Over the years, Arkansas fans have grown used to controversial officiating playing a part in Arkansas defeats.
The Arkansas Razorbacks competed with and even had the Auburn Tigers on the ropes Saturday afternoon. Arkansas has areas where the team will need to improve, but what can be taken away from this game is largely positive. We will cover the positives as well as lay out a history of controversial calls to go the opposite way. What happened yesterday was not just an isolated incident it has been a pattern of behavior.
However, the Arkansas Razorbacks should be pleased with the play of quarterback Feleipe Franks. Franks was terrific against the Auburn Tigers throwing for 318 yards and four touchdowns. Franks did everything he could do to secure Arkansas a victory on Saturday. Franks threw to several wide receivers but the one that has exploded onto the scene has been De’Vion Warren. Warren lit up the Tigers’ secondary hauling in five receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
On the rushing side of things, the Arkansas Razorbacks had a difficult time getting anything going. Running back Trelon Smith led the Hogs in rushing racking up 87 yards on 21 carries. Smith hauled six receptions for 78 yards and one touchdown. The Arkansas offense is starting to take shape and should continue to be a strength over the next few weeks.
The Arkansas Razorbacks will depend on several key players to continue to produce for Arkansas against the Auburn Tigers.
An area that has to improve is the special teams play for the Hogs. The blocked punt that was recovered for a touchdown would go on to have big implications later. What is troubling is the number of mistakes including lining up illegally on punts and the number of kicks that went out of bounds. Things that can be corrected in practice are still starting to show up in game situations. Small mistakes can have a hand in losses like the one to Auburn.
Meanwhile, we will now shift focus to the inept officiating that the SEC continues to honor us with every Saturday. For two plus decades the Arkansas Razorbacks have been viewed as the outsider and thought of as the cute little stepchild for the SEC. When the Razorbacks win, no matter the sport it is viewed of as being adorable and isn’t that cute to the folks in Hoover. However, should Arkansas threaten one of the bluebloods “mistakes” seem to occur at strange times.