Sep 8, 2012; Little Rock, AR, USA; Louisiana Monroe Warhawks quarterback Kolton Browning (15) rushes against the Arkansas Razorbacks at War Memorial Stadium. Warhawks defeated the Razorbacks 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
Where does an Arkansas team ranked at number 8 in the country go from here? Arkansas made an agreement to play Louisiana-Monroe in Little Rock once every other year in order to help the Louisiana-Monroe program maintain eligibility and keep a non-conference whipping boy on the schedule for a minimal fee. When Frank Broyles and the Arkansas athletic department put this deal together, they knew the fee would be $500,000 but they couldn't know the price would be THIS high.
Following this overtime loss, Arkansas drops to 1-1 this season and while not mathematically eliminiated from some of the goals to start this season, begins to hope for a salvagable season instead of the dream season once hoped for knowing Knile Davis was back from injury and Tyler Wilson wasn't taking his skills to the NFL. After this game, there are a lot of questions. Razorback fans are asking "How did this happen?", "What's wrong with Tyler Wilson?", "What did we do to deserve this?" Where do we go from here?
Last week's game caused some concern among the fans of the cardinal and white, but the offense was fine even with a few fumbles. As long as Tyler Wilson is slinging the ball, there are no worries about the offense. On the first drive, Arkansas gave a carry to Knile Davis, and then Tyler Wilson overthrew Cobi Hamilton. Badly. Then he had Chris Gragg open on the next play, he underthrew it so badly that he threw his first interception since the LSU game last year.
Warning lights began to flash, especially when Kolton Browning conducted a 12 play drive including the first of his 6 fourth down conversions, but everyone began to breathe a sigh of relief as the game turned into what it should've been as Tyler Wilson and the Arkansas offense scored 21 unanswered to close out the first half.
After half time, Tyler Wilson stayed in the locker room with an undisclosed injury above the shoulders. Uh-oh. The warning lights were impossible to ignore and the warning bells began lightly ringing. The Arkansas defense managed to force the Warhawks off the field on a Ross Rasner goal line interception, and Brandon Allen took over and drove 67 yards down the field capped off by a 13 yard touchdown pass to MeKale McKay.
Arkansas had a 3 score lead and even though Tyler Wilson needed a break for the second half, Brandon Allen and Paul Petrino were going to see us through to the promised land and we could start worrying about Alabama next week.
Louisiana-Monroe scored 21 unanswered points themselves. Brandon Allen started off 3/4 with 50 yards, but was only able to go 3/16 and 15 yards the rest of the game. He ended regulation with an interception. There were no need for warning lights or bells. The Razorback faithful were in full Red Alert and with good reason. Even with a short field, the offense for the hogs stalled and only managed a field goal in overtime.
Louisiana-Monroe converted their 6th 4th down conversion with a 16 yard touchdown run by Kolton Browning and there are no alarms going off because no one predicted this would happen. How could THIS happen? Victory was always going to happen. Midway through the 2nd half, Arkansas was preparing not for a loss, but for whatever the fall out was with the injuries. Kiero? Tyler? Tevin? Kody? That's a hard list of people to not be on the field playing Alabama, but no one could've pictured they would be needed for Louisiana-Monroe.
Why did the hogs lose this game? Three reasons. Tyler Wilson's second half absence. Paul Haynes defensive scheme. Five second half 3 and outs.
And now all hog fans are left wondering, "Where do we go from here?"