Posted: 10:46 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013
By Doc Harper
So the flashbacks. They were real. And they were awful.
But it's okay. Arkansas pulled it out. It was much closer than any of us wanted, much less expected. But it worked out. At least for tonight.
Samford took the lead 21-17 in the third quarter, and PANIC! It didn't help that it was announced about that time that the attendance was just over 47k. People were angry at Little Rock. People were angry at the coaches. People were angry on Twitter. I didn't have the confidence in humanity to look at the message boards.
But then, as was the frequent request from what I saw, the team abandoned any semblance of a passing game and went all Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins the rest of the game. Brandon Allen didn't attempt a pass in the 4th quarter. Williams took the lead back early in the 4th, and after forcing a three-and-out, Alex Collins ripped off a 55-yard run to get the Razorbacks back in scoring position, then scored his first touchdown as a Hog a couple of plays later and the game was essentially over.
The question marks are obvious. The passing game took a step back. Brandon Allen was just 9/17 for 125 yards but did throw two touchdowns. Javontee Herndon led the team with 5 catches for 70 yards and Julian Horton had 2, but no one else had multiple catches. And Hunter Henry, who led the team in catches last week (even if was mostly from one drive) only caught one pass for 13 yards. Only four players caught passes. Total.
There will also be plenty of concerns about the defense. Jarrett Lake and Trey Flowers barely played. If the offense didn't cover up the defenses mistakes like they did last week. It was much easier not to worry about defense when the team was up by at least two scores the whole game. But not against Samford. When Arkansas is losing going into the fourth quarter against an FCS team, there will be concern.
Arkansas takes on a team with a 14-game losing streak in Southern Miss next week. It will be nice if they can calm some suddenly frayed nerves before they hit the road to New Jersey.