An alternative title to this one is "McClustererd!" or if you want to put it another way, "McCluster F--K!" Whatever I title the post, it isn't going to fully capture just how down and in the dumps I am today about the Hogs losing to Ole Miss and Houston Nutt for the second year in a row. It feels like salt in the wound coming after last week's loss to Florida. A good thrashing of Eastern Michigan next week will help the healing process, but it is going to take some wins against SEC competition to possibly get us back to that first quarter feeling of the Georgia game when it looked like this Hog program had taken on a new identity, one in which touchdowns are slammed down the opponent's throat by sure handed receivers, and three points don't get taken off the board because of a delay of game penalty. So let me begin with the observations, coming earlier to you this week simply because the theraputic value of this couldn't wait until Sunday.
* Did you see the Hogs represented on Gameday? Some expat in Utah had a sign, "Go Hogs, Beat Ole Miss," that could be seen for a period. Congrats go out to him or her.
* Corso might have summed it all up before the game began. He said the Hogs had "shot their wad" already with the game against Florida. I know how hard of a loss that was for me to shake, but I was hoping, like all of us were, that the Hogs would come out and play with an "us vs. the world attitude." It was clear early on that it was Ole Miss that came out with the "Mo" already in their pocket.
* Sorry 53% of ESPN's American citizens, you thought the Hogs would win. I hope you were wise enough not to put any money on that.
* Not the Wild Rebel, Not the Wild Hog, but might we have a case of the Wild Thing in Ryan Mallett? I am thinking of that 1989 movie with Charlie Sheen, "Major League," where Sheen plays an outstanding pitcher who can throw the ball at warp speed, but has little control. There are moments when I expect to see Mallett wearing black rimmed glasses and shouting out curses about Denise Richards.
* Could the turning point in the game have come so early as on the early 3rd and 8 when Cobi Hamilton didn't catch the pass that would have been a first down? Those Ole Miss scores needed to be answered in a hurry, and the Hogs were on a drive then, but as so many times in this game, a receiver didn't catch the ball.
* Did the refs want to say to the suspended crew, here's one for you, guys, when they got us early for a personal foul on a so called "late hit"? It was clear that Dexter, Hog killing, McCluster was not out of bounds when he was hit.
* Oh, Jarius Wright, the humanity! the humanity! of leaving six points on the field like you did when Mallett hit you right in the hands. How different of a game would it have been if Jarius makes a catch that he has probably made countless times in practice.
* Where Oh, Where, Are you Tonight? - Where is our true love from last season, D.J. Williams? There is no excuse for not trying harder to get the ball into his much more trustworthy hands.
* Is Mallett's left arm in mourning for his right arm? What is that black thing that you see around his upper arm? A brace?
* A question I thought about all game. Are we so finesse that we simply have no margin for error on offense? If we are not in sync on pass plays that require a number of things to work right each time, with no running game really, we are pretty much shut down.
* Speaking of running game, where was Ronnie Wingo? Is Broderick Green of the Broderick Green Experiment really that much better than Wingo to be seeing all this playing time?
* If you recorded the game and want to experience what a bullfight in Spain must be like without the expense of going to Spain, just watch the game again and see how Arkansas's offensive line did a fairly good matador impersonation. Our o-line was about as solid as a red cape at times.
* I am afraid to say I was in envy of Houston Nutt's offense that was able to chew clock and simply move the chains from play to play; whereas, the Hogs were putting so many chips on being able to make big strikes down the field. Shouldn't there be a better plan B in place for when we aren't connecting way down field? I think so.
* But when Mallett is own, my GAWD! He can hit an anchovie from the moon! Which is basically what happened when he connected with a well covered Reggie Fish for a big gain.
* The ham sandwiches I ate resulted in all 17 of our points. I started one for each of our scoring drives. Kinda remarkable, actually. I was finishing off the third when Tejada had his 52 yard long, game changing, field goal called back due to delay of game. The power of the ham sandwich had clearly reached its limits.
* Won the turnover battle once again, and still lost the game. Geez.
* In I obviously love that Helmet more than you do because I didn't go coach another SEC West team news, why didn't the SEC network have the Hog and Ole Miss helmets placed in front of their desk with all the other SEC matchups for today? I thought that strange. This is your SEC game of the week, don't you feature their helmets?
* We killed any MO that we brought into the second half with a quick three and out. Houston Nutt and Kent Austin would proceed to ride McCluster for a win. What is it with Nutt and playmakers with Scottish names? They have secured for him more than a few wins in his coaching career.
* Do we have only two plays? Some type of ICBM launch down the field and then a run up the gut running play? It seems that way. Sad to say, Houston Nutt and company's offense looked more inventive and more balanced than Bobby Petrino's. How I would love to see us practice and perfect the simple screen pass that got Dexter McCluster a 64 yard touchdown.
* Kudos to Salters for his heads up play to catch the ball for a touchdown. Sometimes, you just get lucky, even on a bad day.
* Unfortunately, about all Ryan Mallett can say he had on Snead today is that Ryan obviously goes to a better barber. But I don't think they really entrusted the game all that much to Snead. They were confident that they could beat our defense with McCluster, and they were right. They also must have watched the Bama tape closely, for Arkansas fell for the old trickeration, toss back, heave down the field play once again.
* You sure could see the difference in our defense and the Alabama defense that shut these same Rebels down two weeks ago. I have a man crush right now on Saban and what he is able to do with defensive players.
* Tejada, congratulations on the best kick of your career. Sorry it isn't going to count. You didn't really expect to get the benefit of the doubt like the Florida kicker did last week who hit his fifty plus yard kick with 00 on the game clock, did you?
* Like I mentioned last week, Arkansas has the ability to make career days pop up, but for usually the opposing team's players. This week Snead and McCluster had their career days. Are some Eastern Michigan players getting excited about next week?
* Eight drops, I believe it was from our receivers. Simply, unacceptable.
* I thought it was classic Nutt the way Ole Miss handled things at the end of the first half. But it actually turned out to benefit them after the turnover. Because of the way they didn't manage the clock well, that left Arkansas with no seconds left to take advantage of the turnover.
* The big picture what is really getting every Arkansas fan's goat right now thought is that we went ten years watching Nutt teams make the type of mistakes we made today, dropped passes, bad play calling, lousy defense, poor tackling. We thought that once we had new leadership, we would be on the winning side of things and see those things that drove us up the wall coming from Ole Miss. But so far that has not been the case enough for Arkansas to win games against Ole Miss. Instead, Nutt is now doing more of the things he did well at Arkansas than bad, but now at Ole Miss. Will that change when the players become more Nutt's at Ole Miss and more Petrino's at Arkansas? That is what every Arkansas fan is hoping for! And what Bobby Petrino better be praying for!
* Some pick me up suggestons. Since you are on the internet, go to youtube and type in "Roman Candle Dog" and watch the little, brave weiner dog scare his family half to death. Or go to youtube and type in "Cello Shady Grove" and listen to a wonderful interpretation of a classic by Nickogawa. Or try some porn if you must! Whatever it takes today!
Well, that concludes my thoughts on the game, but I am sure that thoughts of the game will not so easily leave my head. I have, actually, about 365 days to think about it in some form or another. I am pretty sure I'll be thinking of this game when the Hogs play Ole Miss in basketball and baseball. Avenge the football team! So far, my 7-5 prediction is right on track with every game won and every game lost just as how I called it before the season began. If things hold up, we are looking at wins over Eastern Michigan, South Carolina (wouldn't it be nice to have Darren on the sideline for that one instead of today's John Daly), Troy, and Mississippi State. If I am truly in sync with the will of the football gods, we will have to deal with a loss to LSU, but also a bowl win in Memphis or Shreveport. Time, as it always does, will tell. To all my fellow suffering Hog fans out there, hang in there!