Sweet mother of all that is good, why was that game so stressful? We never trailed. We always knew that we could score at will on the Hogs....but my goodness. That game took years off of my life. Let's move quickly into game thoughts:
1) The Defense. What can be said? I don't know why I hoped for anything given our defensive performance over the past few weeks. We only gave up 50 or so yards more than we did to SMU, but man. This was hard to watch. It seems like we just kept getting beat by the same plays over and over and over again.
The crazy thing is that Brandon Allen was only 17/36 for 261 yards. Doesn't it feel like he completed just about every pass he threw? Passing aside, we keyed on them running the ball, and they had little success up the middle but killed us on the edge. Arkansas has some salty RBs. Kudos to their coaches for finding ways to get them the ball in space. Here's a good play on defense:
TACKLING. MY GOD, TACKLING.
Someone tell me in the comments. Are our defensive issues more a product of personnel or scheme? I can't figure that out.
2) Breaking their will. I love the fact that in the second half we 100% committed to the run and killed them with it. Tra Carson runs with so much determination and a healthy Trey Williams is a different type of special. My only question is why did we rotate backs when Tra was getting 7 yards a pop? Why not continue to feed him the ball?
3) Johnny had a good night. 23/30 for 261 and 2 TDs, and 59 rushing yards. But something was weird. It feels like Johnny has been drilled to look downfield so much that he forgets who he is and what he can do. There were a number of occasions where 2012 Manziel would have taken off quickly and gained 8 yards. But Johnny is patient this year, almost to a fault.
4) The offensive line: Pretty dominant performance this evening. They did a lot of things right and gave Johnny all the time in the world he needed to get the job done. Good job maroon goons.
5) Am I right in understanding that Arkansas only had one penalty all night? Really?
6) Bye Week: Could not have come at a better time. With two of our three most important players (Ennis and Evans) coming up a bit gimpy...not to mention Claiborne...we need time to rest and recover for the rest of the grueling season.
I don't know what to think about the future of this team. At one point in time I thought we were legit national title contenders...but our defense is such a weak link. What are your expectations for the year from here on out and did this game change anything?
I'll leave you with this GIF of Arkansas' Deatrich Wise celebrating after giving up only a 4-yard run to Manziel.