Brought to you this week by Tito's Vodka, Bob Marley, and what I imagine Ben Herbert's glower to be whenever he sees Jim Chaney's ambitious plate at The Catfish Hole. Beverage of choice this fine Saturday was vodka with San Pellegrino Blood Orange and a little lemon juice. Hat tip to Sporting Life Arkansas for that recommendation.
Who orders an individual pizza at a football game? Are these people without tongues, or do they just not give a shit? They look only slightly more food-like than the cardboard box they come in, and they smell like a soured load of towels after being left in the washer for a week while you were on vacation. I have to believe these people are only one life setback from ensconcing themselves in velvet to conduct their daily affairs. But hey, I could be wrong. Input from y'all, by all means.
So, the game. What. A. Stinker. That we won by three touchdowns and nearly covered. Let's get to it.
Say what you want about Little Rock, snobs, but down there we don't have t-shirt cannons exploding and players just falling out on the sidelines. Somebody needs to get some burning Sage after Razorback Stadium before the Hogs lose Alex Collins in a Tule fog pileup trying to run out of the pig snout before the game.
Major, obvious takeaways. Brandon Allen, meh. Alex Collins, goooood. AJ Derby, well... Ronnie "Sunshine" Bass he ain't. Rabble rabble linebackers rabble. Another week, another round of fawning over AC3. Was this the week he established himself as the feature back, or was it last week? All the while, Jonathan Williams is still getting the start, is averaging more than two yards more per carry, and has more touchdowns. And we talk about Collins as the home run hitter when it seems that Williams is more deserving of the title to this point. I'm guilty of it, too. There's just something about the way Collins runs that makes you giddy even over a four yard gain. It's McFaddenesque.
Feel the Rhythm has been short on attention for Kiero Small this season, and I would like to make amends somewhat this week. Yesterday he was a beast at fullback as he always is, and I love the idea of making teams prepare for him out of the Wildcat. Can you imagine when he throws it? More than that, though, I LOVE using him at tailback in that jumbo package in the fourth quarter. It's freaking brilliant. Lest I shower Small with too much love, I will say that lining him up at tailback and running any type of stretch play needs to be reevaluated in the future. Speed for a big guy is not the same as speed to the outside.
What the heck was going on with Swanson? What the heck was going on with Hocker punting? Where the heck was Hunter Henry?
Fun little game. How many quarterbacks from area high schools could have walked out onto the fields from the stands, suited up for USM, and been more effective than the poor bastard they had back there yesterday? He operated at a level of ineptitude that you just kind of have to marvel at.
So, this linebacker problem. Anybody know how to fix it? Because to these eyes, it seems less an issue of talent and more an issue of not knowing what the hell they're doing. If their only play for success is a draw, maybe not vacate that part of the field? I don't know. Somebody help me out, here. But, hey. At the end of the day, we kept them out of the end zone. Hard to complain too much about that.
Weird game. Obviously the major story is Brandon Allen going down and AJ Derby looking less than good as the backup. But Allen is supposed to be returning, so it makes sense to save that teeth-gnashing until it's necessary.
One issue to be debated is the potential for this season and if it constitutes justification in pulling Austin Allen's redshirt. I say you do what you have to to try and make a bowl game. Others will certainly disagree. Hopefully it's a nonissue, but I hope Bert has a plan.
See y'all next week.
Trent Wooldridge will be that guy with enough bourbon. He loves the S-E-C chant and honks because he hates Texas. He puts honey on his pizza, demands aisle seats, and sees quitting golf as more of a hobby than actually playing golf. Follow @twooldridge and track his quest to transform his three-year-old into a southpaw ace in the bigs.