The Hogs on Halloween: Sweet at First, Followed by an Empty Feeling

Appropriately for a game that was played on Halloween, the Arkansas-Eastern Michigan battle reminded me of eating a big pile of candy: it was enjoyable at the time, but afterward it left me feeling strangely unfulfilled and slightly queasy.

Without a doubt, there were many great moments for the highlight reel, including Broderick Green's record-breaking run, Joe Adams' triumphant return to the field and Seth Armbrust's punt block/recovery for a TD. And, no matter who you're playing, holding any team to 39 total yards and 0 first downs in a half is impressive.

But, a few hours after the game the whole thing just felt bad to me. There was the now-familiar defensive breakdown in the 3rd quarter...do we really have to give up an embarrassingly long TD play to every opponent? There was Tyler Wilson struggling against inferior competition. And, perhaps more than anything, there were the other SEC games to remind us all of where the Hogs really stand in the grand scheme of things.

Eight games into the season the Razorbacks are dead last in the SEC West, and that doesn't feel good. Our fellow 5-7 teams from last year, Tennessee and Auburn, are way ahead in the race to conference relevance. The loss to Ole Miss looks even worse after the Rebels pulled a vintage Houston Nutt "lose badly after winning big" move and stumbled against Auburn. South Carolina and their defense will be tough to beat, even at home, and suddenly the Mississippi State game looks very much like a tossup.

Of course, there's still plenty of time for the Hogs to win some conference games and finish the season on a positive note. But the main thing I realized after Saturday is that routs against cupcakes are fun at first, but no one is going to take us seriously until we start winning the games that matter. This weekend against the Gamecocks would be a good place to start...let's hope the team is ready to finish the season with a bang.

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