Sam Pittman may be “at peace” with the explanation from the league office about the blown call at Auburn, but a lot of fans won’t be for a long, long time.
“It is what it is,” he said at his press conference Monday.
It really was about all he could say. There were enough problems for Pittman and the coaching staff they can actually address and improve. No need to worry about what they can’t do anything about.
“No matter what happened, the outcome was the outcome and we can’t change it,” Pittman said. “Even if there was a mistake made, even if whatever, we can’t change it.”
Arkansas would have won the game by at least two touchdowns if they hadn’t messed up so much on special teams. If Pittman hadn’t started trying to catch up on a missed extra point the best the Tigers could have done at the end with all the other problems was tie the game.
They also gave up four points by putting freshman Malik Hornsby in the game to try and go wide on the goal line against a defense that wasn’t going to let that happen.
The media and the fans get to second-guess. I’m undefeated, untied and unscored-upon … on Monday mornings.
But I was a little surprised when he went for a 2-point conversion on the first touchdown after the bobbled snap botched the point-after attempt after the first one. That usually doesn’t work out well when you start chasing a missed extra point before the fourth quarter.
Points are not exactly impossible to come by these days in college football. NFL coaches have known this for years. You don’t think about chasing a missed extra point until the fourth quarter when you have someone do the math on the score then.
Despite every other problem, if Pittman hadn’t chased that bobbled snap twice in the first half all Auburn could have done was take the game into overtime.
If he had left quarterback Feleipe Franks in the game instead of putting in a freshman they could have gotten an extra four points and the Tigers would have been throwing to the end zone at the end to send the game into overtime.
Those options are WITH all of the special teams mistakes. The blocked punt for a touchdown should have never happened. The penalties just in special teams are impossible to explain away.
Scott Fountain has got to get that stuff straightened out immediately. Ole Miss put up 647 yards and scored 48 points on Alabama in a hurricane Saturday. The Hogs can’t afford special teams giving the Rebels free points.
Arkansas’ offense has to keep pace.
The defense is playing hard and over-achieving. That is something fans are excited about because they haven’t seen that in awhile.
“We are a beat up team,” Pittman said Monday.
But it’s not from getting hit.
“Half of our injuries is us injuring ourself by hitting somebody so hard,” he said.
That’s another one nobody has heard in awhile.
Maybe Barry Odom has another surprise in store this week. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with against this week’s “best playcaller in the SEC” after Mike Leach’s Air Raid didn’t score a point against Kentucky.
College football isn’t about defense this year. You have to score points … and a lot of them to win any game.
Ole Miss is going to put up points on the Hogs. Their defense is going to give up a lot of points, too. The Rebels are small, slow and simply not very good on defense.
Arkansas’ defense won’t get a lot of stops but they will need to get at least one.
The Hogs’ offense could turn out to be the best defense if they can run the ball on a bad defense. Pittman admitted that in his press conference Monday.
But special teams can’t give up cheap points, nobody panics to start chasing a missed point in the first half, giving up several more in the process and you don’t take your best offensive player off the field at the goal line.
That is actually what cost the Hogs against Auburn because it never should have come down an inadvertent whistle.
Whether you want to admit it or not.