Arkansas football report card: This is the worst team in Razorbacks history
Arkansas shouldn’t have even bothered making the trip to Mississippi State on Saturday. The Razorbacks were blasted 52-6 by the Bulldogs.
The Hogs failed miserably in each phase of the game, but that wasn’t the worst of it. Arkansas quit, which is actually the most embarrassing thing that happened in Starkville. There was absolutely no fight or pride shown by the Hogs in the second half as they were outscored 35-3.
Here are my grades for the Hogs’ performance:
Mississippi State’s stout defense presented a bad matchup for the hapless Arkansas offense. Still, it shouldn’t have been this bad. The Hogs blew plenty of opportunities with dropped passes, missed assignments, poor throws and a consistent failure to block effectively.
Ty Storey clearly isn’t the most capable quarterback in the SEC, but he can hardly be blamed for the inefficacies from Arkansas’ offense Saturday. His supporting cast did almost nothing to help him out.
Let’s just turn to Twitter so we can illustrate how Arkansas’ offense performed.
Here’s a picture of tight end Cheyenne O’Grady lined up almost a full yard offside.
Here it is. OGrady lined up in the neutral zone. pic.twitter.com/R2yRQw9XQO
— Wess Moore (@Wess_Moore) November 17, 2018
And here’s a play where left tackle Colton Jackson is doing … nothing at all.
— WOOPIGSOOIE (@W00PIGS000IE) November 17, 2018
Yep, that pretty much covers it.
This was Arkansas’ worst defensive performance of the season. Yes, even worse than the 34-27 loss to Colorado State, the 44-17 loss to North Texas and the 45-31 loss to Vanderbilt.
Mississippi State had been nearly as incompetent offensively as Arkansas coming into this game. The Bulldogs were shut out the previous week against Alabama and hadn’t scored more than 28 points in an SEC game this season. They almost doubled that against the Hogs as quarterback Nick Fitzgerald accounted for 5 touchdowns and looked like an All-American rather than the much-maligned player he has been most of 2018.
Special teams: F
Arkansas’ special teams had seemingly turned a corner and improved drastically since a very rough start to the season. However, Saturday was proof that this phase of the game is still lacking significantly.
Connor Limpert missed a 43-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter that would’ve tied the game and potentially given Arkansas some belief. Punter Reid Bauer averaged just 37.3 yards per attempt and essentially handed the Bulldogs a touchdown by dropping a snap and turning the ball over at the 4-yard line.
Like the other phases, special teams was riddled by a series of regular mistakes.
Yes, it’s just Year 1 under Chad Morris. And yes, this is a massive rebuilding project he has taken on. But even with all that considered, this team shouldn’t be embarrassing itself like this. Morris doesn’t deserve to get a pass for what happened against the Bulldogs. The players quit, and just because they aren’t “his” players — as some people are quick to point out — that doesn’t mean he can’t get them motivated to play for four quarters.
This is the worst Arkansas team in the history of the program.