Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hogs get slaughtered, no Arkansan should be surprised

Arkansas got slapped all over its home field on Saturday when the 9th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide came to town and whipped the poor Hogs 49-14.

No Arkansan -- hell, no Arkansas Razorbacks fan anywhere on the planet -- should be surprised. If you want to analyze how bad of a game it was, click right here to check out an AP story on the slaughter or take a look at the box score by clicking right here.

We Arkansas Razorbacks fans, however, shouldn't have been surprised that a team showed up in Fayetteville and treated the Hogs like chumps right on Reynold Razorback Stadium. Why? This is a building year and Arkansas has played horribly so far.

Arkansas won it's first two games of the year, but only barely. Who did the Razorbacks beat? Western Illinois and Louisiana-Monroe -- not exactly high powered ball clubs. If the Razorbacks barely beat teams that should have been handled easily, there was no way in hell they'd be able to take on Alabama.

So, what happened? Why did Arkansas stink so completely on Saturday? Here are just a few reasons:

1. Houston Nutt is a complete and total bastard. The Razorbacks are steeling reeling from the hangover left after 10 years of being coached by that filthy Nutt. He, of course, left last year before he was thrown out of the state by irate Razorbacks fans. Ol' Boxcar's selling his snake oil over at Ole Miss now and good riddance.

By the way, that "Boxcar" nickname is one of my inventions. Why call him Boxcar? Because Nutt is a bum.

That worthless scalded chicken-dancing moron left head coach Bobby Petrino an absolute mess, see. Nutt managed to completely screw up recruiting and run off some pretty good players his last few years here.

"But, what's a scalded chicken dance, The Hawg?"

It's the panicked jig that Nutt does on the sidelines when his team is losing and the ol' ball sack is in a panic. He was probably doing that tonight when Ole Miss was busily losing to Vanderbilt, in fact. Regret that hire yet, Ole Miss? You will.

Yes, it's popular to blame former head coaches when their former teams are rotten, but Nutt actually does deserve to be loathed here in the Natural State. Here's what I mean. In a state like Arkansas, it is crucial for a coach to keep talented kids in the state. Nutt always struggled with that, but he scored a major coup when he recruited five kids from the 2005 Springdale High School team -- a state championship team that was ranked third in the United States.

He managed to alienate those kids and they left for other schools. How bad did that hurt the team? Just as an example, Damian Williams is having a hell of a year at USC. So Arkansas is currently lacking in the talent department, partially because of Nutt's idiotic handling of the Springdale kids.

Ah, but his mistreatment of those recruits had another sinister impact -- a lot of Arkansas high school kids simply didn't trust Nutt. Auburn was just one school that capitalized on that distrust. I mention Auburn because that team was able to show up and simply cherry pick the 2006 recruiting class.

Even before all of that, Nutt had trouble recruiting in this state. Let's say you've got a kid that's being recruited by, say, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida. Why on earth would that player want to play for a goofy bastard who couldn't even beat lowly UNLV in the Las Vegas Bowl? A good number of Arkansas players said "no thanks" and headed elsewhere, and let's not even get into the trouble that a subliterate goon like Nutt has recruiting kids in other states.

So, Nutt sucks and he's the primary reason Arkansas is terrible right now. He'll be back in Arkansas later this season when Ole Miss comes to town to play the Razorbacks. I hope Nutt gets booed even more than he did when he was the coach here. I hope Arkansas fans let the air out of his tires and throw garbage at him. Harsh? Nutt and his white trash brigade didn't contribute a damn thing to athletics here and the man deserves whatever shabby treatment he gets from Arkansans.

2. Arkansas is small. Alabama's offensive line simply shoved the Arkansas defense all over the field on Saturday. The Crimson Tide rushed for 328 yards on Saturday as that offensive line just wore down Arkansas defenders and dominated the line of scrimmage.

3. Arkansas is young. The Hogs lost a lot of players last year to either graduation or the NFL draft. Young players make bonehead mistakes and they sure made their share on Saturday. For example, Arkansas stopped the Crimson Tide on Alabama's first offensive drive of the game. Alabama punts, a Razorback roughs the kicker, the Crimson Tide gets the ball back and scores.

They'll learn.

4. Arkansas has no passing game. Yes, Casey Dick has been a liability for the past couple of seasons. He hasn't gotten a whole lot better and managed to throw three interceptions on Saturday. What was really pitiful was watching Dick awkwardly try to tackle 'Bama defenders as they rushed past him on the way to the end zone (he kind of flopped at them like a fish and utterly failed to even slow them down).

See the photo I posted at the top of this nonsense? That's a 'Bama player picking off another wayward pass from Dick. Sadly, that was a common sight in this rotten game.

After Petrino got tired of that interception-flinging Dick, he put freshman Tyler Wilson in the game. Wilson completed a pass for a touchdown but also managed to throw an interception (causing Dick to sulk on the sidelines and mumble, "Hey, I could do that.")

Fortunately, Ryan Mallett will be eligible next year. He transferred to Arkansas from Michigan in January. Under NCAA rules, he has to redshirt this season but will be cleared to play in 2009. That's great news for Arkansas. Don't believe me? Just click right here to read all about Mallett.

So, did anything encouraging come out of Saturday's game?

Actually, there were some decent things. While the defense is small, they are quick and athletic. The major problems were that they seemed to miss assignments like crazy and get worn down over time. Some coaching can help with those assignments and some weight training will help them bulk up a bit.

I don't expect a whole lot out of the Hogs this year as those young players need to grow and Dick just sucks (pun intended). Whenever the Hogs would get a drive going, Dick reverted to his "graceless under pressure" ways of the past two seasons and started throwing interceptions. He's just not a great quarterback and is typical of the type of backs that worked well in Nutt's system (i.e., someone who could turn around and hand off the ball to either Felix Jones or Darren McFadden -- two running backs who are making their marks as rookies in the NFL).

There is one player, however, who was very impressive on Saturday --junior Michael Smith rushed for 92 yards and caught six passes for 67 yards. He looks like a man who's gearing up for a very solid senior year. I sure hope so.

Last week, of course, Arkansas' game against the Texas Longhorns was called due to a hurricane. They'll make that up next week on Sept. 27. It probably won't be pretty.

I just hope that Razorbacks fans don't get too discouraged this season. We knew it was going to be bad this year, what with McFadden and Jones heading off to the NFL. The good news, of course, is that Nutt is gone and we've finally got a great coach in Fayetteville. If Petrino actually manages to stick around for awhile (something he's not known for), then we may actually see the Hogs become a competitive team in the SEC. Arkansas has been a middle-tier team since joining the SEC, so here's hoping that Petrino is the guy to change all of that.

Oh, and a weird thing happened when I was watching the game on TV. At some point, the Arkansas band was clearly playing the White Stripes' Seven Nation Army. What the hell?


lala said...

seriously? Nutt was there for 10 years? wow, how times flies.

Look I loved Nolan Ryan so I know, if they just get the right person in there Arkansas WILL kick butt!

Woooooooo Pig Sooooie!

The Natural State Hawg said...

Heh. I'm going to assume you meant Nolan Richardson.

I do wish Nolan Ryan would show up as the pitching coach for the baseball team, however.

And, yes, that blasted Nutt was here for 10 years.

By the way, did I mention I don't like him much? said...

Yes, the Hawgs had a rough time today.

However, East Carolina managed to lose to N.C. State in overtime.

It took me awhile to get over it. But like a good Pirate, I press on...

The Natural State Hawg said...

Well, at least EC didn't get killed. That Arkansas game was over in the first quarter.

Hard too watch.

At least that filthy Nutt lost to Vanderbilt again. That makes me feel a little better...

Margie and Edna said...

Margie here. What can I say Mr. The Hawg? Alabama has had some rough years too. I'm pretty sure they won because I promised them all a kiss after the game.
Better luck next week. Roll Tide.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Oh, Margie. Yes, you've mentioned your love for the Crimson Tide more than a time or two.

You must be thrilled -- Alabama is ranked and it looks like y'all have the coach to make the Tide scary again. Great days to be an Alabama fan, indeed.