The Arkansas Razorbacks kicked off their soon to be 12-0 2007 camapaign predictably with an easy win over Troy 46-26. Troy got lucky to put up 26 and were fortunate that McFadden and Jones didn't try very hard Saturday night. The 46-26 win obviously didn't exactly "wow" all those non-believers outside of the Razorback Nation, but the Hogs got the job done and now start to focus on real opponents like the Alabama Liquid Tide coming up Sept. 15th.
A quick grading breakdown:
Passing Game: A-
No interceptions! McFadden was awesome. Casey was not awesome, but good enough Saturday night
Running Game: A+
McFadden & Jones toyed with the Trojans. Michael Smith needs more carries to stay in the Heisman race for 2nd.
They hardly got the ball, but when they did they scored. Nice job Crosby Tuck.
Offensive Line: A
How do you think the Hogs scored most of those 46 points? The O line will get better but Jonathan Luigs was the best center in football on Saturday - anybody could see that
Defensive Line: A-
Coach Herring will get these boys up to A+ status by the end of the year or they will all be forced to join a sorority.
Still the SEC's best and if you have a guy named Weston Dacus on your team that's even better
A few mistakes, but easily correctable. Troy's wide receivers and quarterback Omar Haugabook can make any secondary look shaky at times. After watching them, they are probably the best non-SEC team in the nation.
Special Teams: A
Alex Tejada dominated at kicker. His leg actually intimidated Troy - I could see it in their eyes. They were pretty scared and with good reason to be. This would have been an A+ if he hadn't of tried to get cute and bank one through the goal posts late in the game causing probably his only miss this season. I mean, he's not perfect... close, but not perfect.
Solid, vanilla play calling for game one. Expect bigger and better at Alabama.
So, as you can see there are some areas for improvement for the Razorbacks as they get next Saturday off and don't play again until they travel to Hell, aka Alabama, to play the Tide on the 15th.
Players of the Game:
D-Mac: 151 yds rushing 1 TD, 42 yds. passing 1 TD, and one hellacious block during a kickoff return to spring Felix Jones for a TD.
Felix Jones: 129 yds rushing 1 TD, 144 yds. kickoff returns 1 TD
The Race for Runner-Up to Heisman Trophy Winner Darren McFadden:
1. Felix Jones - did his thing Saturday with a kickoff return 90 yards for a TD, 129 yds. rushing with another TD. Second best running back in the nation.
2. Not Chad Henne of Michigan - haha, Appalachian State! (Still shaking my head) Appalachian State! They're good for a Div 1AA team. No shame in losing to App State... unless you're Michigan and playing at home in "The Big House!" For the remainder of the year, it must now be referred to as "The Doll House." (Still shaking my head and laughing...)
2. Steve Slaton, West Virginia - ran for some yards (108), scored a few TDs (3), big deal
3. Brian Brohm, Louisville - threw for some yards (375) and a few TDs (4), big deal
4. Josh David Big Booty, USC - threw the ball for a few yards (206) and some TDs (3) against Idaho. First time I ever knew Idaho had a football team.
5. Colt Brennan, Hawaii - threw for about 800 yards and 11 TDs in his season opener against Siloam Springs High School - this guy's stats should be illegal this season
Players to watch: Michael Smith, Arkansas - 59 yds. rushing with 1 TD, just needed more carries on Saturday to get his name into the mix.