Standing there in the north endzone of War Memorial with the game having been thrown in doubt by a Samford team that was not playing the "get beat by a lot of points, cash your check" role as the opponent, I spotted a helicopter circling the stadium with a spotlight beaming down. I couldn't help but wonder if the UofA had launched that chopper on a search and rescue mission to find the Hogs' missing Little Rock mojo. But in the end, that mojo, or enough of it, was found in the ground game as Alex Collins and his fellow backs did a nice job of running the ball to victory.
And in the end, a victory, ugly as it was, was all that mattered. I thought we might be in for some trouble when I read before the game that the Samford quarterback was a sixth year senior. Yeah, six. He wasn't going to make many mistakes, and he didn't. According to the Dem-Gazette, the last time a Samford quarterback tasted victory over an SEC team was 1934 when they beat Ole Miss 7-6. You sure don't want to repeat something that has not happened since FDR was in office!
Here are some thoughts / observations about the game from someone who was there:
* Javontee Herndon and Julian Horton were on the cover of the program, which for another year at least stayed five dollars. Inside the program, it still says we played the 1978 Orange Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
* I didn't spy any banners flying over the stadium. It isn't an election year. And Houston Nutt is way out in New Mexico, the last I heard.
* I liked seeing Bielema during pre-game warm up going around greeting the players as they did their stretches. He looked like he was excited to be there, which I am sure he was.
* With that white windbreaker, Bielema looked a chef's hat away from being at the Cordon Bleu!
* Yeah, as a regular attender of LR games, I was disappointed that more fans didn't show-up. Around 47,000 is the number I've seen. And over 6,000 unsold tickets. It will be interesting to compare that to the upcoming Mississippi State game. I don't know by how much, but I bet the attendance is up come then.
* I guess it shows just how mainstream the Beatles are these days when the band plays their songs at a half-time of a game honoring the military.
* A change for War Memorial, the clocks seemed to work. But the scoreboard down and distance was often not in step with what the announcer had to say, and then you saw the numbers change real quick. Did they have different sources? Weird.
* That was win 167 in Little Rock. Win 149 at War Memorial.
* One of the many differences between this game and the ULM game, I saw Bret Bielema with the mic on his headset down at mouth level, not up in the air with a white flag hanging from it like with John L. Smith.
* But the commonality was huge. The Hogs again let another team hang around and didn't knock them out of the game early, didn't take that killer instinct all the way through the game. I want to see some show no mercy Hogs come next week against Southern Miss. For we need to create a window for our backups to get more experience on the field. And these are suppose to be those type of games.
* The wave. Didn't take part. The game was too much in doubt at that point. And I have to wonder what the players are thinking about us. The fans are having a good time up there, but don't they know we need them to focus on us down here!
* Stat of the Game: Time of Possession / Hogs 35:47 / Stamford 24:13. We can play keep away right now. But how well will be able to play that come SEC time?
* The Alex Collins unsportsmanlike penalty had a lot of guessing as to what was it that he did, for we were high up enough that we couldn't see. Then we find out that horror of horrors, he high fived some fans.
I'll end here with a poll that has us thinking towards next week, for I would just assume not dwell much more on the Samford scare. We are 2-0, and that is what matters most. Here is an over or under poll that measures your confidence level in our defense to get things corrected.