Brandon Allen’s First Scrimmage Performance Worries Tyler Wilson

Airing out his views on Arkansas' current starting QB
Airing out his views on Arkansas’ current starting QB

During the Razorbacks’ first scrimmage last Saturday, Brandon Allen did not deliver his best performance of training camp. The senior starting quarterback completed only 10 of 23 passes and was picked off on his third attempt. Sure, the defensive line was stout all afternoon long, racking up eight sacks, but that pressure didn’t much faze the three backup quarterbacks. They completed 23 of a total 31 passes.

That disparity between the younger backups’ performance and the fifth-year senior is bad news, Razorback quarterback legend Tyler Wilson believes. “The completion percentage, ten of twenty-three, is a little bit worrisome,” he said on The Morning Rush with Derek Ruscin and Tommy Craft. He pointed to the 11-of-15 performance by Austin Allen, Brandon’s little brother, as more in line with what should be expected from the starter. “When you’re in the 40 percentile in completion percentage, something has got to be down. We got to increase that for us to be successful.”

Wilson’s primary concern: the scrimmage happened sufficiently late enough in training camp for Brandon Allen to be clicking. “By practice 10 it [usually] seems like the offense catches up a little bit and starts to find its footing… It didn’t seem like that was happening Saturday. The defense was still messing a lot of stuff up for the offense.”

“It is tough because the defense sees a lot of your looks. At this point in camp they kind of know what’s coming. It is agitating. It’s a little frustrating for the quarterback at times. You feel like, ‘OK, they know exactly what’s coming and I can’t do much about it.’”

Wilson, now a co-host on The Morning Rush (ESPN Arkansas 96.3 95.3 & 104.3 FM), had more interesting on-air insights. Here are a couple excerpts:

On difference between Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins:

When you watch the two guys run Jonathan Williams is more of an attack type running back… Alex Collins is a little more fleet of foot. He’s more of an outside guy. One is more south, one is a little more east-west. When Alex Collins is going to carry 70 percent of the carries this year and is going to carry a lot more of the workload, I have a little bit of a worry he’s maybe not able to do the things that together they would’ve been able to do… Obviously there have been some ball security issues [with Collins]. I think when you have those issues you think somewhat feeble, not as strong, not as big, not as maybe aggressive as a guy like Jonathan Williams – that’s just what’s in some people’s heads.

On similarity between Jonathan Williams’ season-ending injury and Knile Davis’ in 2011:

Very similar in terms of timing, in terms of expectations from a particular highly thought of, highly regarded running back that was going to get a lot of carries  but now he’s no longer there… Knile was the one guy that I believed everybody thought was going to be a key to our success throughout football season. We had some good wide receivers and some what unknown on how I was going to play quarterback that year, but Knile Davis was that instrumental piece. He was the guy that was on the cover of the media guides and went to SEC Media Day…

I think for a lot of fans, you hate that he’s gone but you got to find a way to patch it together. By the way, all that 2011 team did, when Knile Davis went down, was win 11 games and the Cotton Bowl that year… We still had Dennis Johnson that year. Dennis Johnson and Ronnie Ringo were on the team so the thing kept moving right along.


 

Want more of these kinds of detailed Arkansas sports interview excerpts? Check out BestOfArkansasSports.com’s near-daily roundup. 

Malik Monk goes for 50 points, owns dunk contest at Bass Pro Tournament of Champions

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I don’t think there’s a more enjoyable “new-school” player – in age and style of play – whom I enjoy watching more than
Bentonville High’s Malik Monk. And his exploits fit so well with Hoop Mix Tape’s molten tracks..

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTqXhwyWdQc]

And, to think – someone dared give this a negative vote. In all likelihood it was a half-sober Charles Barkley, jealous his alma mater has no shot at him.

Top 50 (ish) Major College Football Rivalry Trophies: Part 2

The Egg Bowl, as a concept, is dull.
The Egg Bowl, as a concept, is dull.

This is the last chapter of the my three-part series ranking the nation’s 60+ FBS trophies based on how sweet the trophy looks, and how cool its background is. I broke down and scored each trophy according to Originality, Tradition and Sheer Awesomeness (L-R below).

The far right number represents the Trophy Sweetness score, which I incorporated into a far more absurdly complicated meta-ranking formula (involving the rival programs’ NFL draft picks, competitiveness and all-time Top 10 finishes) for SB Nation.

24.

Golden Egg Ole Miss-Mississippi State 1927 3 5 2 10

Catchy name, but the actual thing – a golden football on a pedastal – is so ho-hum. Lots of creative folks in Oxford. Surely Ole Miss’ Sigma Iota could have come up with some more imaginative.

23.

The Saddle TCU-Texas Tech 1961 4 3 3 10

Good idea. Just wish it had been the schools – not local newspapers looking to generate publicity – which came up with it.

22.

Victory Bell Miami (Ohio)-Cincinnati 1899* 2 5 3 10

Such a now-cliched trophy idea can be excused if it was fresh back in the day, as the 19th century inter-campus shenanigans involved here lead me to believe it was.

21.

Keg of Nails Louisville-Cincinnati 1929 4 3 3 10

Basing your trophy on the saying “tough as nails” is a thumbs down. Making it into a keg full of nails is thumbs up.

shillelagh

20.

Jewelled Shillelagh USC-Notre Dame 1952 3 4 3 10

A Shillelagh is a war club made of oak or blackthorn saplings from Ireland. It’s said those are the only woods because they are the only ones tougher than an Irish skull.

19.

Old Brass Spittoon Michigan State-Indiana 1950 5 3 3 11

Conflicting reports on whether players do or don’t spit into it during celebration.

18.

Golden Boot Arkansas-LSU 1992 4 3 4 11

It cost $10,000 to make. That ties Fremont Cannon for land’s most expensive.

Continue reading Top 50 (ish) Major College Football Rivalry Trophies: Part 2

Matt Stinchcomb: Arkansas’ 2014 Offense is a Gridiron “Valhalla”

References to Norse mythology’s Great Hall of the Slain, Residence of the Supreme God Odin, do not every day percolate the chatter of the Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly afternoon radio show based in Northwest Arkansas.

But not every day does Matt Stinchcomb, a former All-American tackle at Georgia who analyzes college football for the SEC Network, chime in with Bo about the way Arkansas’ offense is grounded in its historically massive offensive line.

“That offense is like Valhalla,” Stinchcomb told Bo earlier this week. “When we all get off this mortal coil, anybody who was ever unathletic enough to have [had to play] offensive line, that’s what we would spend eternity doing – is just running double-team blocks and just cramming tailbacks down a defense’s throat. It’s an incredibly explosive offense.”

Stichcomb was speaking to Bo about Saturday afternoon’s Georgia-Arkansas game in Little Rock. “Arkansas, I’m convinced, is a very good team and may better than any team in the SEC East. That’s what I think we’ll find out this Saturday.”

Converting for Era – Part 1: Could Scottie Pippen Play 3 and D?

I love these cross-generational comparisons, and this is a very good, nuanced look at what kind of offensive player Pippen would likely be in the modern NBA era. I’d love to see a similar one done with Drazen Petrovic – he was an absurdly efficient shooter (with unlimited range) that my intuition is that had the 1992-93 version of Petrovic been dropped into the 2014-15 NBA season, he’d be considered one of the top 5 offensive players in the game.

Arkansas State University Pays Unintentional Homage to Chevy Chase

Arkansas State University is no joke. This is a legit mid-major football program, winner of three consecutive Sun Belt titles, and on Saturday hung tight against  a stronger Tennessee squad in front of nearly 100,000 rabid, enemy fans.

The Red Wolves are nothing to lampoon.

Now, the following coincidence that happened at Neyland Stadium is a different matter altogether:

combo
Some things just go together. Other things – not so much.

God bless Chevy Chase and the iconic vacation film series his character Clark Griswold spawned. And keeps spawning – on into the next generation. Thanks to this man’s ineffable talent, we now have our latest member inducted into the Arkansas College Football Jersey .GIF Hall of Fame/Infamy.

Perhaps you’ll recall the charter member depicted beneath:

A classic.

Why Drew Gooden Would Have Ruined Finland’s Mojo

Interesting look at the national team of Finland, where Scottie Pippen played a few games after his NBA retirement: “Their collective decision-making has become automatized to a degree that will not be achieved by any other team in the World Cup. There is no hesitation, no delays, no second-guessing.
That’s the reason why rumors about NBA veteran Drew Gooden joining the Wolfpack in the last minute never sounded plausible to me. I thought Gooden would have damaged the collectivism of the team, and the net gain would have been negative. “

Sidney Moncrief on Nolan Richardson’s Basketball Hall of Fame Induction

In the late 1990s, Sidney Moncrief was nominated to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame four straight years. The Little Rock Hall High alumnus wasn’t voted in, though, and now stands as the one of the top two non-inducted guards in the game’s history. “I think in time that will happen,” Moncrief, a former Razorback All-American, told me on the phone today. “There’s a time frame for everything.” Former NBA commissioner David Stern, who’s being inducted today, told me Moncrief deserves to join him one day. I believe such a moment will happen sooner than later but that’s a story for a different time.

In the meantime, let’s focus on a Razorback who got in on his first try: Nolan Richardson. Few Division I coaches not named Roy Williams or Jim Boeheim have won 500 games in shorter time than he did, and nobody before or since has taken the University of Arkansas to the same heights. Tonight is Richardson’s night, and here’s Moncrief’s take on it:

“I was very excited for Nolan. The impact he’s had on the game of basketball and people-wise … It goes beyond basketball; It’s overall impact on people, more specifically when you’re a college coach, it’s all about the young men you are leading and the impact that you have on them. And he’s done that for years. I’m very proud he was [chosen to be] inducted.”

PS – Moncrief now lives in Dallas, where he runs his own business and has written five books. He’s currently working on a book called “Your Passport to Manhood,” the latest in a Passport-themed series. Last season, he worked as a Milwaukee Bucks analyst but he said it isn’t set if he will return to that position.