Believe it or not, the media powers that be in the Atlanta and SF Bay areas didn't feel like the Arkansas-Troy matchup was a top priority for local audiences, so we didn't see it (a big drawback of this whole expats thing). But, from reading the reports it seemed like a solid effort featuring the usual balanced attack of great running and, well, a lot more running. A few quick impressions:
Is That All You Got?: Arkansas running backs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones definitely lived up to their reputation as one of college football's greatest duos. McFadden got his candidacy for the Heisman off to a fine start, rushing for 151 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries. Meanwhile, Jones racked up 129 yards on just 12 carries, peeling off a 44-yard TD in the process. Not content with that body of work, Jones also returned three kicks for 144 yards (including a 90-yard TD) and McFadden completed a 42-yard touchdown pass to Crosby Tuck. On top of all that, our sources say the two cooked all of the concessions before the game and helped clean up the stadium afterwards.
Concerns Not Allayed: While the Razorbacks' vaunted running game lived up to its advance billing, unfortunately so did the passing game. Tom Murphy, beat writer for the Democrat-Gazette, writes that quarterback Casey Dick "was not sharp" and "aimed only a handful of throws" at the team's wide receivers. In all, Dick completed 11 of 20 passes for a total of 108 yards. Thankfully, Troy's quarterback Omar Haugabook misfired on 28 of his 43 attempts and endured one stretch in which he completed just 1 of 13 passes, although he did rack up a total of 204 yards. Perhaps new offensive coordinator David Lee can yet get the passing game untracked, but we aren't holding our breath.
If you're looking for detailed recaps, we direct you to the excellent coverage at the RazorBloggers Network and Whole Hog Sports. And if you enjoy reading game reports from the hometown newspapers of a vanquished foe (one of our favorite things), check them out here and here.
Lastly, if anyone reading this was actually at the game and feels like leaving your impressions in the comments section, we'd love to see them!