With this post, I want to take a short look back at Saturday's game, and then turn our snouts and tusks to the direction of Rutgers and what will be Arkansas's toughest test of the young season. You'll also find a poll at the end. Speaking of which, the 65 percent of you who last week said Arkansas would hold Southern Miss to a fewer amount of yards (231) than what Samford was able to gain, well, you were wrong. The 35 percent were in the right. Southern Miss gained just a few more yards, 254 to be exact.
*As coach Bielema described the game, it wasn't a sexy win. But when your quarterback goes out early in the game and you are facing a team hungry for a win, that hasn't tasted a win in their last fourteen attempts, I'll take a homely victory of 24-3. Somebody is going to get stuck with a loss to Southern Miss. at some point; I am just glad it won't be the Hogs.
*As I was not viewing the game inside the state, I missed out on the blue screen experience. If it is weird, it seems to be destined to happen to Arkansas. I cite Alex Collins' near osmosis with a Southern Miss player's helmet as another example.
*Is there any chance we could speed up the eventual game with Michigan so Chris Smith can knock some wolverine's helmet off and get the publicity that Clowney has soaked up?
* My brother told me that at his church they refer to Bielema as the snowman. I've already called him a chef. But looking at his unwillingness to expose his arms, haha, I couldn't help but wonder if he is the Bea Arthur of SEC coaches?
* You can call Collins, Williams, Flowers, and Smith our Golden Boys. Here are some golden stats for you. In the fourth quarter, the Hogs have scored twenty-one points and not yet allowed a single point. They've also in the fourth quarter gained 296 yards to the opposition's total of just seventy-six yards.
* Time of possession: It will be interesting to see the relationship between this statistic and wins and losses. We had 35.23 in Saturday's game. We haven't lost this numerical battle yet. But if we do lose it, I have to think we likely lose the game as well. And after seeing Texas A&M on Saturday, every second we can keep the ball out of Manziel's hands will be, as Houston Nutt would say, precious.
SNOUTS AND TUSKS POINTED EAST
I thought I would give you some numbers and some comparisons as we approach the Hogs' first trip out to New Jersey for a football game. A good question, have the Hogs ever played any sport within the Garden State? Basketball? Somebody with a better memory than mine might be able to answer that one.
* Accomplishments thus far for Rutgers, two wins over Norfolk State (38-0) and Eastern Michigan (28-10) and one loss in overtime at Fresno State (52-51).
* Passing Yards: They are ranked 88th in the nation (Hogs, 112th).
* Rushing Yards: They are ranked 40th in the nation (Hogs, 11th).
* Points: Rutgers' overtime game sorta distorts things a bit here, but they do rank 35th in the nation, averaging 39.0 per game, while the Hogs are 66th with a 29.7 average. I would say having our first string quarterback miss almost the entire third game distorts things some on our side too. At least, I like to think so.
* Points Against: Rutgers is at 47th with 20.7 and the Hogs are at 13th in the nation at a 12.7 average. Letting Southern Miss score only three did a lot for our average.
* Our most frequent ball carrier, Alex Collins, has 70 carries for 418 yards, averaging 6.0 a carry, with two touchdowns. Rutgers' main man, P. James, by comparison has 493 yards to date with an average of 8.1 a carry and six touchdowns. If we hear a lot from P. James, it won't be a good day in New Jersey for the Hogs.
* Passing: Rutgers' biggest threat is L. Caroo who has just six receptions but 157 yards, averaging 26.2 a catch, for three touchdowns. In comparison, Herndon has 10 receptions for 165 yards, averaging 16.5, and also three touchdowns.
* #52 - The only number Rutgers has retired, which they did this past weekend, was worn by Eric LeGrand, a young man who was recently paralyzed in a game and whose joy will be my only consolation if the Hogs were to lose on Saturday.
* So what to make of Rutgers? If Brandon Allen had been able to play the entire Southern Miss. game, I think I would have a better read on where we are at and what we might be capable of. Saturday we hunkered down with Derby and ran our way to a homely win. I do know this, however. I think Cobi Hamilton's SEC receiving record that he set last year in Arkansas isn't going to be broken in New Jersey! But I think it is crucial for the Hogs' bowl chances to get a win on Saturday, for the SEC is looking as tough as ever, especially the SEC West.
*I'll send you out on this poll question to contemplate. Will Arkansas's dynamic duo make it four games in a row of 100 rushing yards each?
* Footnote: Those Missouri Tigers are the only undefended team in the SEC East! Enjoy it while it lasts Rock M Nation!