New Head Coach for Arkansas Football

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HawaiianHogster
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Get well Quick Coach Pittman

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https://247sports.com/Article/Quarterba ... 154629034/
FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas — Feleipe Franks is anxious.

The Arkansas quarterback is preparing for a family reunion in Florida, where he played three years and led the Gators to a 10-win season in 2018.

He’ll see his former teammates and dozens of friends on the Florida sideline Saturday as the Razorbacks (3-3) face No. 6 Florida (4-1), but he’s actually anxious more about who is in the stands at The Swamp than who he will play against on the field. No, it’s not the loud Florida fans — and it’s certainly not the cameras that will be trained on him throughout the game as he plays against his alma mater, former coaches and teammates.

“The only thing that's gonna be interesting with this game is he's gonna see his niece,” said Ginger Franks, Feleipe’s mom. “He's already told me to have her down so he can see her before the game. He hasn't seen her in like a year. He's pretty excited about that.”

Still, Franks has plenty riding on his return trip to Florida. Franks’ story is filled with highs and lows. He wasn’t a huge hit with Florida fans in the Jim McElwain era, but he did take over as the starting quarterback in Dan Mullen’s first season leading the program. The former Top 100 recruit helped turn a four-win team into a 10-win program with a victory against Michigan in a New Year’s Six bowl game.

“He came in, took a bad situation and turned it into a really good one and helped build a foundation,” Mullen said this week. “He put Florida back to where everyone expects Florida to be as a top-10, national program.”

Fast forward two years and now Franks is suddenly a rival. He didn’t expect to play against his former team this season, but the coronavirus pandemic shifted the schedule, allowing the SEC to add Florida to the Razorbacks’ 10-game, conference-only slate in August. Franks didn’t leave Florida to get away from a toxic situation, however. This isn’t the story of a disgruntled former player out for revenge.

Franks suffered a horrendous ankle injury in the third game of the 2019 season. As Florida trailed 21-10, Franks tried to convert fourth-and-1 by running upfield. He instead was stacked up and bent backwards by Kentucky defenders.

He screamed in pain. The Kentucky crowd fell silent after a big fourth-down stop with their Wildcats leading 21-10.

“I thought his back was broken,” his mother said. “That's what it looked like on the Jumbotron to me. … Then when I went down there, I was worried about his ankle and he was worried about letting the team down.”

The entire Florida team surrounded Franks after he was loaded on a cart to be carried off the field. Kyle Trask was one of those players. Trask, who had been in a three-year battle for the starting job against Franks and was possibly set to take over despite the injury, grabbed the reins on the ensuing possession. He led the Gators to 19 unanswered points in an epic comeback that propelled him to the role of starter for the rest of the season. A year later, Trask is among the top quarterbacks in the country and is a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender for the playoff-hunting Gators after a victory against rival Georgia last week.

One year ago, Franks was forced to watch the ensuing success from the sidelines. His rollercoaster career was seemingly over. It was a career filled with success, but also boos and intense criticism from fans and ESPN analysts, including Kirk Herbstreit, throughout his three years on campus. “Before we got here (in 2018) he had a rough go of it with the fan base, with everything going on,” Mullen said.

Franks was placed on blast when ESPN cameras caught him chirping at Miami fans in the 2019 season opener. Herbstreit questioned whether Florida could be a contender with an emotional quarterback like Franks, who often offset big plays with stomach-churning interceptions and fumbles.

Franks, admittedly, had to grow up. “Wisdom comes through experience, not age,” Franks said.

He spent those months recovering from ankle surgery growing emotionally and listening to Mullen’s wife, Megan, who Ginger lovingly referred to as her son’s second mother. “She was there making sure Feleipe was OK,” Ginger said. “I could always call her. The Mullens are always going to have a special place in our heart, without a doubt. They’re great people.”

On the field, it was clear Trask had a tight grip on the starting job at the end of the 2019 season, and Franks, now a Florida graduate, was out of the picture. He wanted to be the starter during his final year in college football, but as Mullen said in their discussions, the Gators had two worthy quarterbacks on the roster and Franks was the odd man out heading into his senior season. Mullen supported Franks’ departure, which ultimately landed the quarterback at Arkansas, a program on a 19-game losing streak in the SEC.

Franks hoped he could lead a turnaround alongside newly-hired head coach Sam Pittman. He did it before as Florida’s quarterback, and Pittman did it as an assistant at Georgia, so why not Fayetteville, where the program was starting from the ground floor?

Pittman went to work quickly, hiring former Baylor assistant Kendal Briles as offensive coordinator and former Missouri head coach Barry Odom as the defensive coordinator. The three coaches — and Franks — had something in common the entire roster did not: the experience of contending for championships. They were the new boys in a town that hadn’t seen a winning season in four years, and their voices quickly became louder than the others in the locker room.

Pittman and Franks were the fuel to the fire, and it didn’t take long for them to set the Boston Mountains ablaze. Arkansas snapped its losing skid in Week 2 with a 21-14 victory at then-No. 16 Mississippi State. The Hogs have since won two more games by double digits, including a 24-13 victory against Tennessee last week.

“Those two came from winning programs. And they brought this kind of mindset of, 'Hey, we know how to win, just follow what we're doing,’” Mullen said. “And you look at it with the combination of the coaches and having a quarterback — and obviously they have a bunch of talent on the team on both sides of the football. What's probably changed is the mindset of how they play, and that's why they're having the success. I know Feleipe was probably a major part, with their coaching staff, changing the mindset of the team.”

It’s difficult to argue Mullen’s theory. After all, he leaned on Franks in his first year as Florida’s coach and the result was a 10-win season. Now Franks has Arkansas playing competitive football for the first time in three years.

“He’s always been a great quarterback,” Trask said. “I’m happy for him, and he’s playing well over there. Arkansas definitely got a good quarterback in Feleipe.”

Franks’ swan song might be his best performance yet. He started 24 games at Florida, where he threw for 4,593 yards and 37 touchdowns, but he’s been at his best in 2020. His passer rating is at a career-high 154.7. He’s thrown 14 touchdowns against only three interceptions in six games, and is on pace to break the school’s record for completion percentage (67.2), which would eclipse the likes of Bobby Petrino’s Tyler Wilson and Ryan Mallett.

Franks is doing it all against the toughest schedule in Arkansas’ history: a 10-game SEC schedule with seven teams currently or previously ranked in the top 25, including the top four teams in the conference.

This game at Florida, however, is the biggest one yet for him in a Razorback uniform. A victory could potentially derail Florida’s playoff run and simultaneously place Arkansas back on the national map.

“He knows this game is not just about him, it's about us,” Pittman said. “He just has to go out there and do his job the best he can. Hopefully he doesn't have too much added pressure. We'd all be fooling ourselves if we don't think he has pressure on him because that was his former team — and he's got a lot of love for the players on Florida's team as well.”

It’s rare for a quarterback to be at the center of major turnarounds at two separate programs in the same conference. Franks is on his way to flipping the script at Florida and Arkansas in the span of only two years. Then again, the 2020 season is not finished yet, even if three wins seemed impossible at Arkansas just a few months ago. Franks wants to “finish out the season strong, to go out there and change things around here and the culture around here. It's important for me right this second,” he said this week.

“Being a part of both stories is awesome,” he continued. “It's a blessing at the end of the day.”

In The Swamp, Franks’ mom — with his niece — will watch him write another chapter Saturday in Gainesville.

“When your kids reach a certain age, you kind of get this moment where you're like, Oh, wow, they finally get it. They're not the kid anymore. They're a man now,” Ginger said. “And I think that's what's happened with Feleipe over the last year.”

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https://247sports.com/Article/Quarterba ... 154629034/
“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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10 Things To Know – Florida

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https://twitter.com/CoxSportsTV/status/1327433823278276609
https://arkansasrazorbacks.com/10-thing ... w-florida/
Arkansas makes the trip to Gainesville for the first time since 2013 as the Razorbacks will battle No. 6 Florida on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.

10 Things to Know Before Kickoff

1. – The Razorbacks trailed Tennessee, 13-0, at halftime last week but stormed back scoring 24 third quarter points in the come-from-behind 24-13 victory, their third straight over the Volunteers. Arkansas overcame a deficit of at least 13 points for the first time since 2017 against Coastal Carolina. Now 3-3, Arkansas won three of its first six SEC games for the first time since 2015 and three of its first six games overall since 2016.

2. – Prior to last weekend, Arkansas had not posted a 24-point quarter during SEC play since 2016, when it scored 24 in the second stanza against Mississippi State. The Hogs outgained Tennessee in the third 257-16, running 28 plays to the Vols 10. All three touchdowns came via the air as junior WR Mike Woods, senior TE Blake Kern and sophomore WR Treylon Burks registered receiving scores. Redshirt senior K A.J. Reed connected on a season-long 48-yard field goal to cap off the scoring.

3. – Sophomore WR Treylon Burks has scored a touchdown in three straight games, including a career-long 59-yard snag against Tennessee. He is the first Razorback to register a receiving score in three straight games since Jonathan Nance in 2017. The Warren, Ark. product leads the team and ranks seventh in the SEC with five receiving touchdowns while making 31 receptions on the year for 461 yards. His average of 92.5 receiving yards per game is fifth in the SEC and 7.2 catches per game is seventh. Playing in just 16 career games, Burks is 64 receiving yards away from 1,000 in his career. If he accomplishes the feat against Florida, he will be the fastest Hog receiver to 1,000 yards since at least 1997 (Boo Williams 1999-00; 18 games).

4. – Arkansas redshirt senior QB Feleipe Franks makes a return to the school where he began his career. From 2017-19, Franks was the Florida starting signal caller, most notably leading Florida to a No. 6 USA Today Coaches’ Poll ranking, a 10-3 record and a 41-15 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Thrashing of No. 7 Michigan in 2018. He has given an immediate lift to the Razorbacks offense, throwing for 1,428 yards and 14 touchdowns, the most scoring tosses by a Hog since Austin Allen’s 25 in 2016. Last week against Tennessee, Franks completed 18-of-24 passes for 215 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His 75% completion percentage is the highest of his Razorback career and his second-highest overall after completing 92.6% of his passes (25-of-27) for Florida against UT Martin last season. The Crawfordville, Fla. native has thrown for 200+ yards in each of the first six games of the season, the first Hog QB to do so since at least 2000.

5. – Arkansas’ 12 interceptions this season lead the nation after totaling six picks in 12 games last season. Against Tennessee, the Hogs made two picks for their third multi-interception game of the year, becoming the first Arkansas team to have three multi-interception games since 2015. Redshirt freshman DL Eric Gregory recorded his first career pick against the Vols, the first by an Arkansas lineman since JaMichael Winston in 2013 against Louisiana.

6. – Redshirt freshman DB Jalen Catalon made 12 tackles with an interception and forced fumble against Tennessee, winning his first career SEC Defensive Player of the Week award. Arkansas’ four SEC Defensive Player of the Week winners this year (DB Joe Foucha, LB Bumper Pool, LB Grant Morgan) is the school’s single-season high since joining the conference in 1992. Catalon has posted three 10+ tackle performances and leads the team with 36 solo tackles while ranking third in total tackles (58). Since 2000, the defensive back’s 58 total tackles are the most by an SEC freshman through the season’s first six games. He is the only FBS freshman to record 50+ tackles and multiple interceptions this season. Catalon is also the first Razorback freshman to have over 50 tackles in a season since Dre Greenlaw in 2015 (95).

7. – Junior LB Bumper Pool registered a game-high 14 tackles for the second straight week and has made 11+ stops in four of five games he has played this season. The Lucas, Texas product is averaging an SEC best 12.8 tackles per game, which ranks fourth in FBS. He is immediately followed in the conference leaderboard by redshirt senior LB Grant Morgan, who is averaging 11.7 tackles per game while leading the team in total tackles (70).

8. – The Razorback defense has made impressive strides this season and leads the SEC in turnover margin (1.33), interceptions (12), turnovers gained (15) and pass efficiency defense (117.05), while ranking second in passing defense (222.2), third down conversion defense (36.2%), and red zone defense (66.7%).

9. – The Hogs make their first visit to Gainesville since 2013 and are looking for their first-ever win inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida leads the all-time series, 9-2, but Arkansas won the last meeting, 31-10, in Fayetteville over the then-No. 10 Gators in 2016. Arkansas also won the first game of the series, 28-24, on Dec. 31, 1982 at the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston, Texas. The Razorbacks and Gators have met twice in the SEC Championship Game with the Gators taking both contests in 1995 (34-3) and 2006 (38-28). The teams have met in the regular season just eight times in the last 30 seasons.

10. – Florida (4-1, 4-1 SEC) scored 38 first half points and downed No. 5 Georgia, 44-28, in Jacksonville, Fla. last week. The Gators are led by senior QB Kyle Trask who has thrown 22 touchdowns with eight going to junior TE Kyle Pitts. Florida is third in the SEC averaging 495.4 offensive yards per game while ranking ninth in total defense (402.0 ypg). Head coach Dan Mullen is 25-6 in his third year at Florida and over 12 seasons as a head coach has a 94-52 career record.
“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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https://twitter.com/MatthewsMorning/status/1327378237304008704 Image
Image https://twitter.com/i/status/1327400857751568384 https://twitter.com/HitThatLineAR/status/1327330623132987392 Image https://twitter.com/i/status/1327326818404339712 https://twitter.com/RazorbackFB/status/1327332282676498435
“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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Stuff and about the Razorbacks logo

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https://hitthatline.com/its-time-for-hogs-to-replace-nonsense-with-common-sense-with-brand/
Perhaps nothing showed the ineptitude of the Decade of Darkness surrounding Arkansas sports was when someone let others start changing the Razorback brand.

Apparently someone didn’t pay attention to the fact that when Nike starts monkeying around with uniform design and changing stuff, it never works out well.

Jeff Long, in his apparent determination to destroy as much as possible around the history of Arkansas athletics, had the football teams in some of the ugliest uniforms ever designed, introduced the front-facing Hog logo and even allowed various sports to wear gray and black uniforms.

Every so-called anthracite piece of apparel with the Razorback logo should be burned. Those black uniforms could be used to start the fire.

My question has always been why some geniuses over-think things when you have one of the most unique and recognizable brands in sports with a color scheme that works?

“You are absolutely right,” Hogs radio announcer Chuck Barrett told Tye Richardson and Tommy Craft (The Morning Rush) on ESPN Arkansas on Friday morning from Gainesville. “That’s just one of the reasons, I’ll confess, that I hate the forward-facing Hog.”

It’s similar to the Dallas Cowboys changing their star, the New York Yankees messing with the pinstripes or Alabama running onto the field in something other than red or white.

Even Sam Pittman admitted in his press conference Thursday the classic Razorback is the one he prefers on his shirts. In typical Pittman fashion, though, he sort of shrugged it off, saying, “I’ll put on what they give me for free and rock it.”

That last part of was Pittman being Pittman.

If you’ve paid attention the last few years the horrendous anthracite has disappeared from the football field for a few years now. Chad Morris played around with white helmets a couple of times, but that even looked strange.

You do not change the way your brand looks if you’ve got a good one.

“You’ve already got the most recognizable logo in college sports, why would you want to change it?” Barrett asked. “That’s stupid.”

Yes, Chuck, it is.

But apparently there are some that want to look at a game on television and have to figure out what team is playing. That’s even more stupid.

It was the original (and really only) general manager the Dallas Cowboys ever had, Tex Schramm, who designed one of the most recognizable looks in all of sports by trotting people out on the field at Texas Stadium in different looks and watching on a television monitor.

“That’s where most of your fans see you,” Schramm said in 1983 after changing the road uniforms of the Cowboys, tweaking the colors … to look better on television.

It may be one of the smartest sports decisions I’ve ever seen. In a stadium there may be 100,000 people looking at you but on television even lower level teams have many more than that watch an ESPN+ on their computer or phone.

“Every one of those forward-facing logos looks exactly alike,” Barrett said Friday morning, an observation I noted on statewide radio when it was introduced. “You just substitute colors and names.

“We were never called Arkansas State before the front-facing logos.”

That has happened since Long allowed that logo to be used.

“A couple of times they’ve put that Red Wolf up there that looks EXACTLY like our forward-facing logo,” Barrett said. “They get them confused. Hey, you don’t see any Alabama or Florida front-facing logos, do you?”

Hunter Yurachek has seemingly spent three years fixing problems you’d think he wouldn’t have to address taking over a Power 5 program. Especially one with the most unique and recognizable brand in sports.

“At some point you’ve got to stand up for what your tradition has been about,” Barrett said. “We’re not the only one. We’ve let — and other schools have let — Nike come in and change a little bit too much.

“When they start messing with the logo they’ve gone too far.”

He’s absolutely right.

And it’s something that can be fixed … even before the whole soft drink issue.
“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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https://arkansasrazorbacks.com/celebrating-a-razorback-trailblazer/
Celebrating A Razorback Trailblazer
KEVIN TRAINOR
November 13, 2020
A half-century ago, Jon Richardson stepped on the field as the first African-American scholarship football player at the University of Arkansas. As we commemorate the anniversary of this historic moment in Razorback history, join us as we celebrate Richardson and other Razorback trailblazers who paved the way for thousands of student-athletes to come.

On Thursday, November 19 at 6 p.m., Razorback Athletics will host a special virtual event. The program is free and open to the public. Interested participants are encouraged to RSVP in advance. Once an RSVP is received, the webinar link and reminders will be sent via e-mail.

Event Registration

So plan on joining us for this special celebration!

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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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OUCH! That Hurt!

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Florida's Offense was too much for Arkansas defense. Florida ran away with it by half time. Arkansas offense lead by QB Feleipe Franks had some plays to be proud of. I had a feeling this game and the Alabama game would not be close in score. The Hogs aren't built to beat those teams just yet. Coach Sam Pittman and company are working on getting them there as quickly as possible. They will succeed. I'll leave the rest to the coach Odom to explain. Maybe post some fan responses.


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Link https://twitter.com/i/status/1328544833988931584 https://twitter.com/i/status/1328398176366129159

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https://247sports.com/college/arkansas/Article/Arkansas-football-quarterback-Feleipe-Franks-SEC-most-improved-player-Gene-Chizik-Florida-Gators-transfer-154842008/
Feleipe Franks’ Arkansas team couldn’t pull off a win over Franks’ former team over the weekend. But what Franks did earn was respect, including from a former SEC coach with a national title on his résumé.

Gene Chizik watched Franks’ performance against Florida on Saturday. And he said on SEC Football Final that the Arkansas quarterback is the league’s most improved player.

“The accuracy of Feleipe Franks, especially in the red zone, has been unbelievable,” Chizik said. “Since the opening game where he threw two picks, 13 touchdowns, one interception. He’s kept this offense alive. And his ability in the run game is where he really, really has improved.”

Franks completed 15-of-19 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns on the night, though Arkansas fell 62-35.

"If I’m going to be quite honest with you, I think it came down to us executing and then obviously Florida is a really good team," Franks said after the game. "There’s no doubt about that. But at the end of the day, when we get opportunities to go capitalize, we’ve just got to take advantage of them. That’s what it boils down to, especially when you play a really good team like Florida."

Franks said he enjoyed seeing his former teammates, but added that when the game started, he was all about Arkansas.

"It was awesome. Just being around those guys and to see the excitement that they had to see me, and for me to see them and all that," Franks said. "In between the lines it was even fun, just being able to go out there … I’ve been with those guys for four years and to actually play and they can hit me and all that, it’s fun. You love the game and that’s what you play it for, the relationships you build along the way. It was a blessing to have the opportunity to get out there and play against them and see them again.


"It’s not hard to keep the emotions in check. You have to be mentally strong at the end of the day. At the end of the day, I’m here to help the Hogs win. That’s my main goal every Saturday week in and week out. But like I said, you don’t forget about the relationships you made along the way. You don’t forget that I was here for four years and I’m an alumnus. You don’t forget about that kind of stuff."

On the season, Franks has completed 68.3% of his passes for 1,678 yards, 16 touchdowns and three interceptions. And after just seven games, he has a chance to break his career-high marks — set during a 13-game season — of 2,457 yards and 24 touchdowns. And thanks in large part to his play, the Razorbacks (3-4) have already won more games than they did a year ago.
“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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Will The LSU Game Be Played?

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Arkansas
Pig Trail Nation
@PigTrailNation
Pittman: No I don't feel good about COVID. I think everybody is looking for an answer. We are going to play Saturday as of now. We have a test that we took today that gets back tomorrow. I am going to tell you the truth we are running thin.
10:13 AM · Nov 19, 2020·Twitter Web App https://twitter.com/i/status/1329520664202645506 Arkansas Razorback Softball and 22 others follow
Pig Trail Nation
@PigTrailNation
Pittman on Knox: I can tell that he is excited about this week. He has shown a lot of maturity in this sitation that was dealt to him.
10:17 AM · Nov 19, 2020·Twitter Web App

Ugly Uncle Retweeted
Pig Trail Nation
@PigTrailNation
Pittman on Trelon Smith: He is awesome. Tough, hard worker. Great kid to be around. He runs hard. Makes the line better. Makes the team better. Have been proud of the way he has played.
10:04 AM · Nov 19, 2020·Twitter Web App

Arkansas Razorback Softball and 22 others follow
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Pittman on Knox and Morris: Both of them have had good practices. They will be ready to go. We have caught the ball well this week.
10:05 AM · Nov 19, 2020·Twitter Web App

Arkansas
ESPN Arkansas & HitThatLine.com
@HitThatLineAR
“The Boot, LSU game is a big deal for Arkansas. It's a big deal.... This has a little extra juice to it.”

- Sam Pittman
10:13 AM · Nov 19, 2020·Twitter for iPhone
Last edited by HawaiianHogster on Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:01 pm, edited 1 time 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

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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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LSU Game

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by: Otis Kirk
https://www.nwahomepage.com/sports/pig-trail-nation/arkansas-fighting-serious-covid-issues-this-week/
Posted: Nov 18, 2020 / 11:52 AM CST / Updated: Nov 18, 2020 / 12:21 PM CST

FAYETTEVILLE — Last week Arkansas played Florida without its head coach, but this week they will be missing several players, including some starters, when they host LSU.

Sam Pittman was on the SEC Teleconference today and was asked about the COVID issue on the team and also how he’s feeling?

“Well, me personally I’m fine,” Pittman said. “I feel good and I’m glad to be back to work. We’ve had some positives this week that certainly will affect our football team. But per numbers mandated by the SEC, we’re still within that number, ratio, so we’re looking forward to playing.”

Sources indicated to Hogville.net some key players are not going to be able to play and at least two positions are very short on depth.

“We’ve got an adequate number of people to play,” Pittman responded.

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron was asked if he has heard about Arkansas’ issues with COVID this week?

“I feel good,” Orgeron said. “I feel good. I haven’t heard anything yet, so we’re planning on playing. I feel like they are going to want to play and unless their numbers get so low. Our numbers got so low last week that it wasn’t in the best health of our football team. We couldn’t play. So I understand if their numbers get low but I haven’t heard anything.”


LSU will take the field on Saturday for the first time in 21 days. They had a bye on Nov. 7 and postponed against Alabama on Nov. 14.

“Very excited,” Orgeron said of playing this week. “We had an enthusiastic practice yesterday. Guys came back. We had most of our guys back. By our take of practice yesterday our guys are ready to play. We have to have a great day today, have a great week of preparation. We have to get up early in the morning and play against Arkansas which has a very good football team right now.”

Pittman reached out to Orgeron on Monday and the LSU coach talked about the conversation.

“Here’s what he wanted to tell me: ‘Coach, thank you for paving the way for line coaches to become head coaches,’’ Orgeron said. “He had told me that in the SEC meeting. We talked about a couple of things. He wanted to know how COVID was and I said, ‘We’re fine.’ He said, ‘Okay man, we’re going to be ready to play.’ And I congratulated him on what a great job he was doing. That’s about the extent of the conversation.”

Pittman had some vegetable mix he drank while down with COVID. He was asked who came up with that?

“Jamil Walker, actually. Our strength coach,” Pittman said. “His wife… fiance made it for me. I’m not positive all what was in it, I just trusted what was in it. It was a lot of vegetables and a little bit of honey, I believe. Instantaneously, it made me feel better.”

Will you continue to drink it?

“I don’t know,” Pittman said. “It’s not the greatest tasting stuff in the world, but it did make me feel better. I did not drink it this morning, but I may have a little half a glass at lunch.”

While he is undecided on the veggie mix, he is clearly going to continue walking with Barry Odom.

“Absolutely,” Pittman said. “As soon as I get off the call I’m headed that way.”

Arkansas and LSU are slated to kickoff at 11 a.m. in Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
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Coach Pittman Is Back!!!!

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Coach Pittman says Feleipe Franks has practiced every day this week and is ready to go. He injured his left hand against Florida.
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Clay Henry's Top 10 Keys: Arkansas vs. LSU

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https://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2020/nov/19/clay-henrys-top-10-keys-arkansas-vs-lsu/

It has always been said, “When it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.” Nothing ever changes.

Football coaches know that. And with all of their gimmicky names for situations, there’s one that makes as much sense as anything. Their phrase for third down is often “the money down.”

It’s more appropriate than special teams, often less than special. Never mind that John L. Smith had the great quote about special teams plays netting “giant chunks of land.”

You pay for that land on third down. The fortunes of a football team go up and down on third down.

Heck, you might pay down that $19.1 million the Razorbacks’ athletics department borrowed during the covid-19 pandemic if you convert enough third downs. It’s the money down.

You can make more than nickels and dimes with great performances on third down. Never mind that defensive coordinators call their packages with extra defensive backs “nickel” and “dime” by name.

Make no mistake: it’s going to come down to those packages as Arkansas plays host to LSU at 11 a.m. Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium. It has all season.

Can the Hogs pressure a true freshman quarterback into mistakes and pad their nation-leading interception total? You pressure youngsters, drop into coverage against veterans.

As sure as a Labrador retriever will wag its tail, the Razorbacks have a great chance to beat the Tigers if they come close to their third-down numbers. Arkansas coach Sam Pittman knows that’s the key.

Back at practice for the first time in nearly two weeks, Pitman put the Hogs through extra work on third down on Wednesday. It came after his team converted just 3 of 9 on third downs at Florida while losing 63-35. The defense did poorly, too, allowing the Gators to convert 9 of 12.

Those numbers showed up in lopsided time of possession for the Gators. They had the ball for 38:48, compared to 21:12 for the Hogs.

“We’re not the greatest on third down right now and I think that’s the thing where we’ve got to make another leap,” Pittman said. “We have to be able to convert third-and 8s, third-and-6s.

“Obviously it’s easy to say, ‘Well, stay out of third-and-8.’ Well, sometimes it’s hard to do…. We still have to move the chains and we’ve really worked on that this week, along with getting off the field on third-and-8, and longer.

“On defense, you have to get off the field on third down. We were in third-and-manageable for us and we didn’t get off the field, especially in the first half. It was pretty obvious we couldn’t get off the field.”

If you look at a game-by-game breakdown of third-down numbers, it’s easy to figure how the Hogs got to 3-4 ahead of the LSU game. Consider:

• Week 1: Georgia 6 of 20, Arkansas 3 of 14

• Week 2: Mississippi State 6 of 17, Arkansas 5 of 14

• Week 3: Auburn 6 of 15, Arkansas 6 of 15

• Week 4: Ole Miss 4 of 16, Arkansas 6 of 17

• Week 5: Texas A&M 7 of 11, Arkansas 3 of 11

• Week 6: Tennessee 5 of 15, Arkansas 9 of 17

• Week 7: Florida 9 of 12, Arkansas 3 of 9

The Arkansas offense is converting 36.1% of third downs this season, 11th in the SEC and 89th in the nation. The defense is at 40.6% for fourth in the SEC, No. 62 nationally.

The Razorbacks face an LSU team converting 33.3% for 12th in the SEC, No. 102 nationally. The LSU defense allows 47%, for an SEC ranking of 11th and No. 102 nationally.

That LSU ranking on defense is where the Hogs seem to have an advantage. The Tigers have had a hard time getting off the field on third down all season.

So what gives, literally, in the LSU defense? It’s the coverage unit. Ever since the Tigers allowed Mississippi State quarterback to pass for 623 in the season opener, teams have attacked a secondary that likes to lock into man-to-man.

New defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, formerly head coach at Nebraska and Youngstown State, has been criticized for his lack of creativity against passing schemes, but Pittman seems to understand.

“They are still a talented team and their coordinator is outstanding, but they have only three returning starts on defense,” Pittman said. “That’s tough when you lose that much experience.”

About the only place the Tigers have experience is in the secondary, but the top player, cornerback Derek Stingley, began the year fighting an illness and missed the Mississippi State game.

Free safety JaCoby Stevens, the leading tackler with 36, is also a returning starter. Opposing quarterbacks picked on true freshman corner Eli Ricks to start the season and Pelini finally moved him to the second team. Ricks does have three interceptions.

LSU allows 335.2 yards passing per game, 14th in the SEC and 121st in the nation. It’s clear that’s where the Hogs should attack to bolster their third-down numbers.

However, that doesn’t mean the Hogs will abandon the run game, much improved in recent weeks. They ran for 208 against Florida, 198 against Tennessee and 222 against Texas A&M.

That’s cleared the way for success on play-action passes and some big plays against Tennessee and Florida. The Hogs had big pass plays for 56, 59, 47 and 83 in the last two games. Three of those were catches by Mike Woods.

The run game helped make that happen. Both Tennessee and Florida played a safety closer to the box to stop the run and moved the linebackers closer to the line of scrimmage.

“In our offense, you have to have the threat of linebackers moving up,” Pittman said. “When they move up we can throw over the top of them.”

That brings us to our top 10 keys for the LSU game. We’ll start with the quarterback.
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Clay Henry's Top 10 Keys: Arkansas vs. LSU

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https://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2020/nov/19/clay-henrys-top-10-keys-arkansas-vs-lsu/

Feleipe Franks

Everyone thinks of the senior Arkansas quarterback as an NFL passer, a prospect capable of making a team at the next level. Don’t look now but Franks is on the verge of becoming the Arkansas offensive player with the most rushes this season.

Trelon Smith is the rage after sprinting to an 83-yard touchdown against the Gators, but stands even with Franks on number of carries for the season. They each have 78, just behind team leader Rakeem Boyd’s 82.

Franks may get chances in the quarterback counter and run-pass option game this week because LSU attacks so hard with its defensive ends. Franks made 91 yards (after 20 yards in sacks were subtracted) on 16 carries against Texas A&M. The LSU defense might present similar opportunities for QB runs with the way it plays man-to-man in the secondary.

Obviously, Franks could have a big day passing. He’s been good over the second half of the season, piling up 1,678 yards against seven SEC foes. That’s salty stuff. He’s 138 out of 202 with 16 touchdowns. He’s thrown only three interceptions, and none since the Ole Miss game.

TJ Finley

LSU will go with Finley at quarterback, a true freshman with great credentials as a run-pass threat. He’s started the last two games after Myles Brennan went out with an injury.

“He’s a great threat to run,” Pittman said. “We have to keep him in the pocket.”

Finley has a rocket arm and quick feet. He’s a great prospect, but isn’t polished.

His top target is Terrace Marshall, the only returning starter among what was the nation’s best receiver group. Marshall, a probable high draft pick, has 31 catches for 540 yards and nine touchdowns. Finley’s No. 2 target is tight end Arik Gilbert, another true freshman. Gilbert has 22 catches for 259 yards and two touchdowns.

Finley was one of the LSU players hit with covid-19 quarantine two weeks ago, along with other quarterbacks. It left a few days without enough players at the position to practice. Punter Zach Von Rosenberg took some snaps to get the Tigers through a few workouts.

The Trenches

This is an area the Hogs have improved. LSU was one of several teams to bludgeon the Hogs last year. Texas A&M, Tennessee and Florida all flexed muscle in the offensive and defensive lines to cause the Hogs problems the last three weeks.

Who knows who is available because of covid-19 outbreaks on the Arkansas campus. There’s been speculation that the Hogs could be without some key players. They don’t need to lose any on either side of the line of scrimmage.

Last week, the Hogs didn’t travel guard Beaux Limmer or tackle Noah Gatlin on offense. Whether or not they return this week or not is not clear.

LSU has only one returning starter on the offensive line, right tackle Austin Deculus, an All-America candidate. Defensive end Glen Logan is the only returning starter on that side of the line of scrimmage.

The Tigers have had two open dates in a row thanks to a covid-19 postponement last week when they were scheduled to play Alabama. That might have provided time for some scrimmage work to figure out some things in the trenches.

Motivation

The Tigers are a strange team to watch. They haven’t always been motivated on trips to Fayetteville, especially when nothing is on the line. Do they bring their top effort this week after getting the last two weeks off?

For sure, the trappings are gone for this game, outside of the trophy for the winner, wonderfully designed by David Bazzel, The Golden Boot. It’s a 200-pound trophy the Tigers have won the last four games.

They didn’t seem too excited after last year’s game and comments by head coach Ed Orgeron might provide some bulletin board material for the Hogs. The LSU coach said, “There won’t be too much celebration after this game. Arkansas hasn’t beaten anyone in a long time. On to Texas A&M.”

Is that a slap in the face? Perhaps it is, but either way, the LSU coach didn’t show the Hogs much respect after the 2019 game.

There isn’t much hype about the game because both enter with losing records (unless you count the Auburn game as a victory for the Hogs because of a botched call in the final minute). It’s only the second time since 1995 that both teams are unranked.

Since the Hogs entered the SEC in 1992, there have been only four other times both were unranked and Arkansas won three of those games (in 1992, 1993 and 2008).

Turnovers

Arkansas leads the nation in interceptions with 13, but LSU has taken care of the ball better than most 2-3 teams. They have lost only one fumble and six interceptions. Finley has thrown three in two games.

Arkansas has 16 takeaways on the season (first in the SEC) and LSU has 11, which ranks third. So both teams are good in that category.

Arkansas did give up a scoop and score for a touchdown against Florida when Boyd and Franks seemed to botch a zone read that was covered by the Gators.

Next Man Up

This applies to both teams in a variety of ways. With Arkansas expected to have some players out because of covid-19 testing, depth is more important than usual.

Pittman said in preseason that he went to sleep every night wondering if the second, third and fourth teamers were getting enough attention in practice. This may be the week he finds out.

Along with covid-19 issues, the Hogs must replace starting wide receiver De’Vion Warren, out for the year after suffering a torn ACL on a kickoff against Florida. The injury was suffered on a cut attempt, with no contact.

The likely candidates to take his minutes are Trey Knox, Tyson Morris and true freshman Darin Turner (6-3, 208 pounds). Turner was slowed in preseason by covid-19 quarantine but is ready to play now. He may get his chance against the Tigers.

Tight End

The Hogs have played through injuries the last two weeks at the tight end position. Hudson Henry sustained an ankle injury against Tennessee that kept him out of the Florida game. Blake Kern suffered a leg injury that limited his play against Florida.

Pittman said Monday that both should play this week. Walk-on Nathan Bax got a few snaps in relief of Kern against Florida.

Both Henry and Kern have developed into dependable options for Franks in the passing game. Kern had the final block on Smith’s 83-yard run against Florida.

Protection

This has been an issue for several seasons. Franks holds the ball to put him in too much jeopardy, but he doesn’t throw many interceptions, so that might be a trade off. But he should get a little better protection.

Arkansas has given up 23 sacks. That compares to the 12 sacks the Hogs have gained on defense. It’s season’s most glaring statistics.

LSU will bring pressure on the edge with ends Ali Gaye (6.5 tackles for lost yardage) and BJ Ojulari (5). Ojulari had three tackles for 21 yards in lost yardage against South Carolina.

The Tigers lead the league in tackles for lost yardage with seven per game. The Hogs are 13th in allowing lost yardage plays at 7.29 per game.

Grant Morgan, Bumper Pool and Jalen Catalon

These three must play well again for the Hogs to win. They’ve been magnificent for most of the season and all three have battled injuries.

Morgan has played through an elbow injury against Auburn. The senior captain from Greenwood has played with an elbow brace for most of the season. He leads the Hogs with 81 tackles, first in the SEC with 12.1 per game. He’s totaled at least 15 tackles (with a high of 19 against Ole Miss) in three games this season.

Pool and Catalon are close behind with 70 tackles. Pool missed one game with cracked ribs. Catalon missed the last three quarters of the Texas A&M game because of a targeting penalty.

How Morgan, Pool and Catalon play determines the way the Hogs play on defense. They need all three to be firing on all cylinders.

Prudent Plans

This is a week when it seems all of the Arkansas planning may bear fruit. Pittman was out of practice the first two days of the week while completing his 10-day quarantine for a positive covid-19 test. We all get the problems not having the head coach in the office causes.

Pittman said they went over that situation in the preseason and were ready with Barry Odom set to become interim head coach for the Florida game.

There are other situations the Hogs have planned for, including an 11 a.m. kickoff. The LSU game is their first early starting time of the season, but they went over that with an 11 a.m. scrimmage in August, including a 7 a.m. breakfast to simulate all details of an early kickoff. The Hogs will get a second 11 a.m. kickoff next week at Missouri.

Of course, the Hogs worked backups and walk ons in multiple positions in August workouts to prepare for quarantines, something that seems to be in deeper numbers this week. Pittman said that’s affected scout teams this week, too.
“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 Pittman's Walks

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GAME ON!!!!!

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FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas passed its test well enough to play Saturday’s game against LSU in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

No, it wasn’t a math or history test, it was 2020 on full display as the Hogs had to have enough players pass Thursday’s COVID test to be able to play Saturday. They did that as Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman, who missed last week’s game against Florida with COVID, tweeted out wanting fans to attend the game.


In addition, Arkansas director of athletics Hunter Yurachek also had a similar tweet.


Sources indicate that while Arkansas will play they are very short of players on the defensive line and running back.

On Thursday, Pittman had warned the results of Thursday’s test would determine Arkansas’ ability to play on Saturday.

“No, I don’t feel good about COVID,” Pittman said. “I mean, I think everybody’s looking for an answer and I’ll give you the answer: We’re going to play Saturday, as of right now. We’re going to play. We have a test that we took today that gets back tomorrow. I’m just going to tell you the truth, we’re running thin. We want to play the game. But you have to have adequate numbers to play the game and we are thin. If we have a good test tomorrow, then by golly we’re going to play the game. We want to play the game. We have not talked to our players one second about not playing the game because we want to play the game. They want to play, so as long as our numbers will allow us to play, that’s what we’re going to do. Are we thin? Yes.”

It will be the first game for LSU since Oct. 31 when they were beaten 48-11 by Auburn. They had a bye on Nov. 7 and then postponed Alabama on Nov. 14. They also had a game against Florida postponed earlier.

Arkansas (3-4) and LSU (2-3) will kickoff at 11 a.m. on the SEC Network Saturday.

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Re: New Head Coach for Arkansas Football

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PFF College
@PFF_College
Highest-graded redzone passers:
1. Feleipe Franks - 92.4
2. Spencer Rattler - 91.4
3. Trevor Lawrence - 90.0
4. Kyle Trask - 87.0
Arkansas Razorback Football
8:09 AM · Nov 20, 2020·Twitter Web App
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Last edited by HawaiianHogster on Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:40 pm, edited 1 time 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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