Razorback Nation

RN Roundtable: Offseason Preview, Hog Football 2016 Rewind

Fayetteville, AR-

Drew Amman
"Back on the Pigtrail show, and happy to be joined by Tom Murphy of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. And Tom, let's begin with football, and kind of summarize the season. Arkansas 7-6, for the second time in 3 years. Just, really, kind of a tough situation going into the offseason. With this type of momentum, there is no momentum to speak of, versus each of the past two years, when Arkansas won a bowl game."
 
Tom Murphy
"That is true, and very good chance that they had of being 9-4. That would have been a different vibe in the offseason. Didn't get there, because of a failure to close out the second half of those two games. To borrow a Drew Morgan phrase, juju maybe."
 
Drew Amman
"Not enough Druice."
 
Tom Murphy
"Yeah, not enough Druice in the second half of those games, and subsequently, you're 7-6 and your momentum has been blunted."
 
Drew Amman
"Yeah, I thought the same thing in Starkville. You know, you're there in Stark Vegas, and put up a great offensive showing in that game.. You're thinking that 9 wins is a big possibility for this team, and then a melt down in the second half. That Missouri meltdown in the second half, then in Charlotte, against Virginia Tech. Now, let's talk about the mood of the football fans. You know, it's something where we are trying to get a feel for the pulse of the fans right now, and the Razorback culture...what they are thinking right now going into 2017, knowing that this in now 4 years under Bret Bielema and he is 25-26 overall."
 
Tom Murphy
"A lot of unhappy people based on the results of the last two games. Wanting a change, and I think it is inevitable. I think we are going to see some staff movement. He has averaged 3 coaches to change out per off season. It might go along those lines. And as he said himself in the post game after the bowl game at the Belk Bowl, year five is kind of the one that's going to have his signatures all over it, so I think there's some pieces in place, but I think we are going to see a little staff movement, and we are going to see if they can compete in his style of play. They've got to be a better running team next year, and the Alabama's and the LSU's, and the A&M's and all of them, they are not going away. They are not going anywhere. It's always head to head against those guys."
 
Drew Amman
"Is it fair to put him on the hot seat right now? Bret Bielema that is? Is it more of a situation where you put him on the hot seat midway through next year? Let's say Arkansas starts 3-4 next season? Is it fair to put him in the hot seat at that point, or is he there at this point?"
 
Tom Murphy
"Well, the websites if you follow them, have put him there, but no matter where you put him, he's got a massive buyout at this point,. 15 million plus, so this year is going to be a real telling point for this team. Are they moving forward? Are they advancing? Did recruiting go well? So, a lot of things at stake for Arkansas football, and whether or not they can push up there. At least they have been 5-3 in the SEC under Bret Bielema. Can they get into the 2 loss or the 1 loss and really make some noise, in the top of the West?"
 
Drew Amman
"Yeah, football team going 5-3 in the SEC, as Tom mentioned in 2015. Alright, what will Arkansas look like in 2017, and we all know that we are doing this interview prior to signing day, so you've really got to factor that in, but when you look at this team as far as offense, Dan Enos has been able to put together an offense that has been in some shootouts. And now this is different, because Arkansas was in some situations where, you know, the other team was dictating, and Dan Enos' offense went away for a while. But still, Rawleigh Williams III coming back. SEC's leading rusher this season."
 
Tom Murphy
"He's coming back. Austin Allen. I think the biggest thing Arkansas has to do for 2017 is be able to run when they want to, more often. And I think in several games, they got to where they were forced away from the run, and when teams loaded up and pressured Austin Allen. When he had time, he picked some teams apart. He had some great first halves. The first half of his season was pretty well done, but when you have 15 interceptions, you know there is some pressure that is getting to you. And forcing him into some decisions he didn't want to make, and as he put it, trying to make a play, and the timing and the position on the field of some of his interceptions was troubling. Missouri game was all deep red zone stuff, and then in the Virginia Tech game, was all their side of the field that led to easy touchdowns, so they've got to get that fixed. They got to be able to get in 3rd and shorts and run the ball, and move the chains a little bit more frequently. And it's going to be with some new receivers in the mix, but it's an offensive line that needs to balance the power with the mobility. I think they just have to be a little bit more mobile on their offensive front."
 
Drew Amman
"We've got about 30 seconds here just on the basketball team. 1-2 in SEC play. You know, I can live with that at this point."
 
Tom Murphy
"Well, considering who they've played. Florida is going to be a very solid team. the Kentucky game, first half, nice first half by them, even got a lead. I think the Barford call, which Briscoe was sliding under Jaylen Barford on that play, very clear and that was kind of the falling point. So I think there are a lot of things to build on. There are still a lot of pieces. Moses seemed to have gotten his play back a little bit.  So as they move forward, I am expecting them to stay in contention in the SEC."
 
Drew Amman
"Yeah, 2 games for Arkansas at home coming up this week. And as far as Tom Murphy is concerned, did a great job here with this onset interview. Thanks Tom, from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. We will have our top 10 football plays from the 2016 Arkansas Football Season after this."
 

More Stories

Don't Miss

Latest News

  • KNWA - Northwest Arkansas News

  • Fox 24 News

  • NWA Weather Authority

  • Razorback Nation

  • KNWA News

  • Fox24 News

  • Razorback Nation

  • KNWA Northwest Arkansas News Mobile App

  • NWA Weather Authority Mobile App

  • Hogville for Sports Mobile App