Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Arkansas gained 515 yards of total offense Saturday against Texas A&M. They lost anyway
Arkansas has been redefining the game of football for a few months now. No one saw the fall ofcoming, few saw the hiring of JohnL Smith as the "answer" at head coach, and fewer still probably saw the Hogs losing to Louisiana-Monroe and Rutgers in the first month. Now comes a new first: Generating 515 yards of total offense and losing by 48 points.
Part of that is Texas A&M churning out 716 yards of total offense in the 58-10 annihilation. Part of it can be chalked up to Arkansas' three turnovers. And part of it should be blamed on going 1-of-5 on fourth down.
But it was hard to escape the conclusion that a lot of it has to do with this being yet another awful episode in a season that's gone completely off the rails. It's gotten ridiculous to ask whether JohnL Smith will last the season, because there's nothing left to salvage this year and no chance he will return in 2013. And Tyler Wilson, who didn't have a great day to begin with, can only do so much when there is literally no help from the defense.
Give credit to Texas A&M for taking advantage of the capsized refugee boat that is the Arkansas football team. Johnny Manziel had season highs in completions, attempts, yardage and passer rating, and narrowly missed his season high in completion percentage. The stat line: 29-of-38 for 453 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Ryan Swope had 141 yards on five catches.
But the focus has to be on Arkansas. Barring maybe the Kentucky game, Arkansas is not going to be favored in any SEC game for the rest of the season, and even being favored against Tulsa is looking shaky right now. The question is no longer whether Smith will have more than one season at Arkansas but whether he will have more than one win to show for it.