Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ag Football Preview: Arkansas

Sadly, even that picture doesn't quite accurately describe how terrible things are in Fayetteville this season.  But that picture is the reason.

Here is the Cliff Notes version:
  • In 2011 Arkansas goes 10-2 and has one of the best seasons in school history finishing ranked #5 in the nation
  • Head coach Bobby Petrino was having secret affair with a student whose fiance worked for the athletic department
  • Petrino was in a motorcycle accident
  • Turns out his mistress was with him 
  • Rumors circulate that fiance found out and met up with the two 
  • Petrino looked like that.  Girl was fine.  I'm not sure it was a motorcycle accident.
  • Turns out the girl had just been hired by Petrino to work in the athletic department for him
  • Petrino is fired
  • John L. Smith is hired
  • Arkansas is still ranked #8 in the nation when the season starts
  • Arkansas beats Jacksonville State 49-24....all is well
  • Wheels fall off
  • Lose to Louisiana-Monroe - 1st team All-SEC QB is injured
  • 'Bama crushes them 52-0
  • Lose to Rutgers!?!
And that's where they stand today.

The thing is that they are still a VERY talented team. Their downfall has been because of what is going on between their ears and off the field.

Not only do they bring back Tyler Wilson at QB (who threw for like 400 yards in the Rutgers loss) but they have Knile Davis back who missed all of 2011 with a broken ankle following his 1st Team All-SEC season in '10.  Their WRs are still freaks - Cobi Hamilton set the SEC record with 303 receiving yards on 10 receptions (including 3 TDs) against Rutgers last weekend.  Thankfully Jarius Wright is gone (after setting the school record for receiving yards against us last season).

Wilson is one of the best QBs to ever come out of Fayetteville and I can't argue that but you can tell their media relations department is looking for anything positive they can when they list two of his eleven school records as "Most passing yards in a season opener" and "Most passing TDs in a season opener".

A&M O v. Ark D
208 (33)  Rush 146 (58)
 254 (43)  Pass 312 (111)
462 (36)  Tot   58 (99)
 45.0 (11)  Scor 36.3 (107)

Ark O v. A&M D
 97 (112) Rush  94 (18)
  294 (25) Pass  185 (29)
  392 (75)  Tot  279 (12)
 26.5 (76) Scor 12.3 (12)

The formula to score against Arkansas is clearly to THROW THE FOOTBALL.  Unfortunately, it's supposed to rain on Saturday - like a 90% chance.  Let's be honest with each other, if the weather man says it's anything over 60%, you are definitely going to get rain.

Keep in mind though that C-Mike put up 230 yards and 3 TDs against them last season.  But he's still in Sumlin's doghouse and is listed as the 3rd string RB.  And we haven't proven that we can actually run the ball against anybody yet this year.

It'll be interesting to see Kingsbury's approach.

Along those same lines, is the rain going to alter Arky's pass blitzkrieg?  Will Knile Davis have his breakout game against us?

This is a game that A&M should win.  This is a game that A&M needs to win.  This is a game that A&M, historically, does not win.  This is the type of game that crushes my soul.  But this isn't the 2006 squad or the 2011 squad and that is why they play the game on the field, and not on paper.

Should be a good one.  Stay dry and BTHO Arkansas!  WHOOP!

ps. Arkansas's historical post was done a couple of years ago when we started up the series in can read it here.

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