Arkansas' team plane found its way to Knoxville on Friday afternoon, and the team bus arrived at Neyland Stadium on Saturday morning. However, it's still not apparent if the Arkansas Razorbacks coaches and players ever arrived. Tennessee hammered the Hogs 34-13 on Saturday afternoon in front of nearly 105,000 fans. Darren McFadden did all he could while rushing for 117 yards, but with no passing game or Felix Jones for most of the game, it was nowhere near enough against a Tennessee defense that played inspired football. Arkansas fell behind 20-3 at halftime, and any hope for a comeback was dashed when Arian Foster ran for 59 yards to give Tennessee a 27-3 lead. Jerod Mayo put the finishing touches on the romp by returning an interception for a touchdown late in the 4th quarter.
The reasons for the loss were numerous: no semblance of a game plan, inept play calling, curious personnel moves, lack of emotion, undisciplined play, etc. A total all-around dud. Give credit to Tennessee for taking the gift that Arkansas gave them. It's hard to imagine that the Vols thought it would be so easy on Saturday afternoon against an Arkansas team that ran for 541 yards against South Carolina the previous week.
As Tennessee prepares for Vanderbilt and Kentucky with East division title hopes in their own hands, Arkansas will return to Little Rock this Saturday to face revitalized Mississippi State. The Bulldogs defeated Alabama 17-12 last Saturday and have now defeated the Crimson Tide, Auburn, and Kentucky to stand at 3-3 in SEC play. Yes, that's one game better than the Hogs. Arkansas then travels to Baton Rouge to face No. 1 LSU the day after Thanksgiving. Should Arkansas lose both games, they will find themselves home at bowl time and possibly, minus a head coach.
Such is life in the SEC. Two 6-3 teams took the field last Saturday in Knoxville. Now, one team has dreams of an SEC Championship and BCS bowl berth, while the other is staring at a lost season. It's not hard to guess which team is which.