Brought to you this week by by Tito's Vodka, Bob Marley, and the picture of a decapitated horsehead that was obviously texted to Bert midway thorough the 3rd quarter. There HAD to be some mafia involvement for us to go into the tank so abruptly. I refuse to believe otherwise. I drank vodka today, but was *this* close to arsenic by the end of the game.
When Bert was hired, this fan base bought in very quickly to the Cult of Bielema. Loud and brash, but also savvy and confident in his ability. The Hogs had hired a coach whose teams had an identity, and who was going to win or lose maintaining it.
Today it was like someone took Arkansas' previous coaches, siphoned the bad out, spread it onto an oversized windbreaker and baggy chinos, and rolled it up into a Butthead-shaped burrito of "huh?". Then finished it off with a headset and some Cool Water, because you know that sumbitch still wears Cool Water.
Backed up in his own territory and needing a big punt, he keeps the leg who'd already boomed one 77 yards earlier on the sidelines, and opts for the freshman rugby-styler instead. Watching from home, John L. Smith thought the only way that call could have been better was if Bert had switched out the deep snapper as well. Houston Nutt would certainly defend throwing the ball relentlessly with a completely inept quarterback during the make-or-break drive of the game while simultaneously keeping his best player on the sideline.
Obviously AJ Derby cannot get it done. He's had seven quarters to get his nerves under control and for "the game to slow down" and it's just not going to happen. I'm not going to pile on the kid, but let me say this. It is asinine to preserve Austin Allen's redshirt for the sole purpose of preserving his redshirt. We won't win another game this season with Derby, but worse than that, as one-dimensional as we are with Derby in, we run a damn good chance of getting our running backs injured. Can't pass it and you're going to see nine in the box, and we damn sure can't pass it.
Finish +3 in turnover margin, block a kick, convert a fake punt, and score a defensive touchdown. And lose. That, friends, is some special kind of derp.
Did the staff just take off for strombolis after the Hogs went up by 17? The misdirection had Rutgers' defense completely on their heels, opening up the intermediate passing game, which was in turn opening up inside running lanes, and Chaney just completely abandoned it. The blitzing and aggressive defensive line play had Gary Nova befuddled and frustrated and ready to throw in the towel, and we just quit getting after him as soon as Paul James went out of the game.
Some quick takes:
Keon Hatcher is pretty good with the ball in his hands. I like the element that end-around play adds.
Alex Collins getting a direct snap has potential. Especially if it keeps our quarterback on the sideline. Wish we'd seen it more than once.
Otha Peters can stick. We knew that already but gawd dang.
Kiero Small's role was greatly diminished today. Patrick Arinze's role virtually nonexistent. We also could not exert physical dominance at the end of the game. Mere coincidence? Perhaps oui, perhaps non.
That late hit. That stupid, dumbshit late hit. I'm going to break something over it. What just depends on where I happen to be when I snap. I cannot get past it. So much anger.
Jarrett Lake's mental breakdown gave them a touchdown. DJ Dean's mental breakdown gave them another. Other penalties stalled drives. That is not Bert ball. I'm not jumping off the bandwagon, but stuff like that is fixable in one spring and one fall.
Okay, I can't think about that nut-punch anymore. I hate that my modest preseason hope of a bowl game is all but dashed, but I won't stop going and watching. It just means I'll drink more. Starting liver exercises tomorrow in preparation for Johnny Manziel.