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Pigskin Picture: Progress

It wasn’t a big step, but it was a step.

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

After what seems like an eternity. Arkansas has a win over an FBS opponent! The last one came nearly a full calendar year ago against Coastal Carolina. I don’t even want to look back and see what the last Arkansas win where they also covered the spread happened. It by no means was a pretty win but a win is a win is a win.

Outside of that, it doesn’t feel like there really is a ton to say. And in this case that’s a good thing.

It wasn’t the cleanest game, but it felt like a game that Arkansas was in complete control of. When was the last time that’s happened aside from the FCS blowouts? Last year’s game against New Mexico State probably?

First of all the defense did their job. They played an offense that they were supposed to push around and they pushed them around more than most anyone could’ve expected. Bill Connelly pointed out, not only was that Chad Morris’ first shut out as a head coach, it was the first time they’ve held a team to single digits. Six sacks and eight tackles for loss? That’s definitely something to build on.

And putting the true freshman quarterback for his first career start? 10-16 with a touchdown isn’t a bad day at the office. The coaching staff knew not to ask too much of Connor Noland and he responded with the kind of game that Arkansas needed. Nothing spectacular, but solid.

“Nothing spectacular, but solid” is something Arkansas has been missing for a long time, and it’s good to see them have a game like that when it’s been a long time since they’ve done that to a team they’re supposed to beat like that. The head scratching, second guessing and drama were spared in a game that isn’t supposed to have any of that.

Is it a huge step? Not at all, but it’s a step in the right direction, and one that ended with singing hard to be humble afterwards. Not one that ended in a 30+ point loss. Once we start getting more steps like that, then this team can start the corner. And hopefully that next step is a win streak next Saturday and an SEC win.