It’s been three days, and the Arkansas loss is still hard to believe. A busted play on fourth-and-25 led to a lateral to Arkansas Razorback Alex Collins.The game ended with a Razorback first down, and eventually a touchdown and game-winning two-point conversion.
“I never experienced anything quite like what we experienced on Saturday,” head coach Hugh Freeze said. “After watching the film and the effort that was given by both teams and ours, we couldn’t find issues with effort. It was certainly one of those days where the offenses had their way on both sides. It was a very difficult ending.”
Many of the positives were definitely on the offensive side— the Rebels put up 52 points and gained a total of 590 yards on the day.
“It was possibly one of the most efficient offensive games since I’ve been here,” Freeze said. “I thought Chad (Kelly) played extremely well, as did the offensive line and receivers.”
Arkansas is a power-run team, so containing their running backs and forcing the Razorbacks to play through the air seemed like a good plan. Unfortunately for the Rebels, Allen was unexpectedly efficient through the air and picked apart the Rebel defense for most of the game.
“I thought we controlled the run game against a very good running team. Obviously, that was the plan, to stop the run,” Freeze said. “We unfortunately, didn’t have answers to their pass game. That is something that we will have to address.”
Saturday was also the first game that junior husky Tony Conner was able to play after injuring his knee in the victory against Alabama in week three.
“It (Conner’s knee) did swell after the game. I just talked to Pat (Jernigan), and he will be in this afternoon to drain Tony’s knee. That was the plan all along,” Freeze said. “They will drain it and see how he feels tomorrow. We will judge what we do with him based on that.”
Conner had surgery after sustaining the injury, but will need further surgery at the conclusion of the season.
“We’ve always known that there is an issue he is going to have to get corrected after the season is over. Tony got 30 snaps, I believe,” Freeze said. “We just have to monitor it.
The same plan is still there. There is going to have to be a surgery after the season to completely fix it.”
Freeze also cleared up the fourth-and-25 play, as some fans argued that Alex Collins shouldn’t have been able to advance the ball and get the Razorback first down.
“The interpretation is based on whether or not it was a lateral or a fumble,” Freeze said. “In their interpretation, and I would agree, it was a lateral. It was a backwards pass. That is the differentiating thing. The one that I had a question about was the fumble at the end of the play because I know the rule on that one is very clear. The thing that worked out for them is that he was beyond the line to gain.”