Favorite

Razorback football preview, part one 

click to enlarge Arkansas Razorback football image

Pearls prides itself on being unconventional, if not downright off-kilter, so for the 2012 Razorback football preview we will dispose of the customary position-by-position breakdown.

Instead, for the next month this space will examine the Hogs' prospects for success by the schedule. This week we start with the September slate of games, before plunging into October and November games, respectively, the next two weeks. After that, holy crap, the season is here and 100-degree tailgating is upon us.

Arkansas opens, yet again, with an FCS opponent. This time, though, there is a subtext. Jacksonville State comes to Fayetteville on September 1, two years removed from a memorable visit to Oxford, where the Gamecocks rallied from a 21-point deficit in the second half and bounced Ole Miss in double overtime. That upset was the flashpoint for Houston Nutt's ultimately forgettable four-year stint there, a moment when Rebel fans went from conservatively optimistic to embittered within a matter of hours. It also gave former Hog coach Jack Crowe a measure of redemption for the infamous Citadel defeat that now, amazingly, is 20 years in our rear view.

Crowe quietly has proved he was always more competent than the fateful two-year run in Fayetteville showed. He has won an average of eight games per year at Jacksonville State, and been to the FCS playoffs three times. He no doubt feels a pang of resentment for being dumped a day after the Citadel loss in 1992. You can expect that his team will play poised and smart, but there's simply no substitute for talent. Arkansas will outlast the Gamecocks after the usually sluggish opening half, and Knile Davis will score the first TD and take most of the remainder of the night off. Razorbacks 45, Gamecocks 13. (1-0)

The next week finds Louisiana-Monroe coming to Little Rock. With the LSU game now rightly diverted to Fayetteville, and Ole Miss hardly being an adequate replacement for the dwindling pro-War Memorial contingent, the Warhawks will be what they always are: pesky but grossly outmatched, and the game will be a sellout that looks like something much less by halftime.

This will be a coming-out party for a defense that wants to acquit itself well before the Alabama game the following week. Two defensive touchdowns, one via the much-derided Darius Winston, will propel the Hogs to a routine 2-0 start. Razorbacks 49, Warhawks 3. (2-0)

After Alabama's much-hyped visit to Fayetteville in 2010, and the Hogs' agonizing second-half collapse that September afternoon, this year's game against the Tide takes on even greater meaning. The facts are stark: the Hogs have not beaten Alabama since a fluky one-point overtime victory in Fayetteville in 2006, have lost all five games against Saban-coached Tide teams, and are now faced with a psychological barrier that is arguably more imposing than the actual one.

Alabama is going to be really good. Again. Big surprise. But what the Tide lack this season, at least on the proverbial paper, is defensive experience. The draft purged Bama of a uniquely seasoned batch of defensive stars, and also robbed the Tide of their best offensive weapons (Marquis Maze and Trent Richardson). That may not matter. Arkansas has amassed about six feet of rushing yardage in the past four meetings with the Tide, and pass protection last year was nothing short of horrid. This will be the close game everyone expects, but I fear it will not be the result that Razorback fans desire. Crimson Tide 27, Razorbacks 23. (2-1, 0-1)

The Hogs will bounce back to end September, starting with the home side of the two-game stint with Rutgers, which has a new coach, no feel for SEC competition, and theoretically no desire to take on the Hogs after the Alabama game, regardless of how that one shakes out. If it's a Hog team stung by a loss, Rutgers gets embarrassed by a blood-thirsty squad. Razorbacks 38, Scarlet Knights 14. (3-1, 0-1)

Closing out the month, the Hogs will apparently be playing new league entry Texas A&M somewhere in Texas. It's a familiar team, also steered by a new coach in Kevin Sumlin, and one that also had a lot of its experience wiped out by the draft and graduation.

The Hogs have hardly feared the Aggies...well, ever. And even a trip to Kyle Field likely will not alter that. Tyler Wilson will again have a monster day through the air, and Davis will churn out the first 200-yard game of his career. Razorbacks 42, Aggies 24. (4-1, 1-1)

We'll proceed with an analysis of October's games next week.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of...

  • The midday round-up

    December 3, 2012
    Tyler Wilson signs with a high-powered agent. The Ark. Legislative Black Caucus names a leader. State Repubs. name their leaders. And a former Hendrix student continues to get pub for encouraging young people to NOT go to college. /more/
  • Play Brandon Allen

    November 14, 2012
    The distinction between these Razorback footballers and those from a season ago isn't as disparate as the records (9-1 through 10 games last year, 4-6 this time) might indicate. /more/
  • Razorbacks Midseason review

    October 24, 2012
    We've nudged a bit past the true midpoint of 2012, but on the heels of an idle weekend and with a slate of still-meaningful games ahead, Pearls looks back, then looks forward in its quasi-traditional and moderately derisive midseason review. /more/
  • Bad time for a bye week for Hogs

    October 17, 2012
    Leave it to the talented, tormented Razorbacks of 2012 to play their most complete game of the entire season to date in a game that was incomplete. /more/
  • A glimmer of hope for Hogs

    October 10, 2012
    A few happy hours on the ol' Plains at Jordan-Hare Stadium doesn't really constitute a fix, but as Pearls dabbles in crude psychobabble, let's not discount what a 17-point road win in the SEC can mean. /more/
  • Tuesday night line

    October 9, 2012
    Over to you. Finishing up: * HOG QB IN WRECK, BUT UNINJURED: Razorback quarterback Tyler Wilson's vehicle was rear-ended on I-540 this morning, but he was practicing by afternoon. /more/
  • Unfair for Wilson

    October 3, 2012
    Friends and colleagues of mine continually assume that this post-apocalyptic string of Pearls is an escalating challenge from week to week. "Man, how are you going to write about THAT?!" is the general inquiry after another chapter of Razorback futility in 2012 is written. It will occasionally be delivered with any number of colorful modifiers. /more/
  • Solidly second tier

    September 19, 2012
    Nobody was delusional enough to think that a reeling Arkansas team would be able to summon any kind of miracle when the reigning titans of college football came calling last Saturday. When Tyler Wilson donned a headset instead of a helmet just before kickoff against Alabama, the die was cast. /more/
  • Worst loss ever

    September 12, 2012
    All the spillage of words this week won't change what happened, but it'll damn sure be cathartic. /more/
  • Sunday night line

    September 9, 2012
    The line is open. A few items of note: * RAZORBACK INJURY REPORT: From the UA Athletic Department: FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The following statement regarding injuries is from University of Arkansas football head coach John L. Smith: “Tevin Mitchel suffered an injury above the shoulders. /more/
  • More »

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Beau Wilcox

  • Post-season promise

    What the coaching staff has done in 2017 constitutes a minor miracle and it likely represents the best work of Dave Van Horn's accomplished tenure.
    • May 25, 2017
  • Thank you, Rawleigh

    Rawleigh Williams spent roughly a year and a half in Arkansas Razorback garb. During his 20 active games, he amassed 1,860 yards from scrimmage, racked up eight 100-yard rushing outings, amassed 13 total touchdowns, and even accounted for a 14th by tossing a nifty little 1-yarder on a fourth-down gimmick play in a win at Mississippi State last fall.
    • May 11, 2017
  • Thank you, Rawleigh Williams

    Rawleigh Williams spent roughly a year and a half in Hog garb. During his 20 active games, he amassed 1,860 yards from scrimmage, racked up eight 100-yard rushing outings, amassed 13 total touchdowns, and even accounted for a 14th by tossing a nifty little one-yarder on a fourth-down gimmick play in a win at Mississippi State last fall.
    • May 8, 2017
  • More »

People who saved…

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Latest in Pearls About Swine

  • Post-season promise

    What the coaching staff has done in 2017 constitutes a minor miracle and it likely represents the best work of Dave Van Horn's accomplished tenure.
    • May 25, 2017
  • Thank you, Rawleigh

    Rawleigh Williams spent roughly a year and a half in Arkansas Razorback garb. During his 20 active games, he amassed 1,860 yards from scrimmage, racked up eight 100-yard rushing outings, amassed 13 total touchdowns, and even accounted for a 14th by tossing a nifty little 1-yarder on a fourth-down gimmick play in a win at Mississippi State last fall.
    • May 11, 2017
  • Call to arms

    Basketball season's behind us, spring football practice hasn't culminated yet, and baseball hasn't quite revved up to the ever-beguiling postseason, so Pearls this go-round is a bit of a hodgepodge.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Tollywood tumble

    • Thank you for sharing.
      Telugu Film Actress Gallery
      http://www.moviemanthra.com/english/category/actress/

    • on May 22, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation