Posted: 2:00 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, 2013
By Zack Veddern
Last week, the Razorbacks came away with a hard fought loss but undoubtedly were “1-0” morally against Texas A&M.; The Hogs will exchange the SEC’s top offense for one of its top defenses in the Florida Gators. That matchup and more headline this week’s matchup, so without further ado, let’s get started.
Guntlet Game 2
So far, the Hogs are 0-1 in the “gauntlet” of their schedule, however, most of us were more encouraged with last week’s loss than anything.
It won’t get much easier in the Swamp this week, but the challenge is a little different, obviously there’s no Johnny Manziel to worry about in Gainesville. Or Jeff Driskell, for that matter, who is done for the year. This week’s challenge falls on the shoulders of Branden Allen and the offense, who will face the SEC’s top defense. The Gators are allowing a mere 202.5 yards per game, which is second in the country and only giving up 12.8 points per game, which is 9th nationally and first in the conference. On the ground, Florida has allowed 214 yard all season. Granted, their only real challenge on the ground was Miami’s Duke Johnson who only rushed for 59 yards on 21 attempts.
Surely they know all about Budda and the Beast, and they will be prepared for them. Arkansas may not be able to rely on the run game entirely this week, they will need help from Allen and the receivers. Sophomore Keon Hatcher’s involvement has been encouraging, but we will need to find balance to find success against the Gators.
Return To The Swamp
It was 2009, Joe Adams and Michael Smith were out, and Heisman winner Tim Tebow was on the opposite sideline. Add Dennis Johnson, Greg Childs, sack Tebow eight times, and divide that by Penn Wagers and you have the biggest crap stick I’ve ever been given. Hog fans remember that game, I certainly do, it was my first game in the Swamp.
Here's a video to refresh your memory.
With a Ryan Mallett jersey and my plastic Uncle Heavy’s Hog Hat, I made friends with a nice young lady and was called an “a-hole” (though not so nicely) by an elderly Florida fan. None of that stuff really matters, but I think I speak for all of us when I say that a win this week will be extra sweet.
Four Hogs will be playing in their home state this weekend. Alex Collins, Javontee Herndon, Denver Kirkland, and Ke’tyrus Marks. Collins, Herndon, and Kirkland will look to make big impacts this week against Florida’s vaunted defense.
Collins in particular because of his huge impact this season. He’s rushed for at least 100 yards in 4 of the first five games and if he passes the century mark tomorrow, he will tie Darren McFadden’s freshman mark of five. He’s got another 6 games after that to smash the record to pieces.
Herndon has been the go-to guy for Allen and Kirkland has seen significant time on the offensive front which is rare for a freshman, particularly in a physical scheme like Bret Bielema’s. They’ll all need to roll this week to beat Florida.
Also, I will be at the game tomorrow, and I am super stoked. The game will kickoff at 6:00 PM CT on ESPN 2.