Well, I spent all day in Fayetteville, Arkansas tailgating and then attending the Arkansas vs Missouri State game. Of course Arkansas won 51-7. They could have named the score (literally...but Petrino played everyone, 2nd stringers started the 2nd quarter, emptied bench before it was over, and he only ran the base offense).
What I learned from watching Arkansas play an FCS team today:
1. Joe Adams is one of the best all-around athletes in college football (as a WR and return guy...he returned 2 punts for TD's and had right at 180 return yards in the game....both are Ark records and the 2 punt returns in a game ties an SEC record).
2. Tyler Wilson is the real deal at QB. He only played 4 series but the Hogs were efficient and scored 24 points on his 4 drives.
3. Arkansas has the deepest and most talented receiving corps in America. Everyone knows the big 4: Childs, Adams, Wright, and Hamilton. But the Hogs have some dynamic WR's that will contribute big time this year and will be the stars of this and next season: Marquel Wade, Horton, Gragg, and others. These so called 2nd stringers would be starters on almost any other team in college football.
4. The running back corps will be very good...not great without Knile Davis...but very good. Wingo started and played well. D'Anthony Curtis looked very good. But the big surprise was the play of freshman RB Kodi Walker (he had several carries, 2 TD's, Ran through people, and looked to have a quick burst after getting the ball...he is a big boy too...240 pound back...look to see more of this young back this year).
5. The defense is legit. The d-line goes two deep and they can all play. Tons of future NFL players on that defensive front. They will not be easy to run on...that is why I believe Ark has a shot at beating Bama and LSU away from home (both teams have QB issues and rely heavy on the run).
6. The special teams are special...and the kicking game is in good hands.
7. The only weak spot...OL. They played well for the most part but had a few assignment errors that led to a couple of QB sacks or loss of yards on run plays. They will hopefully gel as a unit in the coming weeks (hopefully before the trip to Bama in week 4). If the Hogs lose some games this year it will more than likely due to poor OL play. If they get the OL clicking as a unit then Ark is a legit top 5 team.
8. They have to clean up the penalties as well.
Man the Hogs have come light years in the 4 years Petrino has been on campus. 4 years ago Ark needed a last second TD pass to beat a FCS team. Now they look like a real team with depth all over the field, the size and speed of the big boy programs, play all three phases of the game well, and I can't wait for week 2.
I also liked that Notre Dame lost, and Ole Miss lost. It would have been even sweeter if Utah State could have held on to their lead over Auburn (that would have made for a perfect weekend). How could Utah State squander a 10 point lead with about 2:30 left in the game. Arghhh!!!
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"A team with something to play for is dangerous, but a team with someone to play for is unstoppable..." Arkansas OL Brey Cook quote following the death of teammate Garrett Uekman (Nov. 2011).
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