting in the stands behind me, who was an Oklahoma State alum (don’t know what he was doing at our game), asked me, “Do you guys in the SEC not play tackle football?” I would have thought it was funny if his comment hadn’t been so near the truth…
McFain kicks better in practice than in games. There comes a point where someone else will get a chance in games. He sure didn’t help his cause with the way he kicked against La Tech.