New Head Coach for Arkansas Football

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HawaiianHogster
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13-0 Come Back Win

Post by HawaiianHogster »

Down 13-0 at halftime, the University of Arkansas looked like a totally different team in the final 30 minutes.
https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2020/nov/07/hogs-reverse-fortunes-half-beat-vols-24-13/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter_ArkansasOnline

The Razorbacks (3-3) scored 24 unanswered points and shut out the Tennessee Volunteers in the second half for a 24-13 victory on Saturday night at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The latest on the Razorbacks, the Red Wolves, the Trojans, the Bears, Arkansas high school sports and much more.

Quarterback Feleipe Franks threw three touchdowns to three different receivers in the third quarter as Arkansas won for the third time in a season for the first time since 2017.

FIRST QUARTER: Tennessee 3, Arkansas 0

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Jarrett Guarantano’s 10-yard strike to Josh Palmer on 3rd and 9 keyed Tennessee’s game-opening series. Eric Gray had five consecutive runs for 34 yards. A holding penalty slowed the series and Brent Cimaglia made a 50-yard FG to cap the 12-play, 42-yard sequence. On the Razorbacks’ first snap De’Vion Warren took an end around 22 yards at left end. Warren caught an 8-yard screen on the next snap before Rakeem Boyd’s 5-yard run moved the chains. The Hogs went backwards from the UT 40, and Sam Loy punted to the 19 as Arkansas held the ball for 2:21. The Volunteers kept the ball for the final 7:04 of the period, converting 3 of 3 third-down plays and reaching the Arkansas 13 as the period ended. Velus Jones Jr. converted 3rd and 2 with a 3-yard run, then Guarantano dropped to pass on 3rd and 8 and ran for 20 yards over a gaping hole on the left side to reach the Hogs’ 36. On 3rd and 5 at the 31, Guarantano found Jalin Hyatt for 8 yards on a slant from the slot, just past Greg Brooks Jr. A pair of runs from Gray netted 10 yards and pushed the Vols into the red zone as the quarter ended.

SECOND QUARTER: Tennessee 13, Arkansas 0

A keeper from Jarrett Guarantano netted 9 yards to the Arkansas 4. Eric Gray chugged through a big hole over the left side for a 1-yard TD to end a 16-play, 81-yard sequence. A pair of Rakeem Boyd runs netted 12 yards. Mike Woods had a 7-yard catch and Feleipe Franks moved the chains with a 2-yard sneak. Franks found Blake Kern running free over the middle for a 24-yard pickup. Franks fired a slant into Treylon Burks for a 9-yard gain to the 3. Franks lost a yard at left end then threw well over receivers the next two plays. A.J. Reed sliced a 21-yard field goal wide right and the Hogs got nothing out of a 16-play, 71-yard series. The Hogs’ defense notched a three and out. Trelon Smith broke a 23-yard run. Smith caught, then fumbled a screen pass for a 10-yard loss. Franks scrambled for 16 on 3rd and 20 and Reid Bauer punted 51 yards. A defensive holding call was followed by Guarantano’s 18-yard strike to Josh Palmer. LaDarrius Bishop defended a deep throw to the end zone and Brent Cimaglia made a 48-yard FG. De’Vion Warren returned the kickoff 26 yards, then caught a 19-yard pass. The Hogs bogged down with Franks pressured and throwing incomplete on 3rd and 7.

THIRD QUARTER: Arkansas 24, Tennessee 13

Arkansas went 4 for 4 on third-down conversions on a 75-yard TD drive to open the half. Hudson Henry caught a 7-yard play-action pass on 3rd and 3. Rakeem Boyd ran for 6 yards on 3rd and 5. Treylon Burks caught a 12-yard slant from Feleipe Franks on 3rd and 3, then Blake Kerns had a 12-yard grab on 3rd and 2. Two plays later, Mike Woods grabbed a 1-yard slant for the score. A stop for no gain by Isaiah Nichols and Jonathan Marshall started the UT drive, with a false start and Jarrett Guarantano’s hard landing on a third-down scramble. Arkansas took over at its 33. On 2nd down, Mike Woods beat Kenneth George for a 56-yard catch and run down the right sideline. On the next snap, Franks found Blake Kern on play action for a 6-yard TD. The Vols went three and out with Brian Maurer at quarterback. Franks found Treylon Burks deep behind Jaylen McCullough for a 59-yard catch and run TD. The Vols went three and out. A 24-yard run by Franks on 3rd and 7 and a pass interference call against Warren Burrell moved the Hogs into scoring range. A.J. Reed drilled a 48-yard field goal to complete Arkansas’ 24-point quarter.

FOURTH QUARTER: Arkansas 24, Tennessee 13

The Volunteers got their initial first down of the second half on a defensive holding call against Joe Foucha to reach the Arkansas 34. Three plays later, Brian Maurer threw incomplete under pressure from Bumper Pool. An 8-yard catch by Treylon Burks and Trelon Smith’s 2-yard run got Arkansas to the 37. The Vols notched a pair of sacks, knocking the Hogs back to the 23 and Reid Bauer punted to the UT 39. Pool notched a tackle for loss, then Maurer threw way out of bounds on 3rd and long. The Vols sacked Franks twice and blitzing CB Bryce Thompson forced a fumble that Myron Cunningham recovered at the Hogs’ 10. Bauer punted to the Arkansas 48. Eric Gray’s hard running got the Vols to the Arkansas 25-yard line. On 4th and 3, Greg Brooks Jr. broke up Harrison Bailey’s slant pass for Jalin Hyatt and end Eric Gregory made a diving interception at the Hogs’ 23. The Razorbacks notched one first down then Bauer punted 43 yards to the UT 17. Barnes used check-down passes to move the Volunteers. Barnes scrambled out of bounds at the 10, then doinked a pass in the end zone off the cross bar. On the last play Barnes threw into the end zone, where Hudson Clark batted the pass away and Jalen Catalon intercepted.

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“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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Sam "The Man" Pittman

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Link https://twitter.com/i/status/1325308610231013376

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Last edited by HawaiianHogster on Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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Re: New Head Coach for Arkansas Football

Post by HawaiianHogster »

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POST GAME FAN REACTION
https://soundcloud.com/hitthatline/hog-reaction-postgame-show-arkansas-beats-tennessee-24-13
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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Re: New Head Coach for Arkansas Football

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Ugly Uncle Retweeted
ESPN Arkansas & HitThatLine.com
@HitThatLineAR
"The final drive to us was a statement... We made a decision as a defense that we weren't going to let them score."

- Jalen Catalon



Will
@Will_NSS
Man. He just gets it. Hog fans, we say it every week. This is the coach we deserve after all we’ve gone through. Finally, someone who understands us. https://twitter.com/i/status/1325308257964068868
SECSportsTalk
@sportstalk_sec
Coach Sam Pittman is coach of the year. If he doesn’t get it, We riot. Dude deserves it.
@RazorbackFB

@CoachSamPittman
5:50 PM · Nov 7, 2020·Twitter for iPhone



SEC Mike
@MichaelWBratton
Sam Pittman just refuses to take credit for the Arkansas turnaround.

Pittman was asked after the Tennessee game how he turned around the program:

"We got good kids and a great coaching staff. I knew if we went to work we'd have a chance and that's what they've done."


Ugly Uncle Retweeted
K Red hearts the Wuhan Front Facing Hog Boar
@kkhogs
Honestly, I’m dead serious, what college football coach in the country has done a better job than Sam Pittman this year?
Absolutely no one.
5:42 PM · Nov 7, 2020·Twitter for iPhone


CallTheHogs Retweeted
Kirk Herbstreit
@KirkHerbstreit
Sam Pittman deserves SERIOUS consideration for SEC coach of the year-Let’s see how
@RazorbackFB
finish the year-But this team was 4-20 last 2 years & currently are 3-3 (very easily could be 4-2 Aub).
More importantly they’re just COMPETING, playing PHYSICAL & playing as a UNIT!
5:37 AM · Nov 8, 2020·Twitter for iPhone



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Coach Sam Pittman
@CoachSamPittman
Razorback Nation brought it last night!!! Enjoy the win. You were a huge part of it. Our players have heart. So do my coaches. #turnthatdamnjukeboxup #GoHogs
5:18 AM · Nov 8, 2020·Twitter for iPhone


Anita Retweeted
Bryan Fischer
@BryanDFischer
Took Sam Pittman six games to get three SEC wins at Arkansas.

Chad Morris didn’t win a single one. Bret Bielema took 18 games to get three SEC wins, Petrino took 11.
5:35 PM · Nov 7, 2020·Tweetbot for Mac



Richard Davenport Retweeted
Scottie Bordelon
@NWAScottie
“That was probably one of the most fun halves of football I've ever played,” Bumper Pool said.

Arkansas’ defense was dominant after halftime Saturday. And in the third quarter, Tennessee mustered only 16 yards of offense. More on that second-half shutout:


Hogville.net Retweeted
Tera Talmadge
@TeraTalmadge
That must’ve been an incredible speech from Pittman in the locker room at halftime.
4:39 PM · Nov 7, 2020·Twitter for iPhone



WOODVILLE.
@TheMikeWoods
I’m just so happy that we have given hog nation and Arkansas’ faithful something to be proud of. It’s been a long time coming...
8:31 PM · Nov 7, 2020 from Arkansas, USA·Twitter for iPhone


Ugly Uncle Retweeted
Jim Harris
@jimharris360
Some Hog fans waking up Sunday wondering what they saw Saturday night in Fayetteville. A COMEBACK! Did that really happen? It’s like a dream. We’re so conditioned to the opposite from the past several years. New day, folks.
5:07 AM · Nov 8, 2020 from Little Rock, AR·Twitter for iPhone


Ugly Uncle and 12 others follow
Steve Sullivan
@sully7777
Pittman. “Kendal is a great offensive coordinator , and I’m damn proud that he’s on our team “
6:04 PM · Nov 7, 2020 from Little Rock, AR·Twitter for iPhone


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Arkansas
ESPN Arkansas & HitThatLine.com
@HitThatLineAR
"I told em at half to keep the faith."

- Sam Pittman
6:01 PM · Nov 7, 2020·TweetDeck


Uncle and 13 others follow
ESPN Arkansas & HitThatLine.com
@HitThatLineAR
"I'm proud of the offensive line."

- Sam Pittman
6:03 PM · Nov 7, 2020·TweetDeck


Ugly Uncle and 13 others follow
ESPN Arkansas & HitThatLine.com
@HitThatLineAR
"We never lost the faith... By halftime we came together and said 'we're better than this, let's go show it.'"

- Bumper Pool
6:27 PM · Nov 7, 2020·TweetDeck


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Last edited by HawaiianHogster on Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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HawaiianHogster
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I don't know what to think about this SEC games the Hogs are winning.

Post by HawaiianHogster »

Uncle and 2 others liked
Arkansas Razorback Football
@RazorbackFB
"You better keep that chip on your shoulder...cause I sure as hell got it on mine."

I'm getting emotional it is happening so fast!!!!!
https://twitter.com/i/status/1325586630938226688

Arkansas
ESPN Arkansas & HitThatLine.com
@HitThatLineAR
With no minimum number of wins for a bowl game, ESPN has projected Arkansas in the Texas Bowl on New Year's Eve against either OU or Texas.

https://hitthatline.com/espn-projection ... longhorns/ via
@Hit
That Line from ESPN Arkansas
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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ESPN projection puts Hogs in Texas Bowl against Sooners or Longhorns

Post by HawaiianHogster »

https://hitthatline.com/espn-projection-puts-hogs-in-texas-bowl-against-sooners-or-longhorns/
Arkansas fans might want to start looking at spending some time around New Year’s in Houston as that is the projection of most of the national folks.

You can do that this season with the minimum number of wins required to go to a bowl removed and a feeling Razorbacks athletics director Hunter Yurachek would take a Texas Bowl bid with a 3-7 record.

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Kyle Bonagura each have the Hogs slotted for a New Year’s Eve matchup with either Oklahoma or Texas in the Texas Bowl.

The Hogs blasted a disinterested Texas team in that game in 2014. That was the “borderline erotic” game for Bret Bielema on taking a knee in scoring position at the end.

Since then the Hogs have played in the Liberty Bowl in 2015, downing Kansas State, before the collapse of the program started in a loss to Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl in 2016.

They haven’t been to a bowl game since then.

The Texas Bowl is scheduled for New Year’s Eve at 7 p.m. on ESPN and matches up teams from the SEC and Big 12.

Other games that have been mentioned as possibilities for the Hogs include the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 2 at 11:30 a.m. against a Big Ten opponent, or the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 30 at 2:30 p.m.

Due to Covid-19 it was announced earlier there would not be the minimum number of six wins for a bowl appearance this year.

There is no minimum number of wins which means the SEC could send 14 teams to bowl games … and probably will if they get the chance.
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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Pittman’s Hogs upending more than just Tennessee

Post by HawaiianHogster »

Pittman’s Hogs upending more than just Tennessee after 24-13 win
By Andy Hodges -November 8, 2020
https://hitthatline.com/pittmans-hogs-upending-more-than-just-tennessee-after-24-13-win/


At halftime Saturday night with Arkansas looking flat in falling behind Tennessee 13-0, my thought was the adjustments made at halftime will be the most interesting aspect of the game.

Those were done and now national talking heads are starting to REALLY notice. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit is paying attention:

People are starting to notice that what Sam Pittman has pulled off in Arkansas about 60% of the way through the schedule and they are impressed.

And it’s not just Pittman, by the way. Defensive coordinator Barry Odom and offensive coordinator Kendal Briles have basically taken the reins of their areas and been laser-focused on, well, coaching.

There’s no interaction with coordinators or assistant coaches. It’s Pittman and the players that speak to the media.

For those that don’t particularly care for that, sorry. It’s what teams playing for championships tend to do. The guess here is it has nothing to do with worrying about a slip of the tongue from some assistant, but is about keeping people focused.

If there were doubters about Pittman’s coaching, it was on full display in the 24-13 win over Tennessee on Saturday night.

Down 13-0 at halftime, some fans were starting to grumble. The defense was getting run over almost at will by the Vols while the offense couldn’t seem to get everything moving in the same direction at the same time.

“It’s not like we were down 50,” Pittman said later.

He likes to say he doesn’t know what went on the last couple of years but he’s well aware that was the situation where this team would basically fold up the tent and head to the house.

“Our locker room felt a little down whenever, so I just said, ‘Hey — look, man. We’re going to get the ball. We’re going to score. Your defense is going to hold them. We’re going to be up before you know it. Just keep the faith,'” he said.

Odom and Briles don’t just stick with the game plan when things aren’t working.

“Our defense had kind of figured ’em out a little bit late in the second quarter,” Pittman said. “Our offense just shot themselves in the foot. Tennessee had done a nice job on defense.”

Most of the adjustments Pittman focused on were mental.

“Our locker room felt a little down whenever, so I just said, ‘We’re going to get the ball. We’re going to score. Your defense is going to hold them. We’re going to be up before you know it. Just keep the faith.’

“We missed a field goal, but I told them, ‘The mind’s so powerful and your mind needs to tell you that we’re going to win the game and here’s how we’re going to do it.’ And I didn’t want to see any negative — I didn’t want to see heads handing or anything like that ’cause it was only a 13-point game.”

After a half where the Hogs couldn’t even manage a 21-yard field goal (A.J. Reed pushed it right), the halftime adjustments and mental coaching of Pittman produced a third quarter as dominant as anything in recent memory.

Arkansas took the second-half kickoff and drove 75 yards in 17 plays to make it 13-7. The defense stopped the Vols on a three-and-out, then things picked up in a hurry.

On first down Rakeem Boyd had a 5-yard run and Tennessee cornerback Kenneth George, Jr., started yapping at Hogs wide receiver Mike Woods, who kept his cool.

“We were going back and forth a little bit,” Woods said later. “I just told him you better hope they don’t throw it to me on this next play. Then they threw it to me and I ran deep.”

At first it was ruled a touchdown after Woods dominated George (who was called for pass interference), pushing him off when he tried to make a tackle, but he did manage to get Woods out of bounds at the 6.

“I had no clue I stepped out,” Woods said. “I’m pretty sure I was looking back at him trying to keep him off me, but I had no clue I stepped out until they reviewed it when I saw I stepped out.”

Woods had already burned George once, scoring on a slant in the end zone for the Hogs’ first touchdown. He ended up with three catches for a touchdown, 64 yards and the one touchdown.

It’s part of the difference this year. Woods suffered through all the pains of 4-20 over the previous two seasons without getting a single win over an SEC team.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Woods said. “I’ve been here three years and we hadn’t won an SEC game in two of those years so it’s been a long time coming.

“When you win everything just feels better. You’re not as sore, problems on the team aren’t problems any more because you won. When you win games everything is better.”

Which, of course, is why this team and Pittman are getting noticed.

And Herbstreit may be right. It’s hard to find a coach that’s done a better job at this point of the season than Pittman has done.

But Sam won’t say it. He’s only thinking about Florida.
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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Other Media Post Tenn Game

Post by HawaiianHogster »



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Link https://twitter.com/i/status/1325619270106161152
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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DAM COVID!!!

Post by HawaiianHogster »

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Coach Sam Pittman
@CoachSamPittman
Can’t explain how much the well wishes from great friends and folks of Arkansas means to me. I feel fine. Hoping for a false positive test. Our staff is elite and will have our wonderful players ready this weekend. #gohogs #Appreciateyouall
9:09 AM · Nov 9, 2020·Twitter for iPhone https://twitter.com/i/status/1325845954730319873
Bobby Day
@cubbiesday
·
50m
Replying to
@CoachSamPittman
It’s so cool that you’re so passionate about Arkansas and our fans....the love you have for your players and the coaches makes me so proud to be a Razorback fan.
I spent most of my life in Chicago, l love Northwestern and Notre Dame but the Razorbacks are my team.



Kevin Harmon
@KevinHarmon1963
Replying to
@CoachSamPittman
Prayers for you Coach, your right this is a Proud damn State, Felt really good walking out of Razorback stadium with a win Saturday. Ty for restoring the Pride!
1:53 PM · Nov 9, 2020·Twitter for iPhone


Mark Hurst
@mhurst56
Replying to
@CoachSamPittman
God Bless you coach. My son and I got a chance to meet you at the Razorback basketball game when you were introduced. Walked down the steps to meet you. You were so nice to my son (BIG guy) who loves the Hogs as much as you do! You asked him to sit down for a selfie. Thank you!
11:03 AM · Nov 9, 2020·Twitter Web App
https://twitter.com/GaryNewton/status/1325964159276736512 https://twitter.com/i/status/1325933749503107073

Hillbilly HogFan
@HillbillyHogfan
Breaking... Arkansas signs interim coach Bam Fittman to one game contract
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https://twitter.com/i/status/1325881693815902211
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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Onto the Gators

Post by HawaiianHogster »

The Hawg Talk Retweeted
Kyle Sutherland
@k_sutherlandHTP
A major positive heading into Florida is Felipe's #'s on the road this year:

65/89
769 yds
73% completion rate
8 TD-0 INT
185.5 RTG
83.1 QBR

Playing his former team head-to-head against his successor.

No pressure.
4:34 AM · Nov 9, 2020·Twitter Web App
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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Second Covid Test

Post by HawaiianHogster »

Head coach Sam Pittman had a second test done after getting a positive result. His second test came up positive. Please pray for his speedy recovery. Pray for his wife and all those who came in contact with him. He will be dearly missed on the sidelines @Florida.

The good news is Barry Odom will take the reins as interim head coach. He knows what he is doing and was the head coach for Missouri before joining the Razorbacks.

Hog nation is sad to say the least of Pittman's covid results. We,re praying extra hard for his speedy recovery.


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“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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SEC Network

Post by HawaiianHogster »

https://twitter.com/i/status/1326311115148685313 Freck
@Freck98307437
·
4h
Replying to
@SECNetwork

@CoachSamPittman
and
@RazorbackFB
Woooooo Pig Sooooooooie. We made the best hire in the league. So proud of our progress. Don't have to hang my head when I say im a hog fan once again
Brian Mott
@mottobots
·
5h
Replying to
@SECNetwork

@CoachSamPittman
and
@RazorbackFB
Will this be available to watch on ESPN+ afterwards? I won't have a chance to watch it till later...
jasams
@ESPNhambone
·
3h
Replying to
@SECNetwork

@CoachSamPittman
and
@RazorbackFB
hog fan here i just wanna say how impressed i am by
@CoachSamPittman
and how quick hes turned around that program ill be pulling for you guys the rest of the way woo pig and go hogs
raineyyyyWilted flower
@relizabeth23
·
3h
Replying to
@SECNetwork

@CoachSamPittman
and
@RazorbackFB
My dad and I are watching, and my dads been a hog fan for 60+ years and when I say this grown man is crying over his football team, he is CRYING. But so am IRolling on the floor laughingLoudly crying face
Rob Weiland
@WeilandRob
·
3h
Replying to
@SECNetwork

@CoachSamPittman
and
@RazorbackFB
From what I’ve seen, 2020 Coach of the year. Great job!!!
I loved his press conference when he was named the Head Coach. Great job Mr. Pittman.
Kay White
@KayWhited12
·
3h
Replying to
@SECNetwork

@CoachSamPittman
and
@RazorbackFB
Just an awesome job!! WPS!! So proud of these HOGS!!
John
@mosjohnm
·
2h
Replying to
@SECNetwork

@CoachSamPittman
and
@RazorbackFB
Set the bar for every team to chase for coach.
@CoachSamPittman
mason
@OfficialMasonC
·
5h
Replying to
@SECNetwork

@CoachSamPittman
and
@RazorbackFB
Any app I can watch this on?
CNegative squared latin capital letter annonbNegative squared latin capital letter allBoar
@camobart19
·
6h
Replying to
@SECNetwork

@CoachSamPittman
and
@RazorbackFB
That’s my team’s coach!!!!!!
JWill
@jaredW09
·
4h
Replying to
@SECNetwork

@CoachSamPittman
and
@RazorbackFB
God bless! That’s my coach!
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“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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Change in Story

Post by HawaiianHogster »

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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Feleipe Franks

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Franks, of course, is the Razorbacks quarterback who has emerged as the program’s best quarterback leader since Tyler Wilson, ranking in the top 30 nationally in passing efficiency (154.73) and completion percentage (67.2) while already throwing as many touchdown passes (14) in six games as Arkansas had all last season.
Franks will next lead the Hogs, who are 3-3 and should be 4-2, against his former team Florida in what will be the Sam Pittman-era Razorbacks’ toughest test to date.

This week, during the press conferences, he’s saying all the right things, talking about how he still stays in touch with his former Gator teammates and is excited for the opportunity to play against them.

His former head coach, Dan Mullen, is doing his part too. “Feleipe’s a great competitor,” Mullen said in a presser. “He wants to come in here and beat my butt, beat everybody on the team’s butt … that’s what competitors want to do. I’m happy for how it’s working out for him, but I want to beat his butt on Saturday.”

As the programs and coaches want it, the focus is squarely on the present, on this upcoming game. This isn’t the time to delve deep into the particulars of why Franks left his beloved home state in the first place.

Fortunately, earlier this season Franks provided much more detail on this in a 45-minute interview with Bo Mattingly, the former sports talk show host.

He talked about how over the course of a few years he was locked in a quarterback battle primarily with Kyle Trask, now Florida’s star senior quarterback. Until the third game of the 2019 season, he got the lion’s share of playing time as the starter even though Trask was constantly challenging him on everything from the gridiron and the basketball court to the ping-pong table.

By 2019, Emory Jones, a promising young dual-threat quarterback, was also adding heat to the Gators’ quarterback battle. While Jones wasn’t ready to play big minutes then, it was clear he’d be a force to reckon in the following years.

But Franks’ gruesome leg injury early that season changed the narrative more abruptly than he ever imagined.

“I broke my leg,” he said. “You can either go two roads. You can either pout and all this other stuff and make me a worse person or a worse player and all that kind of stuff, or you can be that guy that the team needs still, because Kyle, at the time, didn’t have that many starts.”

“So I wanted to be able to be that guy that Kyle could lean on if he needed to, if he needed help or if Emory or if anybody else needed help, that I had a little bit of experience of playing that I could help them and be able to calm them down before games.”

That injury, as horrible as it was, brought out the best in Franks. He found a new appreciation and love for the game, one that is on full display for Hog fans these days.

“It’s heartbreaking when you put so much work into the craft, into the game that you love every single day and then it just gets taken from you like that. That was one of the things that I said in the locker room after the game — was that you never know when your last snap is. I never knew that was going to be my last snap at Florida, never knew that was going to be my last practice the day before that at Florida.”

It took a few months for Franks to decide to leave the Gators. It’s clear how close he was to his teammates and the families of the coaches even into winter, as this HBO video about his recovery shows:

In the end, though, he saw the writing on the wall.

After taking over for Franks, Trask began developing into the monster he is so far in 2020 as the first quarterback in SEC history to throw four touchdown passes in five consecutive games.

Behind Trask was Jones, then a redshirt freshman, who was hungry for playing time and might have sought a transfer if he had to play third string again in 2020.

Franks likely saw a scenario where a return to Florida would have probably been a “disaster,” as OnlyGators.com’s Adam Silverstein writes.

No only would he have been slow to get up speed during spring practice while rehabilitating, but “Franks would have needed to beat out one quarterback who won over the fan base and another who is clearly the future of the program. Even if Franks did somehow win the job, he would have been on an exceedingly short leash, which could have led to a wasted season in his final year of eligibility.”

Franks, as expected, mostly only talks about relishing competition at the quarterback spot, but it’s also clear he was ready to be the unquestioned leader of a program and end his college career with a bang.

As Mullen said this week, ‘the whole thing came down to, ‘I want to make sure I’m on the field playing next year.'”

Franks told Mattingly his decision to leave came to down to not wanting to duke it out with Trask and Jones again. He said he asked himself: “‘Do I want to stay here and do the whole competition thing again?’ All those kinds of stuff. Not necessarily the competition part of it, but just the daily life kind of stuff… It was me just self reflecting and [coming] to a mutual agreement that maybe it is time for me to go this way or this way. I just kind of looked at my options and Arkansas was a really good option for me, so I chose it.”

Arkansas should thank its lucky stars.

The Hogs’ ability to make half-time adjustments is out of this world right now “And, as sports talk show host Josh Bertaccini says,”it’s such a refreshing contrast to the kind of buffoonery, the kind of shenanigans, that we saw under Clown Coach the last few years — he who shall not be mentioned.”

“There’s no way I could see Arkansas winning a game like it did against Tennessee on Saturday night… the last two years, they would have imploded in the third quarter. There would have been no scrap, no fight – they wouldn’t have adjusted and they would have lost.”

With Franks under center, the Hogs won’t lack in the scrap or fight department. Even if Florida beats Arkansas on Saturday, Hog fans should still be appreciative of Kyle Trask for being the primary reason Franks came to them.

Below is the entire Feleipe Franks interview podcast, where he also discusses his parents’ divorce, idolizing Jameis Winston growing up and how he almost played for the Boston Red Sox:
https://www.bestofarkansassports.com/feleipe-franks-gets-candid-about-qb-battle-that-drove-him-from-gators/
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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HawaiianHogster
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Pittman and Mullen

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“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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