Arkansas can’t bank on throat slashes/religious gestures against TCU, Kenny Hill in 2017

TCU-Kenny Hill-Arkansas-Santos Ramirez

Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web.

 

Slowing Kenny Hill is the key to Arkansas beating TCU

It’s said in hushed tones a lot of times. Except by those who want to see Arkansas coach Bret Bielema ousted. They tend to yell it.

Arkansas should not have beaten Texas Christian last season. It took a miracle — or three — for the Razorbacks to pull the upset in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill’s ill-advised physical demonstration (notice I’m not calling it a throat slash, personally) after his go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter was maybe the biggest of those.

Hill’s physical demonstration the rest of the game should have been enough to beat Arkansas. He threw for 377 yards and ran for another 93. The former is bound to happen in a game that ends up 41-38 in overtime. The latter number, though, can’t be as high for the Razorbacks to pull the upset come this Saturday.

Our Trent Shadid wrote a great piece about how Arkansas needs to keep Hill in the pocket on Saturday. His scrambling and throwing on the run burned the Razorbacks more than a couple times.

But it was his feet that almost did them in for good. And, as anyone who watched Arkansas’ games the rest of the season knows, it was a harbinger of things to come. The Razorbacks couldn’t stop running quarterbacks in 2016.

Can they in 2017? Tick-tock.

Arlando Cook’s suspension creates problems

There were two schools of thought when Arkansas basketball coach Mike Anderson announced senior forward Arlando Cook was indefinitely suspended following Cook’s weekend arrest.

The first was Cook’s suspension is no big deal. He played only about 12 minutes per game last season. He averaged fewer than 3 points and 3 rebounds a game. His shot selection was among the worst on the team and there were nights when he wouldn’t contribute at all to the box score.

Thought No. 2 was bandied about on social media less often. But it’s the one I buy: Cook’s suspension makes Arkansas even thinner at its biggest position of need.

Perhaps freshmen Daniel Gafford and Darious Hall fill the void. Perhaps Cook is back sooner rather than later. But Arkansas’ experienced front line currently consists of Trey Thompson, Adrio Bailey and Dustin Thomas. Cook doesn’t add much in terms of scare factor, but he would be another body on a roster that could certainly use him.

TJ Smith getting advice from friend, former teammate RWIII

You wouldn’t think TJ Smith and Rawleigh Williams III would be super close. They’re on different sides of the ball, or were, before a neck injury brought about Williams’ retirement from the sport in April.

But Arkansas’ sophomore defensive end and the Razorbacks’ running back-turned-de facto assistant are bonding. Williams, the man who wants to be a general manager someday, is getting off to a fast start while in college.

Shadid talked to Smith about the first start of his college career last week and who, exactly, helped him through the jitters and nerves.

Yep. It was Williams.

ICYMI

  • Arkansas checked in at spot No. 7 in SEC Country’s Week 1 power poll. Smack middle of the pack. Tennessee is sixth. Florida is eighth. Personally, I tabbed the Hogs ninth. You can read why later Wednesday on the site.
  • Gabe Richardson is forcing his way into Arkansas’ plans at linebacker. Right now, he’s a backup. But if he keeps making plays like his forced fumble against FAMU, he will take on a larger role.
  • Arkansas baseball fall ball is underway out at Baum Stadium. The Razorbacks are expected to be a top 15 team in the country come February. Here’s a look at their fall roster. Biggest surprise of note: Right-hander Barrett Loseke, apparently, didn’t play in enough games for last season to count as a full year, so it went down as a redshirt season. Could be huge.
  • Freshman running back Chase Hayden was named SEC Freshman of the Week. He ran for 120 yards in his collegiate debut.
  • Navy fighter jets will be doing a flyover at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium before the Hogs’ game against TCU on Saturday. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. (CT).

Tweets and the like

Feel free to be pumped about football and all that, but this picture gave me all the happy feelings Tuesday. Plus, really, this crew will be the best major sports team at Arkansas this year. Mark it down.

Arkansas had three football players drafted into the NFL this past offseason. All three made their respective team’s roster.

Speaking of former Hogs in the NFL… Jonathan Williams was surprisingly cut by the Bills earlier this week. Well, Tuesday, he found a new home out in Denver. No offense to the city of Buffalo, but I’ve lived in upstate New York and I’ve lived in the Mile High City, and Williams just upgraded.

Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.

 

The post Arkansas can’t bank on throat slashes/religious gestures against TCU, Kenny Hill in 2017 appeared first on SEC Country.

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