Q. Our first question is from Arkie Redneck who wants to know: Should I be worried about the offense winning these practice battles and the first fall scrimmage? The defensive line seems thin. I could see teams running a lot on us.
A. The offense won the first scrimmage. The defense won the second. All of the coaches, all of the players, have emphasized the back and forth battles that are going on between offense and defense. Each is making the other better according to what we’re hearing.
We only see about 20 minutes of each two-hour practice but that’s what I’m seeing. A give and take battle. You can be worried if to chose but if there was an issue Sam Pittman would point it out. He feels both sides of the ball are playing well and the mistakes that are being made are correctable.
Q. Billy Bob says: Last week you said that Arkansas might not need Hornsby at receiver and mostly he’s been working at improving as the backup QB. With his wheels I was looking forward to him burning some SEC defenses. Has anything changed with what you said?
A. Actually Kendall Briles provided some numbers for us last Friday and he said Cade Fortin, the number three quarterback, has a better pass completion percentage in practice, so far, than Hornsby. But there’s no indication that Fortin has been moved up. I admit I’ve been paying more attention to Hornsby’s passing than Fortin’s. There’s no question in my mind that Malik is a better passer than he was a season ago. He’s more accurate with the deep ball and had more touch on his short passes. He had a monster scrimmage on Saturday. A 65 TD pass to Ketron Jackson, an 18 yard TD to Nathan Bax and a 15 yard TD to Quincy McAdoo. This team has three four-star QB’s who are all moving the chains in practice and scrimmages. That’s huge.
I give a lot of credit to Briles for his ability to develop quarterbacks.
As for Hornsby lining up in the slot and catching passes, I think it will happen some but not a lot.
Q. whippersnapper wants to know: How do you properly pronounce Malik Chavis’s last name? I hear Pitt and Odom say one thing in interviews then everyone else (media etc.) say another.
A. Most of us in the media have been pronouncing it CHAY-vis. The coaches and the pronunciation guide the school gave us has it as CHAH-vis. So CHAH-vis it is.
Q. Both Barry Odom and Kendal Briles have indicated how much they love coaching at Arkansas.
MuskogeeHogFan says: After watching the Odom interview and remembering how Briles expressed something similar I have to wonder if Yurachek has had a conversation with them indicating that when Pittman decides he is done, he would love having them available to take over the reins?
A. I doubt that he’s discussed it with them at this point. I believe Pittman will be in this job
for at least six or seven more years. Maybe longer. To me, Briles will be gone by then.
Odom might stay that long. He said he likes being a defensive coordinator. He does not have a burning desire to be a head coach again. He likes NW Arkansas. His family likes it here. He’s all in with Arkansas now and is really invested in the process of building the program back from the ground up.
He also likes his defensive staff. He says they are so good that he’s learning things from them.
When Pittman steps down it’s certainly possible that Odom will be considered. It’s also possible that Barry Lunney Jr. might be in the picture if his time at Illinois gets him a head coaching job and he is successful at it. Keep in mind that Hunter Yurachek came close to hiring Lunney Jr. after Chad Morris was fired.
Q. robs4516 says: Coach Pittman said in a recent interview that he has made mistakes as a head coach but he’s learning (paraphrasing). What have you seen so far that you feel he can improve upon?
A. I think he’s being humble. I guess even Nick Saban could improve but I certainly would not want to analyze Sam Pittman and pass out advise on how he can improve. Like I said last week, the only change I’d make for him is to give us (the media) more access to his assistant coaches.
Q Alex4Hogs88 says: Almost football season!!!
What are your top 10 favorite college football traditions??
A. I’ll go five that I like and five that I don’t like.
- Calling the Hogs. Nobody else has anything like it.
- The story behind the War EagIe is goofy but it’s cool to watch the eagle come down from the top of the stadium and land on the field. Much better than Bevo running out onto the field.
- Texas Tech has that Zorro guy who comes out on a cool black quarterhorse.
- Ralphie the buffalo running onto the field wearing a harness with his handlers controlling him is cool looking.
- The Sooners’ covered wagon is fun, especially when it almost turns over making a U turn.
Here are my top 5 dumb traditions
- The 12th man nonsense with the Aggies and their band dudes with those fancy fake cavalry outfits.
- Texas firing off that stupid cannon in the endzone causing hearing damage to anyone close by and of course their annoying hook ’em ‘Horns sign.
- The Gator Chomp is dumb.
- That idiotic rooster sound blaring over the speakers at South Carolina that is jacked up to make the rooster sound like some scary prehistoric monster chicken. That’s laughable.
- And don’t forget the tomahawk chop at Florida State.
Q. liljo wants to know: Does it look to you like our offensive line is approaching Coach Pittman standards? Maybe the wrong way to ask…
Judging by what you are seeing and hearing, is our coaching staff pretty excited about the O-line this season?
A. Yes. Pittman himself has said it many times. Four returning starters. The only new starter will be at left tackle and Luke Jones is a 5th year senior. Played in all 13 games last year and look at the other four.
Ricky Stromberg, a senior who has been starting since he was a freshmen.
Right Tackle Dalton Wagner, a 5th year senior who is starting for the 4th straight season.
Beaux Limmer, the left guard, who is starting for the 3rd straight year.
and Brady Latham who is also starting for the 3rd straight year.
It’s hard to be more experienced than that.
They’ve also got Ty’Kiest Crawford, Marcus Henderson, Jalen St. John, Devon Manuel, Andrew Chamblee, Josh Street and Patrick Kudas who have all taken snaps in Camp and can can play right now if they have to. That’s an O-line 12 deep. So Yeah, this O-line meets Pittman’s standards.
Q. Mike_e says: Time to bring out the really important question. Who is having the most fun in fall camp?
By position group if you would please.
A. That’s a no brainer. Kickers. They work but they’re always laughing and messing with each other.
Q. Pigsfeat asks: What do you think of Todd McShay’s rankings and lack of love for Arkansas’s players/team?
A. He was listing the top choices for the 2023 NFL draft. He made some crack about Arkansas not having much coming up. Who cares? Just another national media guy popping off.
Q. Jerry Bowers wants know: Do you have an update on Cole Kelley? He left Arkansas and won the FCS’s version of the Heisman Trophy at Southeastern Louisiana. Went to the Manning camp where supposedly the pro scouts were impressed. Haven’t heard anything since then.
A. He signed with the Washington (Redskins) Commanders and apparently he was cut fairly early in the process. That’s disappointing because I thought he had a chance to make it in pro ball. I wish he had had Briles as his position coach at Arkansas. Not telling how good that might have turned out.
Q. Tucker wants to know: Are the Titans going to waste Treylon Burks?
A. Well he’s had two catches in two preseason games. Against Tampa Bay on Saturday they only threw it to him three times. Apparently two were bad passes.
Hog fans who have watched those two games say on social media that Burks was open but they aren’t throwing it to him. Their head coach said something to the effect that Burks needs to run his routes better.
It sounds like to me that he’s a bad fit on that team. I’d love to see Jerry Jones step up and trade for him.
Q. How good is the tailgating in Fayetteville? Never Yield says: Been going to Hog games since 1989 and have now been to every SEC stadium except South Carolina and every tailgating scene superior to Fayetteville.
A. There’s been a lot of talk about that after last week a bookie website ranked the 14 SEC schools in terms of tailgating experience and Arkansas was 13th on their list.
For the most part Arkansas fans on social media have agreed with that. Among their complains, the tailgating areas are too small and too scattered. There’s almost no free tailgating and tailgating spaces anywhere near the stadium are overpriced.
Most said Arkansas needs a centralized location like Ole Miss has with the Grove.
Q. There will apparently be less free parking near Baum Stadium this season. parallaxpig says: So I’m confused as usual……is the Baum East lot still free or is it now schollie parking?
A. Part of the Baum East lot will be reserved for handicap parking but there will be some free parking in that lot. The Baum West lot, across the street and north of the stadium is now reserved for athletic department employees.
Q. The basketball Hogs have been back from their 4-game tour of Spain and Italy for a few days now. Adam Stokes asks: What is your gross overreaction from the European Trip?
Here goes: Trevon Brazile will lead the nation in dunks.
Arkansas will lead the nation in turnovers.
They played this game on Hogville and some of the over reactions there were…
- We have 3 first round picks this year but Jordan Walsh isn’t one of them.
- Brazile will be a first round draft choice.
Maybe not an overreaction)
- Two of the new guys are overrated but won’t play.
(Need to say who they are)
- If Nick Smith Jr. gets hurt we will lose all our games
- We will be a bad three point shooting team