Arkansas was the slower team tonight. They didn't tackle well in the second half, after a nice start as far as making plays up front in the first half. But, in the second half, the Hogs couldn't make any plays on defense. Part of it was a knee strain that Quinton Caver suffered. He wasn't the same in the second half.
But, it didn't help that our secondary couldn't make a play. They were in position
to do that on several of the long passes, but didn't break on the ball. And, Robby
Hampton, by his own admission, didn't play well tonight. "I would like to have
some of those passes back tonight," Hampton said.
"I had Richard Smith and didn't get him the ball on about three passes. "There
was one in the first half, that I think the adrenaline just took over and I put
too much on it. It really sailed and I should have just put some soft touch on
it for a touchdown. "And, I had Richard in the second half, and just threw it
too low and he had to wait on it. That's two I'd like to have back to Richard,
and there was probably one more that Richard was open for a touchdown and I missed
him. I'd scrambled a little and I think he slowed down and when he saw the ball,
it was too late."
Arkansas' players thought Mississippi State was the most vulgar team they had
played this year ... the kind of the trash talkers. But that was before the Hogs
played UNLV's Rebels. "Hey, these guys were much better than Mississippi State
... at trash talking," said Kenny Sandlin.
"Their quarterback spit on me. I'd never had that happen in a game before tonight.
"They said everything in the book. I learned some new words tonight. They were
talking trash and doing it in vulgar terms the entire game. "They beat us and
deserved to win. All I can say is that we get them again and we'll be ready for
them. I'll remember the way they talked, what they said. It was pure trash. They
had no class at all."
Houston Nutt congratulated UNLV for winning the game, stating several times that
the Rebels deserved to win the Las Vegas Bowl. But, he was miffed about "four
or five calls" that may have given UNLV the edge when the game was even in the
second and third quarter. "I didn't understand the officiating," Nutt said. "I'd
say four or five calls were really bad. The officiating just wasn't very good."
Was he concerned that the Hogs had to play UNLV in the Las Vegas Bowl with a Pacific-10
crew ... a crew all-too familiar to UNLV coach John Robinson? Nutt didn't answer,
but nodded his head to that statement.
The UNLV bowl was a unique experience for this writer. Arkansas fans were taunted
by drunken UNLV fans throughout the game. Yes, beer was sold at Sam Boyd Stadium
from start to finish. That's the first college football game this writer has seen
where beer was sold. I hope it's the last time I experience that.
The loss capped a disappointing campaign for Arkansas (6-6), one of nine Southeastern
Conference teams that earned bowl bids. The Razorbacks endured a four-game losing
streak before winning their final two contests to become bowl eligible.
UNLV fans stormed the field and tore down the goal posts in celebration
as fireworks exploded over field. Happy fans danced as Arkansas players filed
silently off the field.
UNLV Bowls Over Hogs, 31-14
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