NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29: Sean Richardson #21 of the Vanderbilt Commodores breaks up a pass intended for Jarius Wright #4 of the Arkansas Razorbacks during play at Vanderbilt Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Um, good job Hogs?
First, the positives: Jerry Franklin's momentum-changing 96-yard fumble recovery for a TD is an early contender for play of the season. Tyler Wilson continues to prove that he is impervious to even the most crushing hits from defensive linemen. There was that nifty drive featuring some big plays by Jarius Wright at the end of the first half. Zach Hocker was reliably excellent. Hmm, what else? Oh yes...the Razorbacks played a brilliant rope-a-dope strategy on Vandy's final possession...only a true defensive genius would lure the opponent so close to the end zone, knowing that they would miss a last second field goal.
Beyond that, this was about as unimpressive a victory as can be imagined. Although this isn't said often with regard to Vanderbilt, the #10 Hogs were clearly the inferior team today on every level and were extremely fortunate to leave Nashville with a win. Arkansas seems utterly unable to compete in the first half this year, a trend that will likely cost them two more losses before the season is out. The defense has regressed and once again the offense wasn't able to close out a game when a few first downs were needed. And, the less said about Marquel Wade's flagrant personal foul that got him ejected, the better.
Harsh words after a loss, I know, and I should be more happy that the Hogs made enough plays to pull out the victory, but that was rough. The #10 ranking seems pretty laughable at this point.
Am I being too harsh? What do you guys think?