Bret Bielema has once again accomplished his goal of giving Arkansas fans something we've never had before. For the first time ever, Arkansas has won bowl games in consecutive seasons and won three straight bowls played.
And it came with a perfect snapshot of everything we've seen all season, good and bad.
Arkansas' offense was nearly unstoppable. Save an interception on the opening series, the team did pretty much whatever it wanted. When the Hogs wanted to run, they did. Alex Collins went for 185 yards on 23 carries, breaking Arkansas' single-season rushing touchdown record in the process. When the Hogs wanted to pass, they did. Brandon Allen was 20-for-26 for 315 yards and a touchdown.
The Razorbacks made great use of their great tight ends, throwing nine passes to Hunter Henry and Jeremy Sprinkle. Sprinkle caught Allen's lone touchdown pass and showed nice speed while sprinting upfield a couple of times. Henry was there to convert first downs whenever necessary, including a 43-yard bomb from Allen that helped ice the game with a fourth quarter touchdown.
We saw Jared Cornelius score a touchdown on an end-around run. Drew Morgan catching passes. Just like they have all year.
There were also the things that drove us crazy throughout the fall. Another field goal was blocked. The defense at times looked lost - nowhere was that more evident than Winston Dimel's 48-yard touchdown in the third quarter. He's still open. Unfortunately we even saw another scary head injury, this time to Dominique Reed. Reports are that he was moving and talking somewhat in the ambulance, but we hope he's alright.
It was a fitting way to end the season. It was great to see Arkansas fans represent the program as well as they did. The Liberty Bowl was sold out and Razorback fans were definitely the majority. For all the complaining about the game not being in a great location nor a sexy matchup, the fans still came out and had a good time. It was great to see everyone take advantage of a chance to have a good time.
Now we wait on a few NFL decisions and get into recruiting for the 2016 team. Should be an interesting month ahead to National Signing Day. But for now, we celebrate. This was a fun team to follow. It didn't always appear that would be the case, but they turned in a pretty memorable season.
We just need to find a season where we can match up this kind of offense (and it was a historic offense) with a defense like last year's and we can do something really special.