Friday's loss was a microcosim of this season for Arkasnas. Little mistakes, that cost the Hogs ballgames and confidence.
Now they'll have the next eight plus months to reflect on what went wrong and how to fix it for 2014.
"It's the details. It's the detailed play, individually, that effects collectively the group." says Bret Bielema
It's been a domino effect of sorts on how Arkansas have been unable to respond to adversity in 2013. Two downs stood between the Hogs from claiming its first conference win of the season. But like so many times this year...one misstep in the secondary... changed that outcome.
"It's a difficult play. There's suppose to be a top half player there and obviously, he wasn't there. The corner is expecting help over the top and that wasn't there." says Bielema
"I was just hoping for a miracle man. You know, we played our butts off the whole game and I just thought that when it came down to that final play, we were going to get the job done." says Braylon Mitchell
And for most of the game..Arkansas' defense did its part. They injured three key LSU starters.. including QB, Zach Mettenberger. But it was redshirt freshman, Anthony Jennings, who provided a dual-threat element for the Tigers...that altered the Razorbacks defensive philosophy.
"I didn't think we had him because I know that games come down to the end and you've got to play every play until the end and he was able to make some plays for them." says Alan Turner
"He's more of a zone read guy, more than a passer.. so we weren't looking forward to him passing the ball a lot, but it wasn't too big of an adjustment and we still had to play our game to get the job done." says Mitchell
"I think the part that's most disappointing is to know that you put yourself in a posititon to win a game and you didn't close it out...but the dynamics of why we lost the game are so easily fixed and it's inexcusable. We can't allow that to happen an expect us to have any kind of success." says Bielema
Success...may come next season. It may come two years from now. But what is for certain is that this defense showed improvment and toughness in the last four games.
"All season long, we've been getting hit in the mouth. But every game we got up and played hard." says Mitchell
"Take what you learned here and take it home with you. Don't leave it here. Because if we leave it in Baton Rouge, we'll never overcome where we're at right now and I think our guys will." says Bielema