FAYETTEVILLE, Ar. (KNWA/KFTA) – The first time I saw the Razorbacks’ 2023 football schedule I thought to myself, the SEC has done it again…only this time it’s worse. We are more than halfway though the season and next Saturday, Arkansas will finally play an SEC home game. Yes, I know, the Jerry World matchup against the Aggies could have been in Fayetteville if not for that long term contract with Mr. Jones, but would any other school not named Vanderbilt in the league put up with the football and basketball schedules that SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey regularly allows to be thrown Arkansas’ way?
It might not be politically correct, but at some point, raising Cain in a public forum might have been Arkansas AD Hunter Yurachek’s only option. But it’s too late. The 2024 schedule will be the best in years for the Hogs (which is a miracle). Beyond that, from what we hear, each SEC team will play every other SEC team once every two years, but the order in which those games are played home and away could still be an issue.
It is worth mentioning that with a new offensive coordinator who can’t seem to distinguish between what works and what doesn’t, Arkansas has still lost to the top four teams in the SEC West by an average of just six points a game. Any of those four games were winnable with a break or two.
The way this defense has played under Travis Williams, with any type of offensive consistency, the Razorbacks could be sitting at 4-0 in the West right now. It’s a shame that one of the best turnarounds ever by a first-season defensive coordinator at this school is being overshadowed by an offense that can’t seem to build on what little success it finds from time to time.
Starting late in the 3rd quarter against ‘Bama, the Dan Enos directed offense briefly caught fire, narrowing a 24-6 deficit to 24-21. The play calling seem to change. It was actually creative. Starting at its own eight yard line with 9:45 remaining in the game, Arkansas began what would turn out to be its last possession. Ninety-two yards away from maybe breaking a horrible 16-game losing streak to the Tide.
They made it to their own 44 with 7:42 left before Enos’ offense turned back into a pumpkin. K.J. Jefferson threw an incomplete pass on first down. Rashod Dubinion ran for two yards on second down. Jefferson was sacked for an 11 yard loss on third down. The Hogs punted and never got the ball back.
So what’s next?
Well there are four home games and one road game left. In my opinion, not one of Arkansas’ remaining conference opponents are as good as the teams they have just played. So if these players haven’t been shattered by a series of close losses under difficult circumstances, they should come out fired up against Mississippi State next Saturday. Who knows what the crowd will look like but it has to be better than playing at LSU, at Ole Miss and at Alabama.
Razorback fans have every reason to expect an attacking Arkansas defense in those games. The issue is the offense. Can it stop sputtering against teams it should be able to move the ball on?
Who knows? I sure don’t.