After a sudden departure last week which I apologize for (but only to the University of Kentucky), I return with a battle that seems to be the same sort of game for our new SEC brethren Texas A&M. Arkansas comes to Kyle Field with probably their worst start in forever, a lame duck coach, and a quarterback frustrated with his own team. Recipe for success, guys.
So let’s analyze these teams. Because we’re four weeks in, it’s also becoming handy to list the records of both schools, because even though we have ESPN and Google, context is still key.
Arkansas (1-3, 0-1 SEC) On the upside for all the chaos you are certain to know about with Arkansas football, they have a chance for a hilarious game next week at Auburn. Unfortunately, they’re at Texas A&M, who has played the role of a solid mid-level SEC team a little better than the conference’s other new entrant, Missouri. Coach John L. Smith will cut a hilarious interview at halftime and get fired in the third quarter for no reason. Tyler Wilson will have no effect, like in the team’s loss to Rutgers. Their rushing game will continue to suck. They won’t win.
Texas A&M (2-1, 0-1 SEC) Luckily for new coach Kevin Sumlin, the Aggies have an SEC battleground that isn’t too difficult to trek, at least not yet. Arkansas is as close to a sure game that the Aggies have this season, and a battle against Louisiana Tech suddenly becomes a bigger deal with their offensive power. I don’t know, maybe this is a recipe for a trap game.
I almost put a clip of Arkansas super fan lizhoney singing another ode to the 1-3 Razorbacks, but we’re all still in a naively happy mood this Saturday. Let’s not spoil that yet. Will update at kickoff.
I’m embarrassed that I don’t have a PVR, because there was a glorious John L. Smith interview. I think he said “we’re gonna take the field” three times in five seconds and also somehow said the mood was “good” in Arkansas. I will miss the shit out of this guy when the ax drops on him at the end of the year. Sigh.
With kickoff imminent, I’m going to reveal a secret. You remember last year when there was that Dr. Pepper Pitbull ad that was the most annoying thing ever but was played so often that it became charming? This is my view on the “Let’s Go” song the SEC Network plays. Although apparently the blog for the SEC Network picks much better songs in relation to the game. This was their choice for today’s game, based on the former Arky/A&M Southwest conference rivalry renewed:
Arkansas 0, Texas A&M 0 A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s nickname is “Johnny Football,” which is my favorite Michael J. Fox 1980s sports movie. And on his first pass, he nearly throws an interception, which would be the first thing that happens in a sports movie starring Michael J. Fox. Oh, by the way, Arkansas has been fucking horrid on defense. A&M is a big first half team, but Arky hasn’t even remotely made any stop effort after they jumbled that shot at an interception. A&M just waltzes to the redzone, although they’re having a little more trouble converting.
Texas A&M 7, Arkansas 0 Oh hi, Manziel touchdown pass. There is a review for this, but yeah, it stands. Look at that. Oh wait, this is a written blog. I forget these things a lot. My favorite moment of this game so far by the way is when Andre Ware says that the running backs of Arkansas are fantastic, it’s just the blocking that is terrible. As this happens, A&M far overpowers Arky’s line and stops the running back for a three yard loss and sets up a punt. Oh boy.
Johnny is living up to being called “Football.” Holy shit, a great run of 40-plus yards by the dude. Should be noted that he’s a redshirt freshman. Also, Arkansas got an injury of a dude who somehow hurt his hip on a tackle after not looking hurt and delivering a scoop slam-like tackle. This is weird as shit. “This is a situation where Kevin Sumlin is not afraid to go for it.” Andre Ware says this as the kicking team boards the field and the kick is no damn good.
(Oh by the way, the “Crank it up” song the SEC Network does will always be awful. Always.)
Andre Ware is on fire with his takedowns of the Arkansas coaching staff. He’s outright criticized them for giving Knile Davis a nice 8 yard run and immediately pulling him. And he’s right. Arky’s rushing stats have been fuckawful and it’s not really a running back problem.
Arkansas 7, Texas A&M 7 Knile Davis gets a 64 yard reception for a touchdown and Andre Ware is totally validated on commentary as to why that dude should stay in the game. Maybe John L. Smith overcoaches to avoid remembering that he’s in debt.
Another Manziel pass again avoids an interception. Johnny’s the luckiest QB in the SEC, with zero interceptions this season. He’s playing like a rookie difficulty level QB in NCAA 13. By the way, don’t worry, I’ll break this up with a funny jpeg in a minute, but this is actually high action.
Arkansas is stringing up another drive while I look up Texas A&M’s alumni. It’s a sad list. Rick Perry is up there. How sad. At least Arkansas has Slick Willy as an alum.
Knile Davis is a fine running back, if a bit too antsy to use the circle button (the spin move). But yeah, this is closer to the Arkansas team we expected this season. Or Texas A&M is kind of shittier than I thought.
Arkansas 10, Texas A&M 7 Yes, people. This is a real score. Arkansas is ahead of aTm. I can’t believe it, either.
End of the 1st Quarter
You want a sign of either the uselessness of short yard passes or the awful defense of Arkansas, Manziel is 11-12, 93 yards. Although he just missed a deep ball, so make that 13 passes. Ick. Field goal time after A&M’s kicked missed the last.
Arkansas 10, Texas A&M 10 But he makes it because college football makes no sense and kickers can miss 39 yard field goals and make 46 yarders within a quarter.
Here’s a Knile Davis squat:
Relevant because he’s okay. But it doesn’t matter either because something something three-and-out. Apparently, it’s starting to rain again, which rules because rainy football is kind of hilarious and makes me feel bad for everyone involved. Woo, there’s a commercial break. This is the first time I have seriously said this all season. There’s so many complete passes and the like that I feel like this is actually a Big 12 game, although I’m told a more Big 12-like game is occurring between Baylor and West Virginia at present.
As I type that, Dave Neal theorized that there could be more than 1,000 yards of total offense by both teams in this game. About right. I’m sure this is making most defenses around the country feel better about their chances since it looks like both of these defenses are wildly inept.
SEC Network Game Alert: Next week won’t be as fun. Mississippi State will take on Kentucky. I might give up on that at halftime, too.
I have another theory that Johnny Manziel doesn’t get plays on his headset, just the stat line for Geno Smith so he can play close to his average.
Texas A&M 13, Arkansas 10 Another field goal by Treodfjofoejfojdnet (I missed his name and thus his spelling). Yohnel Smith needs more than Knile Davis right now. The Hogs are still in it, but they might prefer to score touchdowns with all of the yards they’ve given up. The SEC Network’s first down line isn’t great? Either way, Arkansas looking like they might use a first down for motivation to make another first and so on. Knile Davis has a 28 yard carry and Andre Ware is adamant to hand it off to Knile Davis more AND THEN KNILE DAVIS FUMBLED. DON’T DO WHAT ANDRE WARE SAYS. Andre Ware angered football god. Also, Tyler Wilson threw a pick. The A&M player literally flipped up the football on the return and then picks it back up. Hilarity. And A&M may have gotten that momentum move to finally break this open.
Texas A&M 20, Arkansas 10 And we’re probably seeing the breaking point of the Hogs here. Texas A&M is playing more like Florida here, what with scoring touchdowns on later drives versus the game’s start. Manziel is damn good, too. And since I brought it up, here’s the comparative stat lines between Manziel and West Virginia’s Geno Smith:
Johnny Manziel — 16/20, 174 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
Geno Smith — 26/28, 288 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
Both this game and the Baylor/WVU game are almost at halftime, though, four more minutes in our half. Also, Arkansas is catastrophic. Tyler Wilson is more at fault for this failing than any others, despite his shitty line, namely since he fumbled the ball at one point. The biggest win of this drive is the great catch that doesn’t even matter.
Texas A&M 27, Arkansas 10 Arky challenged a play so that they could get good field position. A&M throw a touchdown from their own 20. Hilarious and sad.
What else to do, indeed, Arky fans. It’s okay. I might even hug you without irony. Again, if it weren’t for the Baylor/WVU game’s equal exploiting of defense, Manziel would win the award for “best exploitation of an opposing defense” so far this afternoon. Again, amazing this kid is a redshirt freshman even if this is Arkansas defense we’re talking about.
Alrighty, this half is done. I need a bathroom break. So does the Hogs. So does the world. Also want to watch those Baylor/WVU highlights.
End of the 2nd Quarter
I had nothing important to say during halftime. The game has literally defined itself. Manziel is playing a proto-Braxton Miller style attack. Knile Davis almost fumbles it again. Almost. But Tyler Wilson makes up for that lack of turnover by throwing another interception! Jesus. I miss the days when Tyler Wilson was just an overrated quarterback, not a desperate team leader losing his ability in pressure. Such a sad fall.
Texas A&M 30, Arkansas 10 If anything, it might be disappointing that they only got a field goal. Arkansas is in such a free fall on offense that A&M should probably put this away. I don’t suspect it will be a problem, but I’d love to put some second stringers in this battle if I’m A&M. Give them the same embarrassment that Bama gave the Hogs two weeks back.
This game has went so well for A&M that one of their own players collided with another and caused a fumble (A&M recovered the ball). Also, the ESPN3 stream has John Elway trying dance moves. I’m lost in the world.
Also learned in that search that Chris Brown’s new single is called “Don’t Judge Me.” Can you believe this bastard? By the way, it’s mostly because these games have been notable beatdowns, but these 3rd quarters feel slow as shit.
Texas A&M 37, Arkansas 10 It keeps going. It keeps going. Even a challenge can’t stop this destruction. By the way, according to Dave Neal, John L. Smith lost a family member last week. Condolences to the dude, although I fear that is true “ESPN 30 for 30″ fuel in the future.
Texas A&M 44, Arkansas 10 Knile Davis fumbles, A&M scores off of it. Again. By the way, the 3rd quarter is still not over. So yeah, this is pretty much death for Arky. 1-4 after a top 10 ranking. This is probably one of the worst fall from graces we’ve seen.
Arkansas made a first down and the feed almost collapsed its picture. That’s how sad it’s gotten at Kyle Field. I might use the extra quarter and a half for Trey’s indie rock playlist, even. Also, Arky missed a field goal. What did they do to deserve this? Does football god really hate motorcycles and blonde assistants that much? Guess so.
Geno Smith has 7 passing touchdowns. Somehow this emasculates an A&M beatdown because I come back to reality and make Arena Football League jokes.
End of the 3rd Quarter
So I’m going to admit, I took a beer buying break, because the game is kind of a dud now. I returned all of five minutes later, and ESPN3 gave me the “Thank You for Watching” graphic they show when the game ends. There is still 13 minutes left in the game.
Texas A&M 51, Arkansas 10 “The Importance of a Defense/Offensive Line”
Texas A&M 58, Arkansas 10 “Chaos and Creation”