This, everyone, was a Mona Lisa.
A Starry Night.
A Sistine Chapel.
A combination of the great works of all of the Renaissance-artists-turned-ninja-turtles combined.
You wanted a bone-headed fake punt? You got it.
You wanted a fumble inside the 10 yard line when Arkansas had a chance to take the lead? It was there.
Fullback runs on 2nd-and-14? Yep.
Purposefully taking a delay-of-game penalty from the Mississippi State 32 so you'd have more room to punt because of fear the wind was too strong for Zach Hocker, Arkansas' all-time scoring leader, to knock home a 49-yard field goal? It happened.
A shovel pass for possibly the first time all year on 3rd-and-9 in OT? Oh yeah.
It really was a somewhat decent game from Brandon Allen, but what's an Arkansas game this year without an interception? It was saved for the last play of the game.
A few times this year, the Hogs have tried a play where Allen would take the snap, run a few steps to the side and then throw back to Jeremy Sprinkle down the opposite side of the field. I don't think it had worked all year, but it worked today for a 44-yard gain to set up Arkansas in scoring position with a few minutes left. But on the next play, from the Bulldogs' 12-yard line, with about 5:30 left to play in a tied game, Nickoe Whitley ripped the ball away from Alex Collins to prevent Arkansas from taking the lead.
They never would. The Hogs held the Bulldogs on the final regular season drive thanks to an offensive pass interference penalty, but allowed a 25-yard touchdown run on the first play of overtime. The Razorbacks went four-and-out on their ensuing possession and that was that.
I'd said on a Mississippi State radio show that special teams could be the difference for Arkansas today, and that almost happened. Arkansas hit a 54-yard field goal, while Mississippi State missed one and had another blocked, but the fake punt neutralized a lot of that.
Now the Razorbacks are on the verge of a winless, 0-8 SEC season, with only a trip to Baton Rouge standing in the way.
The game started off strange. Jonathan Williams, Alex Colllins, and Braylon Mitchell were all suspended for the first quarter, reportedly for being late to a team meeting. There were electrical problems in the stadium. The press box was out. Then the scoreboard was out. Or the stadium lights. It was messed up.
But regardless, Arkansas managed to score a touchdown on the opening drive with Korliss Marshall, Kody Walker, and a run-around by Javontee Herndon into the end zone. Then he crashed into an unpadded wall and was shaken up - also strange, but he got up and was good to go.
Then Arkansas went up 10-0 on a 54-yard field goal (allowed to kick because of the wind) that was knuckle-balled through the uprights.
Unfortunately, the game didn't end there. the Bulldogs tied the game after a field goal and a touchdown with a short field after the badly faked punt. They nearly took a touchdown lead going into halftime but Darius Philon forced a fumble just before Derrick Milton crossed the goal line.
Dan Skipper blocked another field goal, his third time this year, in the third quarter. That was awesome. He may set a national record for that by the time his career is over. He may have already. Who else in the nation has blocked three kicks?
Arkansas took a 17-10 lead on a 22-yard Julian Horton run-around, similar to Herndon's. It may have been Horton's best play in his career as a Hog. Nice to see him get a highlight in his last home game.
And the Hogs wore those anthracite uniforms again. This time with matching helmets!
But still, this season is more like anthra-sucks, am I right?