Yeah, I know it was just one game against a fading opponent, but we're looking at a long time until next season so I'm going to keep writing about it for a little while longer. Plus, given our sub-dismal bowl record, it's hard to remember the last time the Hogs actually closed out the season with a win.
For those of you looking to get caught up, here's part 1 of my reflections...part 2 is right here:
* as I noted in part 1, I've now watched that final play an unhealthy amount of times. One of my favorite things to observe is the sheer amount of chaos that transpired in between Joe Adams' 3rd down catch and Jonathan Luigs snapping the ball for that fateful 4th down. People are running around every which way, and London Crawford doesn't slip down to the right wideout spot until the last second (plus, we've now learned that Luigs had to remind Casey Dick not to spike the ball to kill the clock...yikes). Plus, the coaches had to call and send in the play at some point in there. It's amazing all the activity that took place in that extremely high-pressure 20-30 second period.
* huge props to the wide receivers. You know, after Marcus Monk left last season I thought Nutt had left the WR cupboard more bare than just about any other position. But now, it looks like we're in great shape for the future. Just look at this receiving chart from the LSU game...Joe the Plumber might not like it, but that's how you spread the wealth. I think every single one of those guys made a big play at some point. Very impressive.
* speaking of wide receivers, London Crawford's redemption wasn't on the grand scale that Casey Dick's was, but it was still nice to see him come up with that final TD catch. Previously, my two primary memories of him were that weird fumble in the 2007 Alabama game and the offensive pass interference in this year's Ole Miss game.
* and speaking of redemption, save some props for Alex Tejada, too. (although I'm still glad it didn't come down to us needing a field goal to win)
* Houston Nutt really does deserve huge kudos for the great job he's done at Ole Miss this year. Having said that, there's simply no way his Arkansas teams could have gone 70 yards in two minutes (without any timeouts) for a game-winning TD. In fact, if I recall correctly we were in almost the exact position against LSU in 2006 and threw four straight incompletions (or something like that...I've tried to block out the specifics of that game). The Hogs' execution of that super clutch, coldly efficient two-minute drill is all that needs to be said about why fans are excited about the future of the Petrino era.
* final thought: I bet Les Miles really knows how to pronounce Arkansas now.