To say I am disappointed would be an understatement. It is not that we lost to A&M or Bama. That is going to happen in the SEC. It is how we did it. (can within a missed chip shot FG of lossing to mighty LaTech). We have gone over it enough that I don’t have to list it again. Just say that the Oline and defense were light years away from what an SEC Oline (Oline U) and defense is suppose to be.
During the breakdowns in both of those games, it looked as if the effort or want to or moxey or whatever was not there. There were a lot of “bull fighter” tackles. We can only win by being better coached and playing harded and smarter. That has not been the case in any game except perhaps part of the TCU game.
Several have pointed out correctly that A&M and Bama have better material. No doubt about that! Now, is there a rule in the NCAA or SEC that says Arkansas is not allowed to have those type players? Maybe, but have not seen it. The recruiting class for this year is 2/3 rds complete. Are these recruits the type that can play at an SEC level? I have no idea. Just asking. If the answer is no, why are we recruiting them ( I love every young man that commits to the Razorbacks - that is not the issue. The issue is, are they SEC types?).
Most importantly, I want to see real give it all on every play effort. Follow the example of the QB. Give effort like that, and we can be OK.
There are several areas you could point to, but the number one thing to me is Arkansas has failed to play a game without major mistakes. Bielema’s teams in the past usually didn’t shoot themselves in the foot even against better teams. No turnovers and minimal penalties and the Hogs have a good shot of beating Ole Miss.
I agree with you for the most part. I saw a lot of whiffs. But it would have been easy to fold up the table in the Bama game and quit and this team didn’t. Sure, Bama had in some subs in the 2nd half but the offense kept competing until the end of the game. Where I really agree with you is in the absence of physicality. I don’t care how old you are and what league you are playing in, unless there is a disparate difference in talent, the most physical team wins. A trademark of Saban’s teams is physicality, linebackers and secondary especially. I think you see a new level of physicality in A&M this year too and I credit that to Chavis. I don’t see that same willingness or desire on our defense to “crush” someone. And, I totally believe football should be about “crushing” someone. From the kickoff until the last second, it should be about a physical, mental, and emotional crushing. Sure, pick them up off the ground but you should want to annihilate your opponent at every opportunity within the rules of the game.
I see a lot of hits on Austin that seem to come after he’s released the ball and they don’t get called. I wish the Razorbacks had the ability to do the same thing to the other QB. I think it sends a message. But when you can’t, you know the other team will continue to do it.
I would agree on all your points. Well written. I was disappointed some of the younger players didn’t get in the games earlier in the season. The coaches know the players best, but I question if some are in the right position as recruited. Cantrell, and Froholdt come to mind.
Recent past, Richard, yes. But I would argue that every significant loss Bielema has had in the last 3 years has been due to mistake-prone football. Critical penalties, turnovers, and busted coverages. Other coaches get beat with all this too, of course. However, if these mistakes result in Bielema and his team getting down early in a game, then he has a hard time righting the ship given the way he likes to play offense.