8/28/2008 1:21 PM




Fayetteville, Arkansas
September 20, 2008

It was time for kickoff but a quick scan of the crowd revealed that the cheerleaders and band from Tuscaloosa were no where to be found.  There is a reason teams travel the day before a game.  The spirit plane was delayed.  Then there was a thick layer of fog in the Ozark Mountains that lifted about an hour before kickoff.

Nick Saban and the Tide found their way to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium right on time thanks to a police escort through the thick fog.  After the Razorback defense forced Bama to punt on their opening drive, the band and cheerleaders were walking into the stadium.  It was 4th and 4 for the Tide from the Arkansas 48 and Saban sent P.J. Fitzgerald into punt the football to the Hogs.  It looked like the punt would be blocked.  Fitzgerald was able to get the kick off, but Elton Ford slightly brushed the Tide kicker and he did a flip forward and SEC referee Matt Austin threw out the little yellow flag.  After the first down on the penalty, Alabama was in the end zone six plays later for the first score of the game and their cheerleaders were there along with the band to celebrate.  They would celebrate quite often throughout the afternoon.

A young Arkansas team needed something positive to happen and happen early, running into the kicker was not what the doctor ordered.   After an unexpected week off due to the postponed Arkansas – Texas game, the Hogs entered the game still undefeated.
Alabama also entered the game undefeated and it was their first true road test.  They passed the test! 

To win on the road in the best conference in America, the SEC, you have to keep mistakes to a minimum and control both lines of scrimmage.  Alabama did it well.  They intercepted Casey Dick twice and returned both for touchdowns, had one holding penalty called on them for ten yards (off setting penalties don’t count), and controlled the line of scrimmage running the football for 328 yards and allowed Arkansas just 92.  Glen Coffee ran all day long and finished with 162 yards and two touchdowns including one on an 87 yard scamper.  

It seemed as Alabama could do no wrong.  They did receive some gifts from the Hogs, but there was no question the better team won today.  This Razorback team is young. 

The last time Arkansas had a first year head coach, they reeled off 8 wins in a row and had a top ten ranking before losing in Knoxville toTennessee.  This year they survived scares against Western Illinois and Louisiana Monroe.  It is going to be a long season.

Alabama struggled last year with Saban at the helm for his first year back from the NFL it will take Petrino time to get his style of players on The Hill.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier, a trip to Austin for the rescheduled game with the Longhorns is this Saturday, then 2008 Heisman Trophy top vote getter (McFadden won it in my book) Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators come to Fayetteville.
Houston doesn’t have a problem, He left Arkansas one!


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