There’s no way around it, the second half of the Belk Bowl put some heat on Bret Bielema this offseason. Whether you think it’s fair or not, bowl games put a lot of influence of the mood of the program for the offseason and this year it’s not good for the Hogs. After back-to-back second half collapses to end the season, Bielema says he is evaluating everything heading into the end of recruiting and spring practice. In his postgame press conference he took responsibility for the loss, saying its wasn’t acceptable.
If you’re a masochist, here is another good look at how the collapse was a microcosm of the Razorbacks’ 2016 season. This season it was seemingly hard to pinpoint what the identity of this Arkansas team was. Now with the Missouri and Virginia Tech games finished, it has become clear that this was a first half team.
Drew Morgan has done a lot of great things in his Razorback career, but the Belk Bowl was one to forget. His ejection was just tossing dirt on the coffin for the Hogs, and his fumble at the start of the third quarter jump started the Hokie comeback. Virginia Tech was able to take full advantage of the second half turnovers, getting a touchdown after every one, and the one by Morgan gave them all the momentum they needed.
Maybe the most entertaining thing from the Arkansas point of view was the shirtless fan making his own Arkansas jersey. Twitter was quick to point out that was in fact Dan Skipper’s brother. Now that Skipper will be heading for the NFL next season, hopefully he can find his brother a real jersey.
If you went to Bud Walton for the watch party and the Florida game, it was a double dose of sadness. Arkansas native KeVaughn Allen had a huge homecoming, leading the Gators in scoring in a nine-point win over the Hogs. It was a battle of Little Rock natives, as Daryl Macon was the leading scorer for the Hogs.