This was not the plan.
This was my plan. One of my best friends got married Saturday evening (Yeah, I know. Fall weddings. Different topic for a different day.) in Little Rock. It started at 5:00. The hope was Arkansas would have the Louisiana Tech game basically wrapped up by halftime so I could enjoy myself without worrying about football.
Not the case. I was the guy at the wedding watching the game spot-checking the game on my phone. Others coming by to ask how things were going.
To make matters worse, I’d forgotten his bride’s family is from Ohio. And I mean O-H-I-O. They were doing “O-H” cheers. There were dessert pastries designed as little buckeye nuts. Although they were very nice, friendly, approachable people, there were still Yankee accents.
I felt like this was all my fault.
This was definitely not the plan.
I apologize for not having watched the game closely enough to try to help make anybody understand why Arkansas needed a 4th down conversion in the 4th quarter to take a one point lead over a Louisiana Tech team that was about a three touchdown underdog. I’ll rewatch the game by the end of the weekend and try to come up with something better. I did see Bret Bielema go for essentially the game-winning play on a 4th-and-1 from the bad side of the field. That took guts. If it failed...let’s not think about that.
I do know that some of the preseason concerns were proved to be valid concerns. Particularly the offensive line. Arkansas gave up 4 sacks, more than a quarter of the 14 they gave up all of last season.
However, the defense seemed to play well for large parts of the game. The Bulldogs only scored two touchdowns, both coming off interceptions. And only two field goals otherwise.
You have to be thrilled for Rawleigh Williams and Keon Hatcher. To see them playing well is great to see.
The main point people will be discussing, however, is why was Arkansas even in this situation? Why, in Year 4 of the Bielema era, one season after a fluke-ish loss to Toledo smeared an otherwise memorable season, were the Razorbacks in such a bad situation against Louisiana Tech? It’s maddening.
Last year proved that these sloppy early season games are hardly a harbinger for what is to come later in the season, and the victory will keep Arkansas’ record in tact as it should be this time. The SEC has looked far from imposing this weekend (aside from the program in Tuscaloosa, of course), so I’m not ready to say the Lousiana Tech game is indicative of what we’ll see the rest of the season, but it was certainly unsettling.