My musings about Saturday's game are coming to you a bit later than normal due to the fact that I spent most of yesterday travelling back from Arkansas where I had the opportunity to watch the game with my parents and brother. On my trip back to Oklahoma, I went through Northwest Arkansas and Fayetteville itself to see if there was an afterglow to Saturday's 38-24 victory. I guess you could say there was if you count the gorgeous fall foliage that is now on display in the Ozarks. But as far as there being a blinding beam of joy coming from the Hill, after having knocked off the old coach, I don't think so. I don't see it coming from myself either. I think we are all just glad that it is over. Relief more than glee, actually. And I think that is a large part due to it being a drawn out game that was still in doubt until just about the very end. I did pick up an Arkansas Democrat Gazette while at home on Sunday (Wally had nothing but just a summary of the game), and I thought I would use their reported stats to do a by the numbers edition for this week.
5: I'll start with the obvious. Five wins for the season. Seems kinda so-so right now. Even though they were to top notch teams, those two losses loom big. But what would five wins have meant to us back in 2008 at this time? Expectations, expectations, expectations - something how they can color a season.
176: Knilicious! That is the number of yards that Knile Davis ran on his 22 carries. I said that a cork would pop out of a champaigne bottle the moment an Arkansas back managed to go over 100 yards. Well, we heard it pop on Saturday, and it couldn't have happened at a better time. Without Knile Davis' runs on Saturday, we might very well be talking about Bobby Petrino's mortal sin of being 0-3 against Houston Nutt.
3: The number of times out of eleven that the Hogs converted on third down. Not having a running game was a monkey on the team's back, and this lack of getting things done on third down is another.
23:49: Related to the above, that was Arkansas's time of possession compared to 36:11 for Ole Miss.
97: I said Joe Adams would return a punt return for six before the season was over. I don't think I imagined he would do it from the three yard line, but given his talent, I can't say that I am really shocked that he pulled off a record 97 yard return. I just wonder if Ken Hatfield was watching somewhere? His 95 yarder in 1963 against Tulsa stood a long time as the record at Arkansas.
46: The number of yards that Hocker had to go in kicking his third field goal of the season longer than forty-five yards. He hit one for forty-eight at Georgia and another for forty-eight vs. Alabama. His kicking and Joe Adams' punt return and Tejada's touchbacks are all welcome in a year that won't have Dennis Johnson putting the special into special teams.
8-55: That is Arkansas's penalty / yards off of count. Interestingly enough, that is exactly Ole Miss's numbers as well. The inner Olive Stone in me asks this question: "Would this have been the same if Ole Miss had been undefeated?" It will be interesting to see how the officiating goes in the remaining games undefeated Auburn has left on its schedule. Personally, I would love to see the day when refs are paid and trained by the NCAA and not individual conferences.
0: The number of yards that Cam Newton ran on us on Saturday. Yeah, he does play for another team, one not named Ole Miss, and was not even in the state at the time, but haha, his powers are mighty, as you saw in his great day against LSU.
327: The number of passing yards that we gave up to Masoli. At 21-3, I was looking forward to writing about how well the defense had improved. Oh, well. They, the defense, should all be taking Kniles Davis out to dinner on Dickson Street. And let Willy Robinson pay for the movie!
5: The number on the clock, as in seconds, when Masoli was scrambling around trying to find the endzone and I thought, "Hey, even if he scores here, there won't be any time left, Hogs win!" How nice would it be to see the Hogs just take a victory formation and snap the ball to end a game for a change?
PRICELESS: Getting back to .500 in conference play and serving up a loss to Ole Miss more than really Houston Nutt. But, oh, if we had lost, it would have not been so much to the Rebels as it would have been to Houston Nutt! I think that is how it is going to go as we get further and further away from his 2007 announcement that he loved the helmet so much that he was going to go coach a conference foe. Also priceless, for an expat to get to watch the Hogs with his family. The long drive to and from was worth it. Here is hoping that if you are an expat yourself that you'll get to share a game with family and friends who understand and share your swine obsession before the season is all in the books.