"They were not going to let us in the endzone," Bielema stressed. "You have a great defense that wants to hold onto that 30-10 win versus a 30-17 win. It meant everything to them. That was a great teaching point for our guys."
Arkansas' only touchdown drive of the game illustrates what went wrong. It was a 1st quarter blend of 36 yards on the ground and 31 yards passing, the kind of offensive balance that Bielema preaches. But once the Gators stopped Arkansas rushing attack quarterback Brandon Allen became a ping pong ball in Florida's pass rush.
"We were responsible for eight times in that game that he (Allen) gets hit," Hogs offensive line coach Sam Pittman admitted. "You can't keep the same quarterback in the game when you allow that so we've got to get better. They brought a corner a couple of times and hit him and then inside the speed of the twist game bothered us."
Arkansas offensive coordinator hinted that this team spends way too much in practice working on its running game to have it fail. "When we get one dimensional it's not a good thing for Arkansas right now," Jim Chaney explained. "Pass protection is something that we don't do real well. Throwing and catching is something that we're not getting enough practice at."
"It's not about effort," Chaney said of the offensive line. "This bunch of boys will play hard for us. They're just not always doing the right thing."
"We got to protect 10 (Allen)," Bielema stressed. "A big part of BA's accuracy on Saturday was Florida. You have that many big people running at you unblocked and untouched and having tight coverage with their receivers it makes things a little bit difficult."
Allen was just 17 of 41 passing but dropped balls accounted for at least 10 of the incompletions. "I think it was just a lack of focus," receivers coach Michael Smith suggested. "When you have those opportunities you have to take advantage of 'em. They were pressing I believe. Just trying to make plays out there instead of just doing what they've been coached to do."
A sputtering offense wasn't the only issue the Hogs faced in the Swamp. A series of penalties proved difficult to overcome, none more than a 3rd quarter recovered onside kick which was wiped out by an offside call on Javontee Herndon. A chance to pull within a touchdown of the home team went out the window.
"Its not a small point it's a huge point," Bielema emphasized. "Coach Shannon noticed a nitch in their alignments during the course of the week. We talked in the huddle, be onside three different times, Coach Shannon said, and we've got to get that point across that yes, the play's going to be there. We've got it drawn up. We've got it executed. It's going to work. We just have to make sure we work it by NCAA rules."
"The sad point is Herndon didn't need to be offsides to make that play. He actually had to stutter a few steps to catch that ball so if we'd timed it up and were onside that's a perfectly executed play," Bielema added.
Starting cornerback Will Hines will miss at least the next four games after suffering a fractured arm in the game. Bielema said doctors were able to set the break cleanly and there is a good chance Hines will return for the final two games of the season.
Allen emerged from the pounding he took in good shape. Bielema said Allen's shoulder, injured in the Southern Miss game, continues to improve and is not an issue at this point.
Center Travis Swanson may miss a practice or two this week with a knee strain but is expected to play against South Carolina.
It's homecoming week on campus and Bielema said his players will have no trouble bouncing back to face the 14th ranked Gamecocks.