I honestly do not understand what happened to me after I turned 30. I use to hardly ever get sick. I mean, I would get a cold or flu like symptoms or whatever like everyone else, but it would never really bother me. I'd still go to school/class/work sick, go about my usual routine and after a couple days I would be fine. I still can remember running wind-sprints with a severe chest cold and that didn't bother me in the slightest.
Okay, that's a lie as I ended up having an asthma attack and my coach had to prop me against a wall so I could breathe. That was dumb and I later found out I was lucky I didn't get pneumonia. I did, however, manage to get the rest of the team sick and I'm sure they weren't too happy, either. Anyway, yeah, so I got sick over the weekend and now that I'm an adult (stop laughing), I take responsible, well-measured, preventative actions to keep myself and others from getting worse.
By that, I mean, I did the exact opposite by going to a friend's wedding on Friday, taking a bunch of allergy medication and drinking. Yep, that went about as well as to be expected and I spent most of all Saturday and Sunday recovering. I haven't learned my lesson at all and because of my practically self-induced illness I really didn't get to watch much football this weekend either, which might have helped me prepare better for this article.
Oh well, you live some, you learn some or however the phrase goes, I don't know.
So yeah, Arkansas this weekend and ugh, that means Bielema is back in town. Unlike last time the Razorbacks made the trip out to the Plains, it was the first game of the year and hot as Hell, so I guess you won't have to worry about sweating...as much, Bert. I know a good number of you have ill-feelings regarding the Hogs' head coach, but he's never really bothered me all that much. Yeah, he's a braggart and a blowhard, but that's nothing unusual in the realm of football coaches. Plus, how often do we have to deal with this man? One, maybe two, weeks a year? I'm not all that worried about him.
I am worried, though, about the football team he is coaching.
As of right now, the Razorbacks are sitting at 5-2 for the season, 1-2 in conference play and have faced two Top 10 opponents (LSU had fallen all the way to 18th by the time Auburn played them and TAMU has since climbed the rankings to the current poll position). Arkansas' season has been quite exciting, to say the least. A comeback from behind win against LaTech followed by a blown 13-point lead against TCU that forced the Hogs to go for two in the final minute of the game to play for an overtime victory. Tying it up with TAMU at halftime only to get slaughtered in the second half. A beat down courtesy of Alabama with a score that looks closer than it was. Then last week's back and forth match against Ole Miss.
Hot damn, Arkansas, you have to be exhausted after that kind of start, right?
Make no mistake, this is a good Arkansas Razorback team and despite Bielema's posturing to return to heavy-run-first-MANBALL, the Hogs air it out quite a bit. Austin Allen ranks in the top three of every passing statistic in the SEC, including owning the number one spots for passing yards and touchdown passes. The good news is that Auburn's passing defense has improved dramatically, as have the team's ability to get to the quarterback. Last year over 13 games, Auburn recorded 19 sacks. So far this season, the Tigers have compiled 14 sacks and the Razorbacks offensive line has allowed 17 sacks, 10 of which came in the last two games. This kind of pressure caused Allen to throw four interceptions in those games, but he still managed to throw three touchdowns in each game as well. Lawson, Adams, Davidson, Cowart and all the other big guys on the defensive line are going to have to be constantly going after Arkansas' QB as he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who is going to stop throwing because you pushed him to the ground a couple of times.
Besides this, Arkansas falls pretty much middle of the pack every where else and usually, not far behind Auburn. One thing the Hogs are not doing well is stopping opponents on third down allowing 47% to being converted to a fresh set of downs. Our Tigers, on the other hand, are converting 47% of their opportunities on third down to keep drives alive. Their rush defense is also not all that great and could (read: more than likely) be the best way to attack them. Shoot, it was just two weeks ago that Kamryn Pettway amassed 39 carries all by his lonesome against a Mississippi State defense that is quite better than Arkansas.
There are two things that stood out to me when I was perusing the various numbers and eccentri, regarding this Arkansas team. The first is the number of offensive plays against the Razorbacks defense. In five games, Arkansas opponents have run less than 60 plays. Two of those games, TAMU and Alabama, the opponents were averaging just over 10 yards per play! The other three, their opponents were averaging 4.3 yards per play. Meaning this Razorback defense can be controlled and if Auburn can have another solid day from the offensive line, things could go well for the Tigers.
The other thing comes from SB Nation's own, Bill Connelly, and his S&P+ Win Probability for this upcoming game, where Bill has Auburn at an 81% chance of winning this tilt against Arkansas. Last week, the Hogs had a 30% Win Expectancy and they had a 29% Win Expectancy against TCU. I know a lot goes into creating these statistics, including some data from last season, but all I'm seeing is that I don't expect Arkansas to go down easy.
There's a saying that goes, "the victor is not victorious if the vanquished does not consider themself so."
Well, the guy who said that is dead, so screw him.