Q. Our first question is from Dr. Strangepork who wants some history from us. He asks: What is the biggest win of every Razorback coach since Broyles. (Have to put Broyles in a different category) Skip Kines, John L. & Lunney, the three interim head coaches.
A. Well let’s take a look….
Holtz is a no brainer, the 78 Orange Bowl. One of he biggest wins in school history.
For Hatfield it has to be the 88 A&M game. That win gave Arkansas its first perfect SWC season since 1965, that’s 23 years. Hogs went to the Cotton Bowl for the first time in 13 years.
Jack Crowe, there weren’t many big wins but the 14-13 win over Texas in Little Rock was huge. The Hogs were a perfect 4-0 in the SWC at that point and I think they would have won the conference but the next week quarterback Jason Allen tore his knee up against Baylor. Arkansas did not have a good backup QB and Arkansas lost four of it’s last five games. Jack was snakebit as a head coach.
Danny Ford, has to be the 95 Alabama game in Tuscaloosa. J.J. Meadors made that sliding catch in the end zone off a pass from Barry Lunney Jr. on fourth-and-goal from the Alabama 3 with six seconds left to give the Razorbacks to a 20-19 victory breaking a six game losing streak against the Tide. Arkansas went on to make it’s first appearance in the SEC Championship game that season.
Houston Nutt, some will say the 1999 win over Tennnesse in Fayetteville but I say it was the upset in three overtimes over LSU in 2007. The Tigers were national champions that season and Arkansas beat them in front of their own fans. That was the last game Nutt coached at Arkansas.
Bobby Petrino, I’d have to say the Cotton Bowl win over Kansas State in 2012. That gave Arkansas an 11-2 record. Only the third time in school history that an Arkansas team won 11 games. The 1964 and 1977 teams were the other two.
Bret Bielema: Some would say the Henry heave game against Ole Miss in 2015. That play kept Arkansas alive and Brandon Allen went on to win it on a two point conversion that he ran in, in overtime but that game was not as big as the Tennessee game a month earlier. The Hogs started the season 1-3 and they were about to be 1-4, down 14-0 in the first quarter in front of a hundred thousand in Knoxville. I didn’t think they had a chance in a thousand to win that game but Allen led them back to a 24-20 win. The Hogs ended up 8-5 and 5-3 in the SEC, Bielema’s best team at Arkansas.
Chad Morris? That’s almost a trick question. Were there any big wins in those two miserable seasons? Gee I don’t know. Guess I’ll go with Tulsa in 2018. It was Arkansas first shut out in four years. The only one under Morris. Also notable because Connor Noland went 1-0 as a starter at Arkansas. Mitch Mustain is the only other Arkansas QB I know of that never lost a game as a starter.
Sam Pittman, Gotta be the Tennessee game last year.
In the pre-season some were saying Arkansas would not win a game against its all SEC schedule.
That win made Arkansas 3-3 at the time and really was 4-3 because everybody and their dog knows that the Hogs beat Auburn last year. That’s three more SEC wins than Morris had in two years.
Q. BloodRedHog says: ESPN recently ranked the top 100 football coaches of the past 50 years. Broyles was ranked #30. Darrell Royal #18. Petrino was #77; Ford #39; and Holtz #19. #30 seems low to me. Where would you rank Broyles?
A. ESPN is terrible. There’s no context to what they do. Frank took a school that had awful facilities, had never won nationally on any kind of a consistent basis and turned it into the third best program in college football in the 60’s. Arkansas won a national title and came within a few points of winning three more. What he did with the limitations he faced was amazing. I’d rank him inside the top 10. Number 30 is completely stupid. ESPN is embarrassing itself with stuff like this.
Q. The_Bionic_Pig wants to know: Now that punishment has been levied at poppa Briles old employer. What is the possibility of him being brought on as a offensive consultant under his son.
His son-in-law is Ole Miss OC and he may pull the trigger first.
A. I’ve asked around. Nobody I’ve talked to has any indication that he will be joining the staff as an analyst. However, now that’s he’s been cleared by the NCAA I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up somewhere this season as an analyst and probably an assistant or even a head coach by next season.
There are those who have said that in the short time he was on the Hill last spring
Art Briles got the offense clicking much better. The man can coach.
Q. Superhog1959 says: What stuck out to me with Morris was the lack of team organization and players that seemed not to know were to go or what to do. How does that compare with what you see now under Pittman. What have you seen in practices that would make me think we win 7 games this year and go to a bowl?
A. Based on what his players said afterward they never bought into the things Morris said. He also had a terrible staff. Pittman appears to be a 180 from all of that.
But look preseason talk is just that. Talk. What’s going on over there right now sounds good, and I’m not saying it’s not, but we don’t get to see enough to accurately predict how many games they’re gonna win. What speaks to me more than anything else right now is those 23 seniors which includes 11 super seniors and 19 returning starters. Usually a team with that much experience is going to have a good season.
But their schedule, especially the road schedule, is tough. I don’t think they have quarterback that can win for them behind KJ Jefferson so he can’t get hurt. I like the fact that the defense dominated in Saturday’s first scrimmage. That’s usually a good sign in August. I think the offense will come around. They’ve got some weapons. Since you asked for a prediction I’ll go with six wins and that would probably get them to a bowl game.
Q.MuskogeeHogFan says: I read that Tre Williams had a big and productive first scrimmage on Saturday. I have also read that the LB’s have been impressed with the quickness of DT John Ridgeway (6-6, 320) in terms of his initial quick first step off the ball. Can you speak to that and also the quickness and productivity of Tre Williams at DE?
A. Williams is 6-5, 255 and he’s got great quickness. Sam Pittman said he recruited Williams out of high school but the kid went to Missouri. He also said that at Georgia he had one of the top offensive lines in the nation and Willams always gave his guys fits. Now he’s at Arkansas and he’s giving Arkansas’ offensive line headaches. He had at least two sacks in the scrimmage. Maybe three, according to Pittman.
Pittman also mentioned that Ridgeway had a good scrimmage. In fact he compared the two with the exception that Ridgway is obviously much bigger at 6-6, 320 and not as quick. But for a player that size Pittman said Ridgeway moves very well. He transfered in from Illinois State. Because of COVID their games were played last spring. They only played eight games but in one four game stretch Ridgeway had thee tackles for loss, one interception, one pass broken up and three quarterback hurries. He tied for the team lead in tackles with 22.
Q. PatBoat says: I noticed that Arkansas rarely uses a 3rd string running back and if so it’s been awhile. Based off the SEC stats last year where does Arkansas rank on 3rd string running back attempts? I would imagine you would use three to four to keep guys fresh.
A. Unless a team is going with a two back offense it’s not that unsual for it to give it’s starting running back most of the carries with a backup getting some action. Usually where 3rd string backs come into play is when injuries take place. Having said that Arkansas has some quality options this season and we could see AJ Green and Rocket Sanders both get playing time behind Trelon Smith. But barring injuries it’s likely that only two will get significant carries. But I could be wrong.
Q. Twinky275 says: With the success that Hunter Yurichek is having as AD, do you foresee him being lifted to the status like that of Frank Broyles.
A. There’s never going to be another Frank Broyles. Foir starters he won a national championship in football and almost won three more. AD’s these days are not ex coaches. At least not at that level. They are classically trained administrators. But here’s what I like about Yurachak. He’s more than an administrator. To me the most important thing an AD does is hire coaches. Show me a place where they have search firms and hiring committees and I’ll show you a bad AD. So far Yuracheck has shown and uncanny ability to hire coaches who love that Hog. Look at the way all of these head coaches are supporting the other programs. They’re not just into their program. They’re into the whole thing.
The only thing he’s done that might backfire on him is opening that Arkansas State can of worms. I was worried that with no huge rivals in the SEC Arkansas fans might get roped into making that a rivalry game which would not be good. But with Texas and OU coming to the SEC that Arkansas State game is never going to be the huge deal it could have been.
So Yurachek is off to a great start. We’ll have to see if he stays here. He’s going to get other offers.
Q. whippersnapper wants to know: Your thoughts on Hunter Yurachek taking the cleat to the face during the scrimmage?
A. One of the strangest sideline collision incidents I’ve ever seen. Normally a player just plows over a bystander in these incidents. In this case Josh Oglesby got pushed from behind by Jalen Catalon just as the went out of bounds. Oglesby flipped over and as he went sailing by Yurachek with his feet in the air, one of his cleats nailed the Hogs AD on the face.
Here’s the tweet Yurachek sent out afterward. He had a lot of fun with it, even making a Bobby Perino reference. Yurachek also referenced being tough and taking one for the team. Catalon tweeted back wondering if he was now in trouble with the AD and even Eric Musselman got in on it making some reference to one of Yurachek’s top staffers and how quickly he manged to abandon the area when his boss was about to take a hit.
Having an AD who knows how to have fun on social media is a plus.
Q. Swine American asks: With OU & Texas joining the SEC will football officials become full time employees instead of guys who sell insurance during the week? In the off season they could conduct clinics on campuses, teaching coaches and players more about the rules and how they are called in games.
A. It’s a great idea and it needs to happen. Some have tried to tell me that refs would have nothing to do in the off season. Are you kidding me? They could spend a lot of time reviewing various controversial plays during the previous season. Figure out what when wrong and come up with a plan to make sure it’s handled correctly moving forward.
Your idea is having on campus clinics with coach and players is a great idea.
But it makes too much sense so it probably won’t happen.
Q. BloodRedHog asks: What is your opinion of the article by Dave Hooker in “Saturday Down South” which said Vandy and Arkansas should be worried about being ousted from the SEC if Notre Dame and Clemson were to join?
A. Idiotic. The SEC is expanding. You don’t expand by adding two teams and kicking two current teams out. That’s never happened. Also this person is clearly clueless to the fact that Arkansas has gone to three SEC championship games and while the football program has hit a rough spot, it’s on the way back and I’ll match Hog fans with just about any fan base out there. Finally there’s the overall success Arkansas has had in sports like basketball, baseball, track, soccer, gymnastics and softball.
Clay Travis, who runs Saturday Down South, has a history of taking shots at Arkansas. I’m not sure why but I’d pay no attention to that article. It’s click bait and nothing more.