It is the morning after the Hogs' impressive road win over South Carolina, and I still have my inner voice saying to myself "How about them Hogs!" (Sometimes I say it out loud, haha) Last night's win was one of the most complete games, if not the most complete game, the Hogs have played in the SEC under Petrino. It is clearly the best road victory by far. I think we saw the team, minus the penalties and the late Tyler Wilson fumble for a touchdown, that Bobby Petrino has been trying to build since he arrived in Fayetteville. I am looking forward to seeing more of them in the games ahead. But until then, let's enjoy this one a little while longer, and due to the time change, we'll all get an extra hour to savor this victory. Thank you daylight savings time!
* The game started on my cable system with the annoucers pretty much muted and in the background while the crowd noise was loud and clear. It felt more like you were in Columbia than watching it on television. I was kinda disappointed when the annoucers came back on.
* These two teams have been mirror teams all season long. When the Hogs won, the Gamecocks won that weekend. When the Hogs had lost, the Gamecocks lost that weekend. The big difference was that the Gamecocks had taken care of Alabama at home while the Hogs had not. I would not have been surprised if this game had ended in a deadlock tie with overtime deciding it. But thank goodness we avoided that scenario.
* Though this game didn't have as much meaning for South Carolina last night, seeing as their big game of the year is against Florida next week, I think South Carolina wanted to go into the Florida game with momentum on their side having knocked off a ranked Arkansas team.
* For Arkansas, several pieces to the BCS puzzle and a Sugar Bowl berth fell into place yesterday. Auburn won, which we all expected. LSU gave Alabama their second loss, which was not necessarily expected. And most importantly, the Hogs beat a ranked team on the road. They'll need to beat another, Miss. State, and then beat LSU in Little Rock, and then hope that Auburn and Cam Newton continue their winning ways all the way to a spot in the national championship game. I never underestimate the likelihood of the Hogs getting screwed over by the powers that be, but such a combination of events should make us a very attractive Sugar Bowl team.
* Alshon Jeffrey - doesn't that sound like a name out of some Oscar Wilde play? But he is clearly not some English dandy, not at all. He and Gurly both were beasts out there, and I feared that we would see them scoring touchdowns on the Hogs all night long. But credit the defense for eventually shutting those guys down.
* Right now I am enjoying reading about another Marcus who was in the early 80s a running back. That would be "The Courting of Marcus Dupree" by Willie Morris, one of my favorite Southern writers. Last night the Hogs wrote a book called "The Shutting Down of Marcus Lattimore." Where would we be if the Hogs had earlier written one on the shutting down of Cam Newton? Still, I am very proud that our Hogs kept this Marcus from having a career night.
* Before the Hogs started to take the game over, I saw empty seats in Columbia for a ranked South Carolina team. This is a fanbase that is known for filling up their stadium to see South Carolina teams with losing records. I just wonder when the same ticket plan comes to Fayetteville if we'll see such empty seats in Razorback stadium?
* Thought during the game: Ryan, if you are going to be the all time great Hog quarterback, you really need more than one road win in conference play. He was 1-5 before last night. In other numbers, the win brought him to .500 in SEC conference play as a starter. And the team itself can't finish worse than 4-4 in conference this year.
* Last night was the first Hog game I've seen on my new 26 inch Vizio flat screen television set, a birthday present to myself. The Hogs are 1-0 on Vizio! haha. Will I seriously keep up with the set's win / loss record? Hmm, possibly!
* I've seen a lot of violence on television of both fhe fiction and non-fiction variety. But I don't think I've ever seen a face more angry than that I saw of Bobby Petrino when the refs came up with the bullsh-t call that Garcia's forward motion had ended and thus it wasn't a fumble. I thought Petrino was going to break my new television all the way from Columbia with such an intense and angry stare. I don't guess Mike Slive can fine coaches for angry looks can he? Petrino better hope not.
* On the lighter side, I saw D.J. Williams chatting with a ref before the second quarter. The ref smiled. Given D.J.'s tweets of late, you just wonder what type of humorous question or observation he was proposing.
* Knile Davis had a night of 22 carries and 110 yards for three touchdowns. One touchdown had him flying over the goal line to prove that pigs can indeed fly. As others have observed, Knile ran with authority all night.
* More praise for Hocker and his dead aim at long field goals. The prospect of having him for another three years just makes me feel warm inside, haha.
* How many of you changed channels at points just to look at Texas (spit) getting creamed by Kansas State and falling to 4-5 on the year? The Hogs winning and Texas (spit) losing all in one night, something which doesn't happen frequently enough if you are a Razorback fan.
* Could one drink oneself into the emergency room if you played a drinking game where you took a shot with every Arkansas penalty? False starts alone could get you a buzz. That was still a negative on a positive night. Other negatives, the lack of pass protection there for a period and then at the end of the game with Tyler Wilson getting hammered in the endzone, and I thought we still could do a better job on special teams at limiting kick returns.
* Tramain Thomas, is there anybody on the Hogs' defense that is better at stepping in front of a receiver and picking off a pass? He did it in the Liberty Bowl and has been at it ever since. Credit also goes to Gaston for getting a pick last night as well. And Rudell Crimm (great name for a defensive back) was death itself to a Garcia thrown ball when he knocked it off its trajectory.
* What is it with SEC coaches who think they are Les Miles? The Old Ball Coach should have known better than to go for that fake punt. I am glad he did go for it, however. For I feel like us scoring after that was a significant turning point in the game.
* Adams is number three. Wright is number four. But for the life of me I have a hard time keeping that straight. They are both very similar in size and not too dissimilar in ability as we are finding out.
* One thing this game did miss was a Ronnie Wingo touchdown via the wheel route, a play which has been just about money all season long. Maybe it had to take a game off. But I hope it comes back in Starkville and Little Rock.
* Mallett ended with 303 yards and 21-30. A good solid night that we rather expect these days. If a quarterback had done that in the Nutt or Hatfield eras, it would be bigger news. Welcome, Hog fans, to the Bobby Petrino era. Amazing what he has done to the modus operandi of our team in two short years.
* I fell asleep before College Gameday Final. Does anyone know if the Hogs' game got much mention? It wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't mentioned at all even though it was on ESPN itself. I read on a message board where the "highlight" on the ESPN website was that one clunker of a play where Tyler Wilson gave up a touchdown on a fumble. Really? One teams beats another, and all you can show is the losing team's best play? Uggh.
* BIG PICTURE THOUGHTS: The Gamecocks laid an egg on Saturday night. I don't expect the same to happen in Starkville where we've won, but have always had a hard time of doing so. LSU has a tough and hard hitting defense that nearly made orange appear on the field in Baton Rouge as they knocked off the Crimson Tide. I am sure they'll want to do the same in LIttle Rock. But first, get through UTEP without any drama and without any serious injuries. And then it is on to two must win games that could possibly put us all in Hog heaven, address Bourbon Street.