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Arkansas vs Nicholls Reaction: Well, That Felt Good

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That was a pleasant surprise. The Hogs looked like the kind of team we aspire to become and ought to look like against an outmanned opponent.

Alex Collins had some fun on Saturday afternoon.
Alex Collins had some fun on Saturday afternoon.
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

A confession. We didn't make it to the game. Let's just go with unforeseen circumstances involving oldest sons and longer-than-expected cross country meets.

We didn't make it, and of course missed out on the biggest offensive output since the '03 Kentucky game which required seven OTs to put up 71.

In case you missed it too, here's a short recap. (Literally, this pretty much sums it up.)

Saturday must've been a treat for those who did make it, though. And a hat tip to those few thousand who stayed 'til the end. Why anyone would want to leave while we're having so much fun is beyond me (but then again, I always stay, or this case watch, 'til the clock reads 00:00 regardless).

Why leave on such a significant day in the annals of Hogdom: The program's longest losing streak was broken and done so in a manner that suggests similar streaks won't be forthcoming. It was a glorified jamboree, sure, but we needed it: The program, the fan base, the state. And it felt good.

Funny, but I'm against scheduling 1-AA teams. Place me firmly in the Saban camp of those who believe "Power 5" schools should only schedule each other (I'd even love to see "D-4" become a reality).

But I'll take this one with a hearty "thank you, sir, may I have another."

While we've been wallowing in sub-mediocrity the past two years, playing one of the toughest schedules in the country in CFB's toughest division, most other teams got to munch on multiple cupcakes (conference and non-con alike), scratch out six wins and maintain their brand.

It's reasonable to assume that we all expected the streak to be broken on Saturday, but 73 in such dominating fashion? I think that was a pleasant surprise. The Hogs looked like the kind of team we aspire to become ought to look like against an outmanned opponent.

Observations, from the "new entrance" to Duwop.

  • Paper said the crowd was 63-something. Looked bigger from what I could tell on TV, and no shots (unless I missed 'em) of the new student party deck, or whatever it is. It was the home opener, and 63 certainly is disappointing. But this is a 3-9 team coming off 10 straight losses playing a 1-AA team. (And what's with the whole "reference as just Nicholls" thing? Memphis State became Memphis because it actually CHANGED THE NAME of the school. I've got beefs with UNC-Charlotte and ULL as well.)
  • The new entrance. Pumba definitely looked better on the front of the gate after being properly painted. And it's certainly an upgrade from the inflatable snout (I get the feeling Coach B hated that). But overall, my reaction was "eh" given that it was billed as something that would be the envy of CFB. I'll withhold true judgment 'til I see it in person in two weeks. As long as they don't mess with running' through the A...
  • That call on our first offensive play from scrimmage? Nice.
  • I love that Robb Smith rolls the dice, occasionally sending 'backers, and appears to be much more aggressive than last year's staff. But our middle is at times so open even Nicholls (State) exposed our underbelly a few times. That said, overall a good day. The DL push was something to behold.
  • Taiwan Johnson....dang.
  • Oh, and defense....WRAP UP.
  • All the freshman that played...Man, that was awesome (in a big picture, longview kind of sense). We've got some good ones. I'm looking at you, Bijon, Anthony Brown, Damon Mitchell, Ragnow, Toliver, Liddell, just to name a few.
  • Speaking of Duwop, why doesn't he get more touches? That young man needs to have the ball in his hands, wherever it is. Granted, he was mopping up against 1-AA defenders, but he made NSU defenders look almost as outclassed as Alex and Williams did.
  • Alex -- how great is it that we have him? Seeing him on the bench late, smiling and singing the Fight Song... That may have been the highlight of the day for me.
  • Wonder how many carries it would've taken Marshall to score had he played? O/U is 2.
  • Walker and Evans ran OK, but there's a big drop off between our top 3 backs and the rest. Which I suppose is expected. Duwop could make that a 4-headed monster....
  • BA deserved a game like that. Well done.
  • Austin looked OK. But is it in the Allen DNA to throw pick 6's? (That was a nice play by the NSU backer.) Credit AA for his effort in making sure his late pick didn't turn into one, and great job by the D to then force a TO itself. I was begging Chaney to just punch it in and score at that point. I confess I wanted 70. But we were trying to get various freshmen including AA their first score. I get it.
  • Speaking of, nice play by AA to get his first score.
  • I suppose it's really nitpicking to let loose a small sigh about the yards given up late. Wasn't that many, but I would've liked to have seen the reserves make it harder on 'em. Bobby Hebert's kid looked pretty good. Granted, he didn't have to play against Flowers & Co. Watching him, I wondered where Bobby was watching the game (stands or press box) and if he let loose a "colorful" tirade whenever his son got sacked.
  • How awesome was it seeing BYU rout UT in Austin? Extremely awesome.
  • Watching some of Texas Tech-UTEP (and seeing this morning that they pulled it out late), I think we'll be able to move the ball on 'em. But their short passing game could expose us on D. Still, definitely a winnable game, I think, and one that could determine a lot about this season. It'll be a trip playing in Lubbock again after so long.
  • The unis....I've come around on the new ones although I always believed they represented a vast improvement over the last two years. Still don't like the "tusks" on the sleeves all that much, but the cardinal and white on a more simple scheme with no black trim POPS. Love it. And as much as the Stormtrooper looked popped last week, I think we should always go with cardinal helmets. That should be one component of the unis that never change.