Brought to you once again this week courtesy of Tito's Vodka, Bob Marley, and one year's worth of pent up anger, dejection, rage, and despair. After being noogied, swirlied, and slapped around by their SEC classmates for nine games, Arkansas finally made it back home, fished a magnifying glass from the junk drawer, and headed out to the sandbox to set some bugs on fire.
That was strange, wasn't it? The carnage almost became too much. Almost. In an impressive display of agility for a man of his stature, Bert tiptoed the line between confidence-building destruction and scorched earth assholery, creating meaningful situations and getting important snaps for new Razorbacks while keeping things just vanilla enough to stay out of snuff film range.
Nicholls is so bad that extrapolating anything out of yesterday's win is a fool's errand, but it does feel damned good to cheer actual success instead of grope for potential future success. After the first two plays and their subsequent touchdowns, I turned to my cohort and said I was going back to the tailgate if we scored 35 in the first quarter. I was mostly joking. But then they did. So we did. And then there was vodka. So talking points are a little hazy this morning, but I did make a few football-type observations.
Taiwan Johnson got his name mentioned a lot yesterday. A fast, undersized nose tackle going up against a much slower, much more, uh, rotund offensive line is a great setup. If Johnson can ride the momentum from yesterday into a good showing at Texas Tech, Arkansas has a very good chance of avoiding a shootout and getting out of Lubbock with a win. Davis Webb will get the ball out more quickly than Johnson saw yesterday, but it appears to me that the potential for disrupting the Tech offense with pressure from the middle is a possibility.
Brooks Ellis continues to impress at linebacker. In light of the past decade of linebackers at Arkansas, "impress" is synonymous with "appears capable". I love the way he doesn't shrink from making tackles, but I'm nervous as hell about those slant routes he will be asked to cover next week and the weeks after. Keeping fingers crossed for now.
Alex Collins again looked faster and shiftier than last season. Harder to tackle. He looks more like a star. Williams continues to play like a work horse than can still dust the thoroughbreds if he wants to. It's a shame Marshall couldn't play yesterday. He may have gone the entire game without ever being tackled.
And what about Duwop Mitchell, right? He looked great! Tons of speed, and really looked like he knew what he was doing out there. Bert really does have an embarrassment of riches at running back, especially when you view it in the context of the lack of depth elsewhere on the team.
Quarterbacks. Meh. Not going to bitch about 4-5, 4TD. Not going to do it. (But he wasn't that sharp.) Not going to even make a judgement on little brother, but it's great that he got his first touchdown as a Hog.
There was nothing Arkansas could have done yesterday to turn heads save putting up a hundred, and that was certainly obtainable if they had been so inclined. The Razorbacks dominated an inferior opponent in every facet of the game. An opponent so inferior that we still don't know much about what kind of team we have. We certainly look better, and after a 66-point victory, the team is sure to feel better. The crucible is next week, though. A winnable game against a worthy opponent.
Fast and flashy against measured and monstrous. Sexy coach against sexy coach's wife. Kingsbury and Bert don't appear to have much in common except for an affinity for five o'clock shadow. It should be entertaining as hell.
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.