Brought to you, as always, by Bob Marley, Tito's Vodka, and the frozen, splayed fingers of Les Miles. That Voodoo Magic Hand Clap of his apparently doesn't work in the cold, the devil is apparently not interested in purchasing any more of his soul, and Rohan Davey wasn't walking through that door. When push came to shove and he needed something, anything... he had nothing. And fittingly, that's exactly what his team ended up with, also.
Everyone has their limit, man. You bully someone enough, you tell them they'll shoot their eye out enough, you make someone mad enough, and eventually THEY WILL BEAT THE EVERLOVING HELL OUT OF YOU. BECAUSE THEY ARE TIRED OF THIS SHIT, SCUT FARKUS. YOU HAVE YELLOW EYES AND A TERRIBLE QUARTERBACK AND THEY WILL DOMINATE YOU UNTIL YOU RUN CRYING HOME TO MOMMA.
So how good did last night feel??? I'm not sure you could overstate it. From early optimism that morphed into legitimate hope that turned into the surreal realization that LSU would not, could not score on us, to the battle of fear and joy that was the fourth quarter, to the rush of euphoria that everyone in that building felt as the players sprinted for that big gold trophy. All of it together, collectively, made for one of the most satisfying experiences I've ever had at a Razorback game. Maybe I was happier following the Miracles on Markham or the 2007 or 2010 LSU games, but if I was, it was for selfish reasons. I have never, ever, been happier for the players. Never been more proud.
Bert was right. They won when they earned it.
Yesterday was such an event with so many emotions that I don't even recall much of the actual football that was played. I do, however, recall stating my opinion that Canadian Mist is unfairly pegged as an inferior product, when all empirical evidence I have is to the contrary. I do have a few takeaways, though.
Wasn't it a strange feeling that the moment you KNEW that Arkansas was going to win was the moment you realized that LSU's offense last night WAS the Arkansas offense of much of the past two seasons? We have seen that offense, and we know that it does not, cannot work. It cannot come from behind. It cannot defeat inertia. It is a 30-car train that will derail from one penny on the track. Once that snap sailed over Jennings' head, LSU was off the rails for good.
With that said, let's be clear that LSU's offense looked as bad as it looked because the Arkansas defense played as well as it did. That was one of the best defensive performances I've ever seen from an Arkansas defense. They are sound. They don't miss tackles. They defend the ball in the air. They hit hard. They get after the quarterback. They do all the things that I feel fans have been saying "why can't we ____?" for just about my entire life. It's a GOOD defense, y'all. Not a good enough defense. A GOOD defense.
Offensively, it's remarkable how underwhelming the offensive statistics were in comparison to how effective the offensive game plan seemed to be. It was BERT Ball at its most poetic. Not pretty, but again, the offense accomplished what it needed to accomplish. We have been saying "If they could just ___," and finally the Hogs filled in the blanks. Brandon Allen fell just shy of a 60% completion rate, but he converted six third downs with his arm. The rushing game was held below 100 yards, but when Arkansas needed one yard, Jonathan Williams got it. No turnovers. Few penalties. Boring. Effective.
Two games left. Win one to get to a bowl. Two very beatable teams. But for the first time in his tenure at Arkansas, Bert will be without that SEC Donut to use as a motivational tool. That SHOULD be a lifted burden that hopefully leads to even more success, but now that the Hogs have finally been able to achieve a goal, they will be required to refocus and set their sights on the next target of bowl eligibility. I'm confident they can. I believe in Bert.
I'll see y'all next week.
Trent Wooldridge will be that guy with enough bourbon. He loves the S-E-C chant and honks because he hates Texas. He puts honey on his pizza, demands aisle seats, and sees quitting golf as more of a hobby than actually playing golf. Follow @twooldridge and track his quest to transform his four-year-old into a southpaw ace in the bigs.