It's pretty easy to tell that this was a loss simply by looking at Brandon Allen's output for the game. 45 pass attempts, 2 INTs, a lost fumble, these are not the numbers that equal a good day for the Razorbacks. Like the majority of the team, most of the woes occurred in the first half. He had his moments, like he always does, but struggled more often than not. He was running for his life seemingly the entire game as he was knocked down 11 times and lost 35 yards on 3 sacks (granted, not all his fault). What makes things worse is that overall his play wasn't terrible. The INT thrown into bad coverage aside, most of the major mistakes were a result of great pressure by UGA. Let's take this moment to give the UGA defense a hand. What they've been doing the past two games deserves recognition. 4 forced turnovers and a defensive touchdown is a dominant performance.
Second week in a row where it looks like Jonathan Williams is the only SEC caliber running back on the team. Despite not recording a score, he was the only one with a respectable average for the day. His performance was the bright spot of the game and he combined for 120 yards and 0 points.
Alex Collins needs to get out of his "rut". We need the dynamic duo if there are any hopes of getting on track. Collins did score two touchdowns against the Bulldogs, so maybe that'll spur his momentum, but we had that God-awful pitch play in which he fumbled and gave Georgia possession on the 7-yard line.
Let's hope our running game as a whole gets back on the right track next week.
A.J. Derby, Hunter Henry, and Keon Hatcher are clearly the headliners of this group. The UGA secondary isn't as great as their front 7, but it's still an achievement to get open and make some excellent catches (Hunter Henry) against the team that will be named SEC East Champs in a couple weeks. Mark Carter mentioned it in his Dante's Inferno post, but Derby is playing for the pros now. It's painfully obvious that our tight ends are the strength of this group; if we could get Jared Cornelius to finally break out we could have some devastating passing plays. We had great blocking from the WRs like we usually do, and I thought our hands were remarkable, especially when thinking about where we were in week 1.
Worst. Game. Ever. I'm going to be harsh, because this group is great. They need to be held accountable. You can't give a great unit a pass when they have a terrible game. Yes, UGAs defense was on another level, but our line has faced good defenses this year and looked way better. Brandon Allen needs time. He is not a good improviser. He can run when needed, but we all know he locks onto receivers when he is pressured. He got sacked 3 times, was knocked down 11, and quite honestly never looked solid in the pocket. Against the run they weren't as abysmal - especially on that opening drive - but they weren't able to replicate that again. We need the line of week 4 again. We certainly can't afford to replicate the game we had against UGA.
They say it all starts up front. Well, it never really started up front for Arkansas on Saturday. The leading tackler on the d-line was Darius Philon with just four tackles. Not only could our line not stop Chubb or get to Mason, they hardly even slowed them down. Chubb ran through arm tackles all day long, routinely hitting the linebackers and taking them for a ride. Give credit to Georgia's offensive line because the Hogs were losing the battle in the trenches. The highlight stat for the defensive line is probably that Trey Flowers had two quarterback hits. Yikes.
These guys missed Brooks Ellis. I knew Arkansas was going to hurt without him, but I had no idea how critical his presence was for success. Ellis not only plays smart, but it would seem he's the eyes and mouth of the defense, reading plays, directing players, and making adjustments as needed. It also didn't help that Braylon Mitchell was ejected for targeting in the second quarter (intentional or not). But credit to Josh Williams for doing what he could in relief, leading the team with 14 tackles. The linebackers looked like a corpse without a leader, allowing Chubb and Mason to plow and dink and dunk their way to the end zone. Let's hope this bone bruise heals up quickly. Arkansas doesn't have a chance defensively against SEC opponents without Ellis on the field.
No interceptions, no pass break-ups, it's hard to think of a play where this group actually had an impact. That is until we get to Henre' Toliver. Loved the cornerback blitz that brought Mason down. Big credit to Toliver for the play. Unfortunately that's about the extent of the notable plays. Arkansas didn't match up great against a passing attack UGA was lacking the first half of the season. I haven't lost faith in this group yet. It's no secret that our secondary's success hinges on the pressure up front and there was none in this game. I do want to give credit to our entire defense here for playing the game tough and coming out in the second half and holding UGA to 7 points.
I all but guaranteed a win last week. I was THAT confident. Unfortunately I forgot that this is a football team in year two of rebuilding, and that these are people who will have better games and worse games. On top of it all, no one would have predicted a second quarter like we had. Bielema said it best, postgame, that aside from 6 minutes of spectacularly awful play in the second quarter, the game wasn't that bad. This is true, but none of our units had a game above average against UGA. Tough loss after tough loss may be getting to these guys; however it could just be the "Bama Hangover" that tends to plague us after our truly heartbreaking, physical games against Saban's crew. I'm just glad we get to tune things up against UAB and take a moment to get right physically and mentally.