The Arkansas Razorbacks football hopes appear to be diminishing thanks to a disappointing three-and-a-half quarters against the Toledo Rockets.
The SEC hopefuls struggled repeatedly to gain traction against a stingy Toledo defense. By the end of the third quarter, Hog fans were asking the question, “Should we be worried?”
That’s because Toledo led for most of the game, bumping its 9-7 lead to 16-7 by the start of the fourth quarter. What was especially troubling about the game for Hog fans was that it was a home game and a non-conference contest against a team from a perennially weak conference.
You always schedule your patsies for the non-conference part of the season, and taking on one of said patsies at home means you should pretty much win, even if you’re playing the whole game with the third stringers.
But that’s not what happened to the Arkansas Razorbacks football team Saturday. Even as this post is being written, they’re struggling to come back — they just pulled to within six thanks to a field goal with around eight minutes to play — and the truth is painfully clear.
Even if they pull this one out, the season is over.
That’s because Arkansas comes from one of the toughest conferences in college football. Alabama, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida — it’s not getting any easier from here.
This was a game that didn’t even have a line on it from bookmakers like Vegas Insider. Following the 48-13 shellacking the Hogs gave UTEP last week, this game was being looked at as a done deal.
Now not only is the game in question, but the season as well. You don’t bounce back from an embarrassment like this and rarely do any better than one of those forgettable bowl games they send 6-6 teams to nowadays.
It’s frustrating to fans because the Arkansas Razorbacks football team showed a lot of promise at the end of last year, but a couple of unfortunate incidents have pushed it to the back of the line.
In mid-August, CBS Sports reported the Hogs lost highly touted running back Jonathan Williams for the regular season with a severe foot injury.
Adding to the list of the Hogs’ woes was the arrest of C.J. O’Grady for driving while intoxicated and being a minor in possession of alcohol in late August, ESPN noted.
While it wasn’t clear whether O’Grady would have been a very integral part of the Arkansas offense, head coach Bret Bielema’s squad couldn’t have needed the distraction.
While it may be premature to declare a team’s season over after one bad game, you do have to look at the level of competition and other circumstances when weighing the performance. And if this is any indication of how they’re going to play against the Crimson Tide, then Arkansas Razorbacks football will be in for another tough year.
By the way, the Razorbacks did in fact lose to the Toledo Rockets, 16-12.
Is their season over? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]