FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. â€” The Arkansas Razorbacks did what they wanted to do Saturday night at Frank Broyles Field at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. They defeated the Jacksonville State Gamecocks 49-24 to spoil the return of Jack Crowe, former Arkansas coach for the Hogs' last two seasons in the old Southwest Conference and current coach of the Gamecocks.
When one sees that the Razorbacks (1-0) won by 25 points, one might think there were positives all around. Don't get me wrong, there were.
â€śThere were a lot of positive things there,â€ť said John L. Smith, Arkansas coach. â€śIf we don't turn the ball over, it could have been very exciting for us offensively. Offensively, there was a lot of positives. We come out there in the second quarter and score on four straight drives (to take the score from being behind 14-7 to take a 35-14 lead). We threw the ball around a lot to different people. We had a lot of different playmakers out there on the field, and they all did good jobs. It was good to get the young guys in there. I wish we could have gotten them in there to play even more."
However, there were some not-so-good things Smith saw in Saturday night's season opener which need to be corrected.
â€śWe have to make sure we do a better job of ball security. We have to take better care of that thing. Our running game wasn't what we like it to be. We're going to have to tighten things up (defensively) in our pass coverage, and that will come. We have to work on stripping the ball. We have to do a better job at tackling. I wasn't overly pleased with our tackling as a defense. We have to tackle a lot better. There are a lot of things we're going to work on and get better at. We have a week to get better before the next one (6 p.m. Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Ark., against Louisiana-Monroe). The biggest thing is that we now know where we are. We can sit down and point out things that we need to get better at. That's the great thing about this team. They expect more of themselves, and they expect to be better than this.â€ť