Not Exactly Back to the Drawing Board …September 2, 2019
By Paul Bowen blood, dirt & angels Sports Editor Emeritus
Arkansas’s 20-13 victory at home over a game Portland State team was not exactly the blowout long suffering Hog fans were looking for. But it was a win. And as Head Coach Chad Morris said afterward,” Never will I apologize for winning.”
So, what did I take away from the game? More good than bad. First, let’s start with the good.
- These guys are in shape. They were able to go hard the whole game. I mean, c’mon. Morris inherited fat guts and bad heads from Bret Bielema. That’s why they blew all those leads. Arkansas under Chad Morris may lose more games than they win this year. But it won’t be because of a lack of conditioning.
- Rakeem Boyd is good. Really good. I bet he gets the ball more often next week against Ole Miss.
- The defense has speed. They flew around all day and intercepted 3 passes. They are awfully young but will get better under John Chavis.
- The special teams are greatly improved. But how could they not be? Portland State didn’t get away with any trick plays or fake fair catches. I’ll take it.
- The passing game, and the offense in general, sputtered much of the game. Granted, Morris may have been saving the special sauce for Ole Miss. But the high octane, fast paced offense that Morris was supposed to bring to the Ozarks hasn’t showed up yet. They were 18 of 35 for 191 yards (with no touchdowns) against a Division II defense. Portland State’s kids played with grit and desire. But it gets nothing but exponentially worse from here on out and the Hogs don’t have the luxury of time to get it together.
- Too many penalties, a couple of them were bone-headed such as Hayden Henry’s unsportsmanlike and Kamren Curl’s late hit on a receiver which almost got him rang up for targeting.
- Is it even possible to play a game in under 3 hours anymore? What is this? Major League Baseball?
Chad Morris is clearly building for the future. And if the young Hogs keep improving (and stay healthy) they will be a team nobody in their right mind will want to play by the end of the season.
Chad Morris refuse to apologize for the “W.” At least he had the option. That’s more than Jeremy Pruitt or Matt Luke could say.