Arkansas Vs. Missouri (@Little Rock) Game Predictions

When this season started, the expectations were not that high. Some predicted 4-6 wins throughout this season, most of them coming from non-conference games. The games that I had circled on the schedule were 3/4 non-conference games, the only loss being to Western Kentucky (mostly because I was hoping that Storey would start that game and get his revenge). Then picking up a few wins in conference, possibly to a Kentucky (close), Ole Miss (place throw up emoji here), Mississippi State (place skull and crossbones emoji here) and Missouri.

Now that we know where the season has taken us, losses to all of the above that I mentioned, with the exception of Missouri that is being played today. With that being said, let us look at some of the numbers between Arkansas and Missouri.

Missouri has been up towards the beginning of the season besides week one, and then have fallen extremely hard and extremely fast towards the end of the season. Missouri started out 5-1, with their only loss coming to Wyoming in week one. Everything was looking great for a team that has a postseason ban looming above their head (which was upheld this past week). Since starting 5-1, Missouri has dropped their last 5 games to the following teams; Vanderbilt (21-14), Kentucky (29-7), #4 Georgia (27-0), #8 Florida (23-6), and Tennessee (24-20).

This game will be in Little Rock, where in recent years the city has not been so great to the Hawgs. They have struggled at times and even though it has been very dramatic going back to the Jeff Long days (not so long ago) where it seemed they were trying to rid Little Rock of the games. There has still been one way to getting a game in Little Rock, albeit every other year, but that is the home games against Missouri with our new “Rivalry.” Now I will admit it, as a Razorback fan that lives closer to Little Rock than NW Arkansas, it is nice to be able to go to games and not have to drive 4+ hours, but you hope that your team is doing well so that tickets sell and the people that are in NW Arkansas that make the decisions about Little Rock still want the game.

Arkansas has lost 8 straight football games, 2 non-conference, and they have lost their last 5 by a combined score of 254-80.

The Missouri Tigers are favored by 11.5 points total at the moment. With that and the way both teams are playing, I am going to take Arkansas outright. Only because I believe that Lunney will have this team ready to play for Senior Day 2.0. I believe that both teams will struggle at times, as they have all season but Jack Lindsey is looking to be the starter and I think that given his heart and how he played against the Tigers last week (yes, against starters that had yet to be taken out of the game) that he will deliver well for Lunney. There has been no word on the QB situation thus far for Arkansas as K.J. Jefferson and Nick Starkel are both in concussion protocol. So I believe Lindsey will get the start and will come up with a victory in Little Rock.

Arkansas wins against Missouri, in Little Rock, with a score of 24-20. I will be in section 16 for the game and I hope it turns out like I just said. Go Hawgs!!! WPS!!!

Head Coaching Search (Matt Campbell Edition)

Yesterday afternoon a name was reportedly linked to the Arkansas Razorbacks Coaching Search. Matt Campbell of Iowa State has been in talks with the Arkansas Administrators who are looking for a new head coach.

Campbell was head coach at Toledo from 2011-2015, and before that he had been an assistant at Toledo, Bowling Green and Mount Union.

His overall head coaching record is 62-38, 3-2 in bowl games. He was 36-15 at Toledo, 24-8 in conference play.

Since joining Iowa State as the head coach, his first season was 3-9, which begun a rebuilding process. Something that the Razorbacks team will need to do with their next hire. The past 3 seasons include, 8-5, 8-5, and 7-4 this season. He is 18-17 overall in conference at Iowa State. Including a 1-1 record in bowl games at Iowa State.

If he is hired at the UofA then it will be a step up so to speak in the SEC for him. He will have to be able to recruit in Texas where Arkansas has struggled at times to get athletes. Not to mention trying to keep the in state kids at home.

Tell me what you think of Matt Campbell and if you would like this hire in the comments.

Thank you all and WPS GoHawgs!!!

Arkansas Vs. Georgia Tech

Arkansas Razorbacks Mens Basketball Team traveled to Georgia Tech for a Monday night game on the ACC Network. Where for the longest time it seemed that the Razorbacks could never win on the road under Mike Anderson, this is the first true road game for the “Muss Bus.” The Razorbacks to this point have been able to lock down their opponents during their first 5 games of the season. Both teams in this game have had stellar defensive numbers and therefore you knew that this game would be an offensive struggle. The Razorbacks have only allowed one team to surpass 50 points this year in a game.

At 8:40 left in the second half Tech scored a basket to tie the game at 48. Following this was the first ever timeout used by the Razorbacks in the Musselman era when Sills could not find an open man on the inbound (Musselman is still yet to call a timeout at this point in the season).

On another not, we witnessed Mason Jones consecutive made free throws end as he had not missed one all season.

At the 7:17 mark Arkansas had reached their 7 foul limit and Tech would shoot one and one the rest of the game.

Sills arguably had his best game this season offensively, as he scored a few big buckets in the second half to help the Hogs maintain a 2 point lead on 2 different occasions.

At the 5:57 mark, Mason Jones drove to the basket across the baseline and collected a blocking foul on a Tech player, along with the head coach of Tech to receive a Technical foul. Mason Jones would knock down both of the technical foul free throws, along with the “And 1” free throw after the blocking foul, stretching the lead from 2, to 7 on one possession (all points coming from Mason Jones).

On just about every possession for the Razorbacks under 4:30 to go, the Hogs milked the shot clock down to under 10 seconds, attempting to ice the game as much as possible. Not something that we have seen very often from this years Razorbacks team and it seemed to have a negative effect on their shooting.

At the final TV timeout the Hogs led Tech 57-55 with Mason Jones going to the free throw line for 2 freebies. Jones would go on to hit free throws to push the lead to 4 points. Only to be cut back to 2 points by a dunk from Banks on the next Tech possession.

At the 1:57 mark, Bailey passes the ball to Coach Musselman on the sideline turning the ball over and then Jimmy Whitt was called for a foul on the other end where Banks would hit 1-2 from the line cutting the lead to 1 point.

The Hogs would not get much luck on the offensive end as Mason Jones hit the deck on a play that could have been called a foul, then I. Joe was called for a questionable blocking foul and Devoe for Tech would knock down 1-2 free throws to tie the game at 59.

Sills would have a good floater look on the hogs next trip down the floor and would come up just short.

Tech would have the basket and miss a good open jumper. Musselman would let them play for the last shot and not call a timeout. Whitt would take a jumper and miss it off the side of the rim. Tech gets the rebound and Coach Pastner for Tech would take a timeout with approximately 1.4 seconds left on the clock. Tech would get the ball at the 3/4 court area on Arkansas’ side of the court and would not get a shot off. The game would head to overtime tied at 59 points a piece.

The overtime tip would be won by Adrio Bailey but the ball would go out of bounds and Tech would receive the first possession of overtime. Tech would eventually miss a 3 pointer on this possession.

Arkansas would not have scored an actual field goal since the 5 point possession by Mason Jones in the later portion of the second half.

After swapping missed shots by each team for the first minutes and 50 seconds of the overtime period (combined 0-8) (0-1 from the free throw line (Mason Jones, front end of a 1-1)) until Banks hits a shot to put Georgia Tech up by 2.

The following possession for Arkansas would pass the ball around with under 20 seconds left until Mason Jones received the ball around halfcourt with less than 5 seconds to go. Jones would do a step back jumper behind the three point line and knock down a bank shot to give the Razorbacks the 62-61 lead with .1 seconds left on the clock. The inbounds play for Tech would be caught by Arkansas and the hogs would escape with the first road win of the Musselman era and your Arkansas Razorbacks have started 6-0.

Arkansas had 3 players in double figures in scoring; Jones (24) including the game winning 3 pointer in overtime, Joe (13), Sills (11)

Joe was the leading rebounder for the hogs with 9.

Sills led the way in assists with 4

Both teams only scored one basket in overtime, Banks with a baby hook shot, Jones with the bank in 3 for the win.

Next up for the Razorbacks is back on Nolan Richardson Court where they will play Northern Kentucky (4-2) Saturday November 30th, at 4:00 p.m. on the SEC Network+

GO HOGS #wps

Updated Coaching Candidates and My Thoughts

As many know who follow the Arkansas Razorbacks sports programs, I, as many others, continue to wonder who the next head football coach of the razorbacks will be. Chad Morris was fired on November 10th by athletic director Hunter Yurachek and so far the coaching search has been kept lip tight. Everything that has been heard or mentioned is based on rumors and speculation even if some have claimed sources. So lets run thru the rumors and I will give my thoughts on each candidate.

Barry Lunney Jr. – The former razorback QB turned TE coach and now the Interem Head Coach knew that Saturday against LSU was going to be a tough game. You don’t just go into a football game against the number 1 team in the nation and not expect a tough game out of it. Lunney however had his team somewhat ready though. As a 44.5 point underdog earlier in the week, Arkansas covered, but still ultimately lost 56-20. Does this give Lunney a chance at the head coaching position if they win against Missouri on Red Friday in Little Rock? I don’t think so, win or lose, Lunney will not be the head coach next season, but HY should take into account how important Lunney is and attempt to retain him.

Mike Norvell – Reports came out that Mike Norvell has met with UofA administrators and has shown more interest in the FSU job rather than Arkansas. If true, this is a troublesome time because Norvell is probably more a front runner than anyone else for the position. If this is indeed the case then HY has already began moving in another direction. Arkansas probably cannot outbid an FSU team even though FSU will fork out more money to Willie Taggart after firing him. Mike Norvell is probably not coming to Arkansas.

Mike Leach – The former Texas Tech head coach and now Washington State head coach has been a winner just about anywhere he has been. Being fired from Texas Tech for cause and then making his way to Washington State. He has been very successful with his air raid offense just about anywhere he has gone. The negatives that many have talked about on Twitter is that he upsets and attacks the fans and players too much and speaks his mind too often. In today’s era of everything is offensive, some are very negative about him. Others are worried about his record at Washington State and that he barely has a winning record in the Pac 12. This is not a “for Mike Leach” statement but one should look at how that program was before he showed up. From 2008-2011, the Cougars, led by Paul Wulff were 9-40 at a winning percentage of just 18%. Since 2012 (the hire of Mike Leach), they have went 52-40, a winning percentage of 57.5%. Something to think about when you are a fan of a team that has went 8-27 in the past 3 seasons. Mike Leach is an interesting candidate.

Sam Pittman – Pittman is an interesting candidate. Hog fans love him and miss him, and for good reason. He was the reason that Bret Beilema had one of the greatest offensive lines in the SEC and all of college football for a few years running. He also has been quoted to say that he would love to return to UofA if given the chance. Would it be possible for him to become the head coach though? Especially with 0 head coach experience. I don’t think that HY would bet his job security on a guy with no experience. He kinda falls in the same category with Lunney in that aspect, but imagine a team where you’ve got Lunney and Pittman working on the same offense again. I hope that HY can lure him away from Georgia with the next head coach but in the end Pittman will not be the next head football coach at the UofA.

Lane Kiffin – Another coach that has been on the radar for the UofA thru the last 3 coaching changes is Kiffin. He has been a journeyman at this point in his career. A not so great NFL coaching job in Oakland, then moving to Tennesee for a nice yearly vacation, afterwards going to USC for a few years where he was fired mid-season, making a stop in Alabama to run the offense for Nick Saban, and now in Florida where he has been fairly successful at FAU. You can’t argue his success in the College Football circles but you can argue that he doesn’t stick around somewhere for very long. I personally am on the “Lane Train” hire but I am also one that understands why many do not want him as the head coach. It is very interesting to me how it will pan out if Lane Kiffin does in time get the job.

Gus Malzahn – This man as of right now is again on the hot seat in Auburn. A quiet hot seat, but a hot seat nonetheless. Former high school coach in Arkansas, and former offensive coordinator at UofA. Gus Malzahn made a stop in Tulsa before becoming the offensive coordinator for Auburns national championship season. Leaving Auburn for Arkansas State, then returning to Auburn after the firing of Gene Chizik. Gus Malzahn has been on the hot seat many season in Auburn because he has to compete with Nick Saban every year. Auburn has always been the little brother in Alabama but the expectations are constantly title or bust. He has a massive buyout at Auburn and Arkansas will not pay that buyout for a guy that has a 50-50 approval/disapproval rate for the fans in Arkansas. I am loosely using those numbers because every radio show in Arkansas uses the same numbers. If Gus is indeed fired if he loses to Alabama, dropping Auburns record to 8-4 this season, would UofA give him a chance? Would HY give him a chance? I think he would be successful in Arkansas but I don’t know if the fans will give him much of a chance if he isn’t successful from the start. If he is successful then the fans will quit caring who the coach is in my opinion. Only time will tell.

Bobby Petrino – No, he is over the hill and past his prime and even though he had a great QB at Lousiville in Lamar Jackson, the portion of the state of Arkansas that is still for him needs to move on and let it go. Bobby Petrino will not return to Arkansas as the head coach of the Razorbacks.

Houston Nutt – I understand why fans like the idea of him returning but I don’t see it and with his interview on 103.7 the buzz, it sounds like he doesn’t see it happening either. Although I would love to see Houston Nutt play a part in the athletics department somewhere with the football program he will not return as the head hog.

Willie Fritz – I believe that this candidate is flying under the radar for many reasons. For one he is at Tulane, and nobody believes that we need to reach out into the group of 5 for another head coach this time around, but I think that he would bring instant opportunites for success. His overall head coaching record is 176-95 within all of his stops (Central Missouri (97-47), Sam Houston State (40-15), Georgia Southern (17-7), and now Tulane (22-26)). Many will point out though that he has not had a winning record at Tulane in his 3rd season, mimicking that of Chad Morris at SMU. Fritz is different in that account because of his previous stops. I don’t think Fritz will be given a chance but I think he should get a hard look for sure.

I feel that I could go on about more candidates but these candidates I believe have the best chance or have been spoken of the most. With the exception of Willie Fritz, he was added last moment after a friend asked me to look into him, and if I missed some that you would like to hear of then please feel free to comment or send a message on twitter @grayman1410. Thank you for reading and have a blessed day and GO HAWGS!!!